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Download And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks Audiobook, by Jack Kerouac Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (3,212 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jack Kerouac, William S. Burroughs Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2009 ISBN: 9781455191253
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More than sixty years ago, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, two novice writers at the dawn of their careers, sat down to write a novel about the summer of 1944, when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. Alternating chapters, they pieced together a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence. The manuscript, named after a line from a news story about a fire at a circus, was rejected by publishers and confined to a filing cabinet for decades. Now, for the first time, this legendary collaboration between two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers is being released. Both a fascinating piece of American literary history and an engrossing, atmospheric novel, it brings to life a shocking murder at the dawn of the Beat Generation.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Selected for the December 2008 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 2/20/2014

    " Great read for those interested in Beat history; I wouldn't recommend for the casual Kerouac or Burroughs reader. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brooke | 2/13/2014

    " I decided to pick this up because I am embarrassingly ignorant about Beat literature and I thought the first book co-written by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs would be as good a place to start as any. This book is gripping. It's gritty and frank and the characters are loathsome but for some reason I found it impossible to put down. According to the experts (and authors') comments in the back this isn't typical of their more famous works (it's considered more in the "existentialist" genre than Beat) so I guess I have more exploring to do. Still, it's a good pulpy read for anyone interested in literature of the 1940s and '50s. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paquita Maria Sanchez | 2/9/2014

    " The best part about this early beat novel is contrasting the temperaments of the two narrators: Kerouac comes off as a naive little boy catching fireflies, while Burroughs is a grumpy old junkie codger squashing the fireflies and grumbling to himself about how stupid they were for flying near him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JT | 2/5/2014

    " Decent. Burroughs' chapters were better by far. Solid work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peter Steele | 2/4/2014

    " For those of you who didn't live "The Beat Generation" this would be a good place to get a great taste by its most authentic chroniclers. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Max Nemtsov | 1/8/2014

    " a very sweet little bifurcation book. funny to see the seeds of two distinct styles forming as early as 1944-45. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kevin Kizer | 12/19/2013

    " This is Kerouac and Burroughs' take on the killing of their friend David Kammerer by (their friend) Lucien Carr in 1944. This was finally published in 2008 after Carr's death. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mary Jackson | 12/19/2013

    " Boring, sorry I couldn't get into it. 200 page book with large print and I couldn't get past page 138 even trying to force myself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 11/26/2013

    " Really enjoyed it. Super quick read. Anyone who is a fan of the Beats will love this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mason | 11/20/2013

    " This was a fast-paced read that kind of has a "Sun Also Rises" feel to it. The story is funny and dramatic but at the same time very foreboding up until something really crazy happens. They drink, they smoke, they copulate, and they wrote books aboutit. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 G.N. | 11/4/2013

    " Great example of both Burroughs and Kerouak in their raw, early state...really enjoyed this one... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nikita | 5/10/2013

    " wonderful collaboration of two brilliant writers "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Art | 2/21/2013

    " I think I agree with Burroughs that this isn't very good. It has some merit as a period piece, but not much happens. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike Moskos | 1/10/2013

    " I didn't really get the point of this story--maybe that was the point--but it was a nice glimpse into the period. Great narration of the audiobook version. The extra material at the end helped to clarify the events on which it was based. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 5/28/2012

    " Takes a little while to get into the style and switching between stories, but ultimately it's well worth it. Great stories, well told. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gillian | 1/3/2012

    " it was alright, it mostly made me want to drink a whole lot. a WHOLE lot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Luna | 5/10/2011

    " The only reason I didn't LOVE this book was because the climax happened so late in the book (3 chapters before the end, I believe). The steady uphill battle to the end was amazing, of course. I would recommend it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 4/17/2011

    " This is one of my favorite novels. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vincent | 3/29/2011

    " Though the afterward and some reviews try to make a case for this being an important document of the emerging Beat Generation, it isn't. It's young guys trying to throw together some fiction your-turn, my-turn style. It is a curiosity, and fairly dull and obvious. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 G.N. | 3/22/2011

    " Great example of both Burroughs and Kerouak in their raw, early state...really enjoyed this one...
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jared | 3/17/2011

    " Raw- kinda interesting to see where these two writers were "before" they became published and respected.
    I also found it more interesting because the fact that it was based on true events in their own lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ashley | 3/10/2011

    " The plot line was lacking a little but I love Burroughs and Kerouac. I enjoyed their alternative chapter writing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Phil | 2/26/2011

    " The story that spawned the beat generation. Written before kerouac or burroughs wrote their most famous books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mike | 2/11/2011

    " funny and simply written. I couldnt tell the difference between the two authors, and there is no evidence of their style that would make them famous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colin | 2/2/2011

    " I thought the inconsistency of the chapters was frustrating. You can see the raw talent of both Kerouac and Burroughs. Interesting for the way the styles play off each other. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patti | 1/30/2011

    " There's many different versions of the Lucien Carr incident. This version by Kerouac and Burroughs makes Lucien more of an aggressor than the victim.
    "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennell | 1/20/2011

    " This is a co-authored elementary existential crime novel.

    It's very interesting mostly because I'm amazed by the improvement of Kerouac's writing style and development. Hope for most.
    Happy it was released nonetheless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Niffydee | 1/19/2011

    " I approached this book having only read part of Junky and none of Keroac. I also had no idea what the book was about beyond it being a collaboration betweeen the two authors. I was pleasantly surprised. An easy, quick read. "

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About the Author
Author Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. He attended local Catholic schools and eventually Columbia University, becoming in the late 1940s and early 1950s a member of what was soon to be called “the beat generation.” His first novel appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that epitomized to the world the beat philosophy. This novel created a sensation by chronicling a spontaneous and wandering way of life in a style that seemed founded both on jazz and on drug-induced visions. Kerouac published several novels, and Mexico City Blues is a volume of his poetry. 

About the Narrator

Ray Porter has garnered two Audie nominations and a multitude of enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. He has also appeared in numerous films and television shows, including Frasier, ER, Will & Grace, The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, and Almost Famous. He has most recently received Audible’s Narrator of the Year Award. A fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.