As an undergrad, I considered creating an independent study of the Beat Generation. It would consist of classes of American history, American literature, Buddhism, and Women and Gender Studies.
I didn't follow through with the idea, and I'm glad I didn't because I realized that I was fascinated by the culture of the Beat Generation but baffled by its literary works. Except for Joyce Johnson's Minor Characters: A Beat Memoir and Carolyn Cassady's Off the Road, I don't recall finishing an entire novel written by an author of the beat generation, and that's despite having multiple rows on my bookshelves dedicated to the generation's writers.
So when I saw the article in the New York Times about Joyce Johnson's new book about Jack Kerouac, The Voice Is All: The Lonely Victory of Jack Kerouac, I had to take a look.
Reading the brief description of Kerouac's sexual exploits with Neal Cassady as the ringmaster and spectator muffled the flame of fascination back down into the mild queasiness.
I do not know how the book stands in terms of research and writing quality, but because of the content, I think I'll take a pass on this one.