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The Dharma Bums

Narrated by: Allen Ginsberg
Length: 2 hrs and 51 mins
4 out of 5 stars (11 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Two friends in 1950s San Francisco Bohemia explore Buddhism Zen - hipster style. On the road to finding Dharma, or truth, the story's narrator, Raymond Smith comes to a spiritual roadblock. Smith, based on Kerouac himself, discovers a role model in his friend Japhy Ryder, modeled after the real poet-Buddhist Gary Snyder. This autobiographical novel is one of Kerouac's most popular, and has served as an inspiration to the beat culture, hippies, and dharma seekers since the 1950s. This program is narrated by legendary poet Allen Ginsberg, a friend of Kerouac's and an early fan of his work.
Recording (P)1991 by Audio Literature; ©1958 by Jack Kerouac

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Beware of Ginsberg!

This isnt my favourite of Jack's work, but fans will know what their in for and it provides plenty of his poetic ramblings. I have found myself drinking more green tea after finishing this.

When I saw this was narrated by Ginsberg I was really excited, but I feel though he obviously gets Jack, and the work better than anyone, the recording quality and reading itself was detrimental. I had to fuck with eq settings to be able to listen to this properly , and often the Ginsberg accent and accents of syllables got a little too much.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ronald C. Wagner
  • Ronald C. Wagner
  • 28-12-2009

Don't buy abridged versions of novels.

This is just not the true Kerouac experience. You need the whole thing. It is a waste of money.

19 of 19 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S. Craig
  • S. Craig
  • 23-10-2003

jack at his best

on the road part two. with lots of buddism in the mix, just enough humor to keep it from being boring. mind expanding beat litt at its finest.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Ballzdeep
  • Ballzdeep
  • 22-03-2018

great book needs to be recorded by someone else.

The book is great and hearing Allen Ginsberg read it should be awesome but with all of Allen's talents, his voice and reading this at his age when he recorded this just does not match the manly bravado which was Jack Kerouac. It would be great to get a more representative voice that feels like Jack telling me his story.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Michelle Prats
  • Michelle Prats
  • 04-08-2018

Narration was hard

Great book but the narration was really hard to listen to. I wouldn’t listen to it again.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lauren Mellen
  • Lauren Mellen
  • 23-07-2018

The Audio Quality is Terrible

I love this story but this is a really old copy so it sounds terrible. It actually hurts your ears to listen to it. Such a shame because this is an incredible book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Delsheree D. Gladden
  • Delsheree D. Gladden
  • 27-03-2018

Hmmm

I picked this book up after hearing it mentioned in another book, and I guess I was expecting something different. There wasn't really a story so much as a wandering account of the main character's life. The Buddhist concepts seemed rather vague and the narrator was difficult to listen to. I found myself struggling to get through it. I'm sure this is a great fit for some but it wasn't my cup of tea.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Benbarian
  • 21-05-2012

As it should be done

What made the experience of listening to The Dharma Bums the most enjoyable?

Brilliant story, brilliant narration

Have you listened to any of Allen Ginsberg???s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Ginsberg is the perfect narrator for this piece. There are probably narrators more qualified with better voices and better meter, but Ginsburg lived with Kerouac, danced and sang and sprouted mad poetry with him, he is Alvah Goldbook is the book.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for THOMAS
  • THOMAS
  • 26-03-2012

You have to love Jack and Allen

Reading any biography, or just listening to an author in conversation quickly reveals the complexities of recalled and reshaped experience. Hearing Allen Ginsberg read Jack Kerouac will take you back in an instant and real way to those times, and the relationship between the two men. Your own version of The Dharma Bums will likely be different, just as Jack's own version will be different from your own. But it is also likely that your sense of your own version, and your imagined sense of what Jack's version was will be enhanced by hearing Allen's.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Profile Image for Jake Shinneman
  • Jake Shinneman
  • 29-07-2019

Top material, Ginsberg's joy is infectious!!

listened to it 5 times now. looking for a hill to climb, it was a simpler time.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Lydia
  • Lydia
  • 06-07-2019

Worst narrator

It’s a shame such a good book has been told so poorly. The narrator’s voice is grating at best.