The novel that introduced the world to the Beat Generation
Published 5 years before On the Road, this candid and perceptive roman à clef chronicles the adventures of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady before they became literary icons. In dive bars and all-night diners, cabs racing across Manhattan and squalid apartments sticky with “tea” smoke, these would-be artists pursue the ecstatic experiences that shape their work and satisfy their restless desire to live beyond the limits of convention.
At the heart of Go is Paul Hobbes, the alter ego of John Clellon Holmes. An aspiring novelist who shares the same creative interests as his friends, Paul frequently participates in their reckless, self-indulgent behavior. Yet his innate solemnness makes him an outsider, as does his commitment to his marriage. As Paul seeks to strike the right balance between experimentation and orthodoxy, freedom and obligation, he casts a discerning eye on his peers. The result is a thrilling and indispensible portrait of the Beat movement before it took America by storm.