Download The Haunted Life: And Other Writings Audiobook

The Haunted Life: And Other Writings Audiobook, by Jack Kerouac Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jack Kerouac Narrator: Luke Daniels, Liev Schreiber Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2014 ISBN: 9781480583924
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Jack Kerouac wrote The Haunted Life in 1944 when he was 22 years old and attending Columbia University. Originally intended as a three-part novel, only this first 20,000-word section was ever finished. Upon its completion, Kerouac promptly lost his only hand-written final draft in a New York taxi cab, remaining unknown to the public until its appearance at Christies about ten years ago.

Kerouac’s family has now decided to share this manuscript with the world.

While the entirety of the novel remained unfinished, the surviving manuscript successfully works alone as a novella with a satisfying, if open-ended, conclusion. It features a scaled-down version of the Martin family and is set in Lowell, Massachusetts, as was Kerouac’s first novel The Town and The City. Kerouac had planned on writing a cycle of novels tentatively titled An American Passed Here, which was to be set primarily in the fictional town of Galloway (based on Lowell). That cycle was to contain The Haunted Life and The Sea is My Brother, tracing the story of the Martin family throughout the 1930s and 1940s. Eventually Kerouac’s plans for his Martin cycle materialized into his first novel, The Town and the City, shortly before he moved on to compose his iconic On the Road.

Todd Tietchen, the editor of the project and the Jack Kerouac/Beat Scholar in residence at the University of Massachusetts at Lowell, has assembled a number of archival documents to thicken out the context of this lost novella, documents that attest to the level of intention and care that went into Kerouac’s writing projects.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Kerouac is an uncanny archetype for a whole generation of Americans who trekked through the ’60s and ’70s.”

    New York Times, praise for the author

  • “Undoubtedly one of the most influential and important novels of the twentieth century…A pillar of American literature.”

    Library Journal on On the Road

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About the Author

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 Narrators

Luke Daniels, winner of sixteen AudioFile Earphones Awards and a finalist for the Audie Award for best narration, is a narrator whose many audiobook credits range from action and suspense to young-adult fiction. His background is in classical theater and film, and he has performed at repertory theaters around the country.

Liev Schreiber has been heralded as “the finest American theater actor of his generation” by the New York Times. His repertoire of resonant, humanistic and oftentimes gritty portrayals have garnered him praise in film, theater, and television. He currently stars as the title role of Ray Donovan in Showtime’s critically-acclaimed hit series.