Leo Percepied, aspiring writer and self-styled free-wheeling bum, gravitates to the subterraneans, impoverished intellectuals who haunt the bars of San Francisco. One of them is Mardou Fox, part Negro, part Cherokee, beautiful and a little crazy, whose dark eyes full of suffering and sweetness find recognition in Leo. But, afraid of his growing involvement, Leo sets out to destroy their love through betrayal and drunkenness.
Exuberant and melancholy, Kerouac's spontaneous, rhythmic prose flows across the pages. Written in three days, The Subterraneans is, like all Kerouac's work, closely related to his own life while encapsulating his great vision of America.
..... live in the alleys of San Francisco- smoking tea- and talking of Wolfe and Baudelaire and Pound and peote- and listening to bop. And this is the Joycean and/or junk-induced free-for-all recall of one of them, an "unself-confident egomaniac" Leo Percepied (Canuck) and his involvement with the Negro (part Cherokee) Mardou Fox whose "glittering glee eyes" reveal that she'd flipped and is still under therapy but whose warm brown body and feet "in thongs of sandals of such sexuality- looking-greatness" make him want to make her, which he does, so that he drinks less and stops writing altogether until he loses her when he goes on to writing this which in all the giddy gratification and laceration of words in also foully phallic and probably as good an example of how far you can go in print without the benefit of punctuation let alone taste. (Kirkus Reviews)
Series: Penguin Modern Classics
Number Of Pages: 192
Published: 1st March 2001
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.8 x 12.8 x 1.2
Weight (kg): 0.14
Edition Number: 1