Lu Anne Henderson was a beautiful 15-year-old girl in Denver in 1945 when she met Neal Cassady, a fast-talking hurricane of male sexuality and vast promises. The two married, and soon they were hanging out with a group of young would-be writers, including Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. But Neal and Jack initially didn’t like each other very much. Lu Anne ended up loving them both, and she taught them how to love each other - in effect, making the Beat Generation possible, as well as giving Kerouac material for one of the seminal novels of the 20th century, On the Road. One and Only traces the immense struggles of Lu Anne’s own life, which ranged from the split-up of her family during the Great Depression, to the ravages of abusive men and the grief of losing the two most important men in her life; and shows how her life intertwined with Jack’s and Neal’s to the very end.
What did you like most about One and Only?
It is honest, raw yet warm and filled with gentle pathos that is wonderfully portrayed by the readers
What was one of the most memorable moments of One and Only?
The book is made up of cuts of the tapes made by Lou Anne and her daughter which is very moving
Have you listened to any of Vanessa Hart and Stephen Bowlby ’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No I haven't
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The sense of loss and warmth that shows so keenly that the Beat poets /writers could so easily have been any lost confused kids
Any additional comments?
I once preferred the insights written by Carolyn Cassady -which is very good -but this is great,
Is there anything you would change about this book?
I did not care for this story. I could not finish reading On the Road, I found it pretentious, self-obsessed and boring. Hearing it told from the female participant's point-of-view did not endear it to me more, at all.
Has One and Only turned you off from other books in this genre?
Have you listened to any of Vanessa Hart and Stephen Bowlby ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?
I have not heard either of these narrators before.
If this book were a movie would you go see it?
I will go to see the soon-to- be released movie based on this and On the Road because I want to see how they transfer this story to the screen. I'm also anxious to see Kristen Stewart's performance as LuAnn (MaryLu), and also Garrett Hegland and Tom Sturridge's performances as their characters. I hope the movie is better than the book.
Any additional comments?
I am disappointed. I started this book wanting to like the story, to understand the story and the characters more...it was not to be.
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