After reading this I tried some other of Jack's books but they weren't even pale shadows. This is rich, evocative, beat generation, pulsing, vibrant prose. It's irreverant style and screw everyone attitude encapsulates that angry young disaffected youth who roamed the Amerikan dream between WWII and Flower Power. Beatniks were the original hippies. I remember a mid-sixties kid asking if I was a beatnik when I thought I was a hippy.
It's a travelogue zig-zagging across that post war world, populated by meandering amorals who are living the dream. Beat poet does Easy Rider in search of the real America! It's a story of world in transition that blossomed in that instance but could never sustain itself either before or since. The picture it paints is so vivid & graphic that it's become my abiding memory of those halcyon days, even though I wasn't there!