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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Both writers used simple sentences, Kerouac not going off on his poetic riffs. David Kammerer, a school friend of Burroughs, had come to New York to pursue his infatuation with Lucien Carr, a beautiful boy from a wealthy family.

This book, while not listed as historical fiction, is historical fiction nonetheless. Kerouac married his girlfriend, Edie Janie in the story so that her family would bail him out of jail. 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. A primary figure of the Beat Generation and a major postmodernist author, he is considered to be “one of the most politically trenchant, culturally influential, and innovative artists of the 20th century William Seward Burroughs II, also known by his pen name William Lee; February 5, — August 2, was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, painter, and spoken word performer.

The change of writing styles between Burroughs and Kerouac from chapter to chapter made the novel engaging and all the more amusing. Thanks for telling us about the problem.

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

They’ll catch a boat for France and jump ship, then make their way through the front to Paris. This was a huge case back then.

To anybody a bit more familiar with the Beat Movement the rest of the cast of characters are also recognisable, as this entire book is based on actual events The story itself ambles slowly through the hot summer in the city, while the words stab at the page aggressively.


According to Carr, Kammerer tried to sexually assault the younger man, and Carr defended himself by stabbing his attacker twice in the chest with a small Boy Scout knife. Jan 17, Chelsea Whyte rated it liked it. Kerouac and Burroughs, however, wrote a novel called, strangely, And the Hippos were Boiled in their Tanks. My favorite aspect of the form of storytelling throughout Hippos was how the characters that one would’t initially be boilec to adore in the story where the ones narrating.

But that was where the story ended between the two parties, as Carr went to seek refuge with Burroughs. Oh, and, for the record, no hippos were harmed in the making of this book.

And I thought someday everyone in America will suddenly jump up and say, ‘I don’t take any shit! We also take AC for granted. He also collaborated on projects and recordings with numerous performers and musicians, and made many appearances in films.

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks – Wikipedia

Trivia About And the Hippos We One interesting footnote – author Caleb Carr is the son of Lucien. Two books to combine. Dec 18, Caddy Rowland rated it it was amazing. The Burroughs chapters have all of his trademark wry, black humor, and the Kerouac chapters lack some of his poetry but retain his pathos.

When Carr eventually turned himself in, Burroughs and Kerouac were arrested as accessories after the fact. Both writers knew the victim and the perp’ and the facts about the murder.

Hippos was written about a murder in the mid 40’s from the perspectives of two close friends of the victim and murderer. I think one of the main reasons why I hiippos reaaaally liked this book was because I read a portuguese version of it bolled the translation was not one the best let’s say My favourite parts of this book were, funnily enough, not related to the core part of the story the murder but Jack’s attempts, with Lucien Carr in tow who was desperately trying to get away from the psychopathic Kammerer shadowing his every move, to get signed up to the Merchant Marine.

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

The afterward detailing the history of this nov And the Hippos. Although many little details are changed, I would have to assume ther tell it much like it was. The novel would prove to be a thorn in the side of Carr, who emerged from prison a reformed man with ttanks interest in his Beatnik past, and instead had the desire to go straight, without anything to remind him or embarrass him for a horrible incident.


The best part about this early beat novel is contrasting the temperaments of the two narrators: It was great fun to see what he and Kerouac did together as untested writers. Aside from the death, it is typical Kerouac writing and is typical of his usual fare. The writing lets the reader walk down the streets with Kerouac and his friends, arm in arm.

When they say it’s hot, it’s really sweat pouring off your brow while you’re sleeping hot.

A first stab at Beat

Kerouac talked about it with Ann Charters, for his biography. View all 4 comments. After being turned down by the Office of Strategic Services and U.

It was rejected by a bunch of publishers but Kerouac kept a copy of it around which eventually ended up in the hands of James Grauerholz, the executor of the state of William S.

This bit about getting bailed out wasn’t in the story, but it may have been the most interesting part. Open Preview See a Problem?

Lucien Carr was stalked by Kammerer, a homosexual in love with Carr and constantly lusting after him, who was, incidentally, a heterosexual friend of many of the beats including Kerouac, Burroughs and Ginsberg. Retrieved from ” https: The two washed up in Manhattan, where on a mid-August night they shared a bottle of wine in Riverside Park. In a interview for The Paris ReviewKerouac agreed with the basis of the story but claimed the fire was at the London Zoo.

In the documentary What Happened to Kerouac? Both this book and the movie Kill Your Darlings my favorite movie of show Lucien Carr to be an arrogant, egotistical cockteaser.

Only Lucien Carr and David Hammerer could tell us and they are long gone. It was finally published in The Yage Letters The Job: