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I was skeptic... lost book? Burroughs and Kerouac? Does the phrase "too good to be true" come to mind. Yet, to my delight, this could turn out to be one of my favorite pieces of midcentury counter-culture lit. Jack and William take turns with chapters, allowing a really neat multi-perspective view of the controversial plot. Ray does a great job reading, as usual. The epilogue is a great treat, the true story behind the novel.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
Put into the context of a biography written many years before the characters/authors of the Beat Generation, this story is interesting.
As a stand alone piece, the story is not very good.
What disappointed you about And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks?
if you've read the schpeel and know it's about a murder then that is the only interesting bit spoilt, it is also dealt with in the last 20mins. This is not hard-boiled and full of sex and violence but a few dreary fumblings and a murder that is bearly mentioned. It doesnt tick any box, not pulpy enough to be pulp, not artistic or poetic enough to be art. The 2 writer's different viewpoints and styles is a little interesting but nothing really happens. There is a great story to be told, just look up the real murder on wikipedia. And if wikipedia do a better job than, not one, but two writers you are doing something wrong. Love the title but this should have never seen the light of day
What will your next listen be?
Which scene did you most enjoy?
It was all just aimless and I was just waiting to get to the murder that was spoilt in the blurb
If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks?
I would open with the murder (as promised on the back of the book), then present flashbacks to how it got to that point. The obsessions, the relationships between characters, the creepiness. Little things suggested in the beginning of the book, playing out to the final outcome. Things develop to a feverpitch, present it as a suspense novel. None of that is in this novel.
Any additional comments?
It could have been a Hitchcockian style thriller suspense, or a good character study, or an atmospheric portrayal of New York in 1944. But it is none of those.