Synopses & Reviews
Called a vivid picture of literary life along the Left Bank in the late 1950s and early 1960s . . . [and] fun reading by Library Journal, The Beat Hotel is a delightful chronicle of a remarkable moment in American literary history. From the Howl obscenity trial to the invention of the cut-up technique, Barry Miles's extraordinary narrative chronicles the feast of ideas that was Paris, where the Beats took awestruck audiences with Duchamp and Celine, and where some of their most important work came to fruition -- Ginsberg's Kaddish and To Aunt Rose; Corso's The Happy Birthday of Death; and Burroughs's Naked Lunch. Based on firsthand accounts from diaries, letters, and many original interviews, The Beat Hotel is an intimate look at a place that, the San Francisco Chronicle has written, gave the spirit of Dean Moriarty and the genius of Genet and Duchamp a place to dream together of new worlds over a glass of vin ordinaire.
"Citing letters, journals, interviews, and personal friendships, author Barry Miles, who has written biographies of Beat notables Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and William Burroughs, as well as Beatle Paul McCartney, revisits the period when the Beat Hotel (now demolished and home to the upscale Relais-Hotel du Vieux Paris) served as the European headquarters for Beat mischief and kicks. Miles exposes this previously overlooked existence of the Beat artists with accounts of their correspondence and far out experiences with their European contemporaries. The Beat Hotel fills a biographical hole in Beat history by recounting how three American artists went to Paris, added six years worth of important works to an American literary movement, and came home to a changing nation." Jamie McAlister, Bookpage
"A fine sketch of a bohemian tribe that seems, four mind-bending decades later, refreshingly innocent." New York Times Book Review
From the bestselling author of "Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats" and "Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now" comes the story of the infamous Beat Hotel. Based on diaries, letters, and many original interviews, "The Beat Hotel" is an intimate look at some of the 20th century's most enduring and daring writers.