A novel co-written by Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs, two giants of the ‘Beat Generation’ of poets, writers and drug-takers, is to be published for the first time more than 60 years after it was written.
And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks, written in 1945, was inspired by an actual killing which led to the arrest of both authors.
The novel draws upon the stabbing in 1944 of a homosexual, David Kammerer, by Lucien Carr, a friend of the duo and another Beat leading light.
Carr served two years after admitting manslaughter, claiming Kammerer had been obsessed with him and had become violent.
Carr confessed to Kerouac and Burroughs, who helped him dispose of the knife but did not go to police. Kerouac was arrested as an accessary to the killing in 1944 and was put in a Bronx jail but he was freed after his girlfriend, Edie Parker, stood bail.