Neal Cassady achieved mythical status when Jack Kerouac turned him into Dean Moriarty, the hero of On The Road. In this major biography David Sandison and Graham Vickers trace the life of the wild man from Denver who galvanised Kerouac and the Beat Generation not by artistic endeavour but by his extravagant life-affirming behaviour and epic feats of cross-country driving. Dead before his forty-second birthday, Cassady was surrounded by legends and tall stories quite literally from birth. This superbly-researched biography at last strips away the mythology to reveal truths so weird and improbable that you wonder why embellishment was ever thought necessary in the first place.

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