The Dharma Bums

By Jack Kerouac,

Book cover of The Dharma Bums

Book description

Published just one year after "On The Road", this is the story of two men enganged in a passionate search for Dharma or truth. Their major adventure is the pursuit of the Zen Way, which takes them climbing into the High Sierras to seek the lesson of solitude.

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Why read it?

2 authors picked The Dharma Bums as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

“The little flowers grew everywhere around the rocks, and no one had asked them to grow, or me to grow.” The joy in Kerouac is stumbling along with his absent-minded musings and finding the stretches of poetry that really speak to you. Dharma Bums is spiritual and inward-focused, but the characters spend time in nature, trying to figure out their place in it. It’s the kind of companion that you want to have with you on a canoe trip or sharing space with you on a hammock on a warm fall day. 

From Seth's list on fiction about our place in nature.

Though Jack’s most well-known work is On The Road, for me The Dharma Bums best illustrates and illuminates Kerouac’s intimate relationship with the transformative nature of travel. Horizons beckon. How he reaches them is every bit as meaningful as what he finds when he gets there. The descriptions are vivid, the writing style organic and original, and the experiences unforgettable.

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