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Extended Audio Sample The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac, by Joyce Johnson Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Johnson Narrator: Carrington MacDuffi Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the award-winning author of Minor Characters comes a groundbreaking portrait of Jack Kerouac as a young artist.

In The Voice Is All, Joyce Johnson—coauthor of the classic memoir Door Wide Open, about her relationship with Jack Kerouac—brilliantly peels away layers of the Kerouac legend to show how, caught between two cultures and two languages, he forged a voice to contain his dualities. Looking more deeply than previous biographers into how Kerouac’s French Canadian background enriched his prose and gave him a unique outsider’s vision of America, she tracks his development from boyhood through the phenomenal breakthroughs of 1951 that resulted in the composition of On the Road, followed by Visions of Cody. By illuminating Kerouac’s early choice to sacrifice everything for his work, The Voice Is All deals with him on his own terms and puts the tragic contradictions of his nature and his complex relationships into perspective.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Johnson knows how to create suspense and weave the complex lives of her characters into a narrative that rumbles along…Her own voice is eloquent, her prose clear and crisp.”

    San Francisco Chronice

  • “An intimate of Kerouac who has chronicled his life and the beat culture, Johnson brings an insider’s perspective to this insightful study of how Kerouac found his literary voice…Johnson excels in her colorful, candid assessment of this evolution of this voice.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An exemplary biography of the Beat icon and his development as a writer…There’s plenty of life in these pages to fascinate casual readers, and Johnson is a sensitive but admirably objective biographer. A triumph of scholarship.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Tim | 1/19/2014

    " I know the broad story of Kerouac's life, but I couldn't put this book down; it's been a while since I stayed up so late reading. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Laura | 1/14/2014

    " Not that well written. Jack is my MAN and this book could have done him better justice. Also as a side note, the women were treated terribly! All of the wives, girlfriends, etc...none were treated well at all...hard to read... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Hariklia Heristanidis | 1/6/2014

    " I'm in love with a dead man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kathleen | 12/8/2013

    " Johnson gave me a human Kerouac, far more dedicated and committed to being a novelist than I thought.he really wasn't having a good time. "

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About the Author

Joyce Johnson is the author of several books, including the National Book Critics Circle Award–winner Minor Characters. She has written for Vanity Fair and the New Yorker and lives in New York City.