New Year’s Eve with Jack Kerouac

1 Jan

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“The parties were enormous; there were at least a hundred people at Herb Benjamin’s basement apartment in the west nineties. People overflowed into the cellar compartments near the furnace. Something was gong on in every corner, on every bed and couch, not an orgy, but just a New Year’s party with frantic screaming and wild radio music.”

You can read the whole story beginning with Neal Cassady driving Jack Kerouac’s mom back to New York for New Year’s Eve, on page 225 of On the Road: The Original Scroll, published by Penguin Books in 2008.

The recent film adaptation of On the Road does a splendid job capturing the energy at the New Year’s Eve party. Burning Furiously Beautiful: The True Story of Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road,” the book I’m coauthoring with Paul Maher Jr., tells the true-life events that inspired this story.

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