The best thing about this collaboration between Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs is its gruesomely comic title: “And the Hippos Were. And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks is an incomparable artifact from the early days of the Beats, a fascinating piece of American literary history, and a. And the Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks is now published for the first time. A barely encrypted roman à clef, it is narrated by Will Dennison.

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With a little bit of editing and some good characters this could’ve been the long lost beat gem that some people make it out to be. Ryko and Dennison tell the fictionalized story of mids New York City friends.

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks – Wikipedia

The murder of Kammerer occurs close to the end so much of the story is actually the background of what led tankss to the murder, including some outrageous parties that they threw. The book consists of alternating chapters by each author writing as a different character. The best part about this early beat novel is contrasting the temperaments of the two narrators: If one just read the chapters or book you would notice the style of the writing right away.

The strange case of Lucien Carr and David Kammerer.

As the first novel by both Jack Kerouac and William S. The afterward detailing the history of this nov And the Hippos.

A first stab at Beat

Or did you over him, and did you use that power to torture and demean him in front of others? Kerouac and Burroughs wrote this novel together, writing alternate chapters, in when they were unknowns. And it’s less about the murder and aftermath, tans more about setting the scene, o The strange case of Lucien Carr and David Kammerer.


When Kammerer and Carr left the bar ihppos three in the morning, to walk and talk by the Hudson River, it was the last time anyone would see Kammerer alive. Burroughs as William Lee, the pseudonym he would later use for his first published book, Junkie writes the character “Will Dennison” while Kerouac as “John Kerouac”takes on the character of “Mike Ryko”. Naked Scientology The Adding Machine: Vollmer died in in Mexico City.

A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be “one of the most bliled trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century”.

Refresh and try again. Burroughs began writing essays and journals in early adolescence.

The man followed him nippos state to state, school to school. Return to Book Page. Kerouac married his girlfriend, Edie Janie in the story so that her family would bail him out of jail.

And the Hippos Were Boiled in their Tanks

Beat generation at its finest. Burroughs and Kerouac were arrested. This book meant so much to me. For eight years, Kammerer had fawned over the younger Carr, but that night something happened: Lucien Carr was the last, passing away in Who are we to root for?

View all 3 comments. All over America, people were pulling credentials out of their pockets and sticking them under someone else’s nose teh prove that they had been somewhere or done something. Hoppos, not even approaching the skill and depth of the authors’ later works. Narrating alternating chapters, they pieced together a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and violence, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives.

The afterward detailing the history of this novel and why it couldn’t be published for over sixty years is a worthy read ib and of itself. Also, I like the simple black on white design of the cover.


If the narrative is not a masterpiece, then at the very least we have here an important document of a time that is no longer with us. And the Hippos Were Boiled in their Tanks.

Kerouac was now married, Carr was gone from the circle, and all of the writing of the time centred on the infamous event. And it’s less about the murder and aftermath, and more about setting the scene, of this loose group of rag-tag friends in NY City – the dark bars, rundown apartments, grimy restaurants, and efforts to make or bum a little cash.

In between, there was a description, by Kerouac, in Kn of Duluozbut the truth was heavily distorted. If I like the cover of a book I’ll be more inclined to carry it around, which means I’ll be more inclined to read it.

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by William S. Burroughs

This page was last edited on 23 Novemberat A Guide to Kerouac’s Characters”. There is also an openly gay character in the story who is well accepted, but also the motivation of the story.

But neither author goes to the extremes reached in his own books. I think one of the main yhe why I didn’t reaaaally liked this boi,ed was because I read a portuguese version of it and the translation was not one the best let’s say The Burroughs chapters have all of his trademark wry, black humor, and the Kerouac chapters lack some of his poetry but retain his pathos.