This week I re-read Jack Kerouac's Desolation Angels, because it's, in part, about his time as a fire lookout (see also the great book The Dharma Bums) and now that I'm a fire lookout, I wanted to re-see his experience.
Desolation Angels is a
beautiful mess. With a little editing, it might've been a great book,
and the key to enjoying it is to skip whole chapters, though you have to
have read it once to know which ones to skip. Hint: the one on his
baseball card game, the two on the trip to the racetracks, and the one
in Mexico where he has sex with a young prostitute.
said, the first section is amazing, in his full Buddhist prime. The
second section is ok, as a good contrast to being up on a mountain. The
second half of the book then devolves, though there are moments of
glory, and we see glimpses of his writing process, and his thoughts on
writing and art.
Worth the read. Again. This is my third time.