I picked up a signed copy of Kerouac in Florida: Where the Road Ends today at a vegetarian restaurant/used bookstore in Gainesville. Bob Kealing, a TV reporter for Channel 2 News in Orlando who does not look like someone who'd be all that into Beat Generation writing, put together this well researched book about Jack Kerouac's time living in central Florida.
Kerouac lived in Orlando when On the Road was published, and he wrote The Dharma Bums as well as Big Sur during that period. Kealing visited Kerouac's old residences, interviewed people who were around back then, and went over old notebooks, letters, and other documents from Kerouac's past in creating this book.
In addition to Kealing's research, Kerouac in Florida features an impressive collection of photos as well as a foreword by Kerouac's old jazz partner, David Amram, who still performs in Orlando sometimes.
As a huge Kerouac fan who grew up in Orlando and has made several visits to the Kerouac House, I had to buy this book, and so far I've found nothing in the pages to make me regret the purchase.
- Matt Borondy