And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks

by William S. Burroughs, Jack Kerouac

Paperback(First Trade Paper Edition)

$14.40 $16.00 Save 10% Current price is $14.4, Original price is $16. You Save 10%.
View All Available Formats & Editions
Choose Expedited Shipping at checkout for guaranteed delivery by Thursday, October 17


The legendary novel whose true events inspired the film KILL YOUR DARLINGS

In the summer of 1944, a shocking murder rocked the fledgling Beats. William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac, both still unknown, we inspired by the crime to collaborate on a novel, a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and art, obsession and brutality, with scenes and characters drawn from their own lives. Finally published after more than sixty years, this is a captivating read, and incomparable literary artifact, and a window into the lives and art of two of the twentieth century’s most influential writers.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780802144348
Publisher: Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date: 11/01/2009
Edition description: First Trade Paper Edition
Pages: 214
Sales rank: 223,146
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 0.70(d)

About the Author

William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) was one of the foremost writers of the Beat Generation. He is best known for his experimental novel Naked Lunch, a subversive and highly controversial book that underwent a court case under the U.S. sodomy laws. In 1983, Burroughs was elected to the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1984 he was awarded the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France. In addition to writing, he also collaborated on numerous projects and recordings.

Date of Birth:

February 4, 1914

Date of Death:

August 2, 1997

Place of Birth:

St. Louis, Missouri

Place of Death:

Lawrence, Kansas


Los Alamos Ranch School; A.B., Harvard University, 1936; graduate study, 1938

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 38 reviews.
MrPotter07 More than 1 year ago
I try my best not to read the backs of books before I read them. I often find that they give away too much information before I even open the front cover. This book was the opposite. Let me quote, "A combination hard-boiled murder mystery and existentialist lament..." Well, I agree with that sencond part. In that regard it was brilliant. It kind of reminded me of "Rebel Without a Cause" in that it was a group of people living by a certian ideal then it just got out of hand, but in a subtle kind of way, if that makes sense. I was struck by the fact that even though they were more or less hoodlums, they were very cultured. They read books and went to French films, etc. What bothered me was that this book is in no way, shape or form a murder mystery. There is a murder, but it doesn't happen until the second to last chapter and we know exactly who did it and why he did it. When I realized this was the case (about half way though the book) I began to enjoy it a lot more. It was, however, and interesting journey getting there. I didn't know who the victim would be and it was fun trying to guess. I had theories, and I wasn't far off, but I didn't guess it. Please don't read it expecting a murder mystery. Read it expecting an itersting portrayal of a generation. I imagine it's a pretty accurate portrayal, as the authors lived during that time and could have been among that crowd. It's a great read, although a quick read, and I would recommend it any bibliofile! :)
thecatsmeowCC More than 1 year ago
I adore William S. Burroughs! His writing style may not be for everyone & many may think this book may be a little dry but this is an easy read & enjoyable. Having Kerouac & Burroughs together is any readers dream.
Wordzmind More than 1 year ago
And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac was a true pleasure to read. I would not say that the book was a true thriller but it did have it's moments. Al's love for the heterosexual Phillip did lead to some interesting scenarios. What I really enjoyed about And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks was that it was a mirror into the world of the writers (the story is based on a fact) and how the party culture took center stage but did not dominate the story. Burroughs and Kerouac centered the story around six friends who would drink, eat and do drugs when they were not working or trying to work. I lived those days so I could relate. This story also makes the point that friendships do not always lead to positive situations (fights happen). Basically this story is told with the reality of human nature. Definately recommended.
twright3 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was far more easy to read and far better than I ever would have expected from a joint effort of two of the more disjointed writers I've read.
giovannigf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Of interest to completists only. While the Burroughs parts are okay, the Kerouac parts are embarrassingly awkward and wooden. The best part of the book is the title.
NateJordon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Presented for the first time, this legendary book chronicles the misadventures of the early founders of the Beat Generation nearly a decade before any of them acquired fame and notoriety. Here is Kerouac and Burroughs at their most raw and cockiest, characteristics that subsequently transmogrified to more gentle natures due to alcoholism, divorce, drug abuse, poverty, wanderlust, love, loss, failure, and success in the years to follow. There are many passages that illustrate this in the book, but here are a few that stand out:Our eggs had now arrived, but Phillip¿s eggs were absolutely raw. He called the waitress over and said, ¿These eggs are raw.¿ He illustrated the point by dipping his spoon into the eggs and pulling it out with a long streamer of raw white.The waitress said, ¿You said soft-boiled eggs, didn¿t you?¿ We can¿t be taking things back for you.¿Phillip [Lucien Carr] pushed the eggs across the counter. ¿Two four-minute eggs,¿ he said. ¿Maybe that will simplify matters.¿ Then he turned to me and started talking about the New Vision.(p.16)We had cigarettes but no matches. Phil called out to the waitress, ¿I say, have you a match, miss?¿The waitress said, ¿No.¿Phillip said, ¿The get some,¿ in his clear, calm tone.(p. 18)She [Edie Parker] said, ¿What are you going to do out at sea?¿ and I [Jack Kerouac] said, ¿Don¿t worry about the future.¿(p.20)
RossWilliam on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Where this book lacks in literary merit it makes up for it in pure fun. The pace is fast and entertaining. This is not a major work by either of these authors by any means but it is a collabortation that works. You can feel ther confusion, their emotions are on their sleeves as they come to grips with the sudden tragic event that they are right in the midst of. You won't regret reading this.
bertilak on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
An intriguing literary curiosity: this collaborative novel by William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac was written in 1945 but published for the first time in 2008. It is a fictional version of a murder in Greenwich Village in 1944; the authors knew both the killer and the victim. The book sat in a publisher's file cabinet for all this time, first, because it was lurid (for the 1940s) and not all that well-written, and second, to spare the perpetrator, who had done his time and reinvented himself. The title of the book is a line from a radio news account of a fire at a circus or zoo. It has no bearing on the rest of the book except to add to the grotesque and absurdist background of the book. What interested me most, other than the Bohemian milieu, was that it was written in a flat, noirish style quite different from the later (drug-induced?) stylistic excesses of both authors. I particularly liked Kerouac's subplot which showed his character playing the Merchant Marine union system to get a good berth. This part would make a good beginning to a later Jack London book: Kerouac's character would have ended up on a ship whose captain was Wolf Larsen, Jr.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I guess the title drew me in and then my eyes did the rest! I wish there was some murder mystery in it. I didnt like Phillip though for some reason. It was just his character. The rest of the book was amazing
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was a little slow at the beginning, but I thought it came together nicely. Loved it! I especially loved the back story behind the book. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Shawn_Noir More than 1 year ago
It's such a good read, there is a mixture of both Jack and William in each chapter....... A must read for beat fans
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hank_Chinaski More than 1 year ago
Kerouac and Burroughs write alternating chapters in this long lost novel. Any fan of Beat writers or the generation I would definitely recommend. The books plot has roots in factual events, which add to the mystique. I personally loved it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago