My narration of Tristessa, a 1960 novella by Jack Kerouac, has just gone live on Audible, Amazon, and iTunes. Those familiar with Kerouac’s work will not be surprised at any of this, but to those who might be newcomers, beware. Kerouac did not write like anyone else before him or since (although there have been a few pale imitations over the years), so his freestyle narratives might be off-putting at first. But if you give him a chance, you’ll see he was a true original with something to say.
The book, while disguised as fiction, is really a chronicle of his side trip to Mexico in the 1950s. He becomes totally enmeshed in the drug-user world in a Mexico City that is beyond his comprehension. He takes up with a collection of ne’er-do-wells and the ride begins from there.
It was very difficult for me to narrate this book, because Kerouac was not exactly, shall we say, a major proponent of correct punctuation, so it wasn’t easy to figure out where his “sentences” began and ended, since several of them might be strung together with no punctuation to separate them. I hope my narration clears that up.
This is part of a two-book deal I have with Devault-Graves, the publishers. Next up is Kerouac’s Maggie Cassidy, a far more accessible tale of high school crushes in a hard, steely New England town in 1939.
You can check out Tristessa here. It’s only $6.95!!