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Little Boy

A hypnotic tale of a Little Boy’s life – and the craziness of the century that witnessed it – from Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a legend of the Beat Generation.

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‘This isn’t a book: it’s a reckoning … Utterly extraordinary.’ Guardian

Little Boy was quite lost. He had no idea who he was or where he had come from … Grown Boy came into his own voice and let loose his word-horde pent-up within him.

From growing up as an orphan in 1920s New York, to serving in the Navy at the D-Day landings in Normandy, to a vagabond life drinking in Parisian cafes, to befriending America’s greatest counter-cultural writers, Little Boy has seen it all. This is the story of one man’s extraordinary life, and the madness of the century that witnessed it – a story steeped in the exhilarating energy of the Beats, a magical torrent of language that gleams with Walt Whitman’s visionary spirit. Above all, this is the literary last will and testament of the iconic publisher and poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti: not only a meditation on his 99 years on the planet, rich in wisdom, emotion, and memories, but an inspiring reflection on what our future might hold.

Critic Reviews

A brave man and a brave poet.

Bob Dylan
Critic Reviews

A spiraling stream of consciousness that celebrates the divine transcendence of poetry and an all too human coming-of-agelessness. His mentoring example and love of the written word is illuminating and inspirational.

Lenny Kaye
Critic Reviews

[Little Boy] flickers with the winning optimism that first dazzled readers six decades ago in A Coney Island of the Mind ... Lawrence Ferlinghetti, centenarian, keeper of the Bohemian flame, countercultural national treasure ...

Financial Times
Critic Reviews

Little Boy may start off sounding like a conventional memoir, but before long, Ferlinghetti reclaims his beat soul, quickens the pace, dropping punctuation like a used-up booster rocket, and off we go on the last wild, motor-mouth, book-length riff of this poet’s generation. All finger-popping readers will be gleefully swept up in this hip word-flood, this spontaneous stream—no, make that torrent of consciousness. Bravo, maestro!

Billy Collins
Critic Reviews

A Goethean poly-directional consciousness on an exciting journey through time and space, Ferlinghetti’s unclassifiable act is delightful, tragic, magical. Here is seriousness at play with all the power of a spontaneous concert. Bravo Maestro Lawrence!

Michael McClure
Critic Reviews

A living legend ... A final loosening of a word-hoard is exactly what Little Boy is, and who could object to such an exercise of freedom? This isn’t a book: it’s a reckoning ... Utterly extraordinary.

Ian Sansom, Guardian
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