The Beat Generation FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Angelheaded Hipsters by Rich Weidman is a grouping of the Beat history in a FAQ type format. Weidman is a travel writer based in Central Florida. He is the author of The Doors FAQ: All That’s Left to Know About the Kings of Acid Rock (Backbeat Books, 2011). Rich received his B.A. in English from Stetson University and his M.A. in English/Film Studies from the University of Florida.
I am not much of a fan of FAQ style books. I can appreciate the ease of looking up information by subject rather than trying to find it in a timeline. Weidman does make good use of subjects to divide the book into sections. Main players of the movement are covered as well as Beat influences. Historical events and places are covered like the Six Gallery and Ginsberg’s first reading of Howl. Kerouac is given a fair share of the book along with Burroughs. I was disappointed by the coverage of women in the book. Lenore Kandel is just given a passing mention.
This is not really a book to be read cover to cover. It is meant as a reference, like a FAQ, to answer questions or interests you might have on the subject. The information is not groundbreaking or new, but it is plentiful. The chapters are broken down to allow easy reference, but as an ebook the search function is a greater help. A good reference and convenient book to have when reading or research the Beat period and their major players.