"His life . . . ended when he was nine and the nuns of St. Louis de France Parochial School were at his bedside to take down his dying workds becase they'd heard his astonishing revelations of heaven delivered in catechism on no more encouragement than it was his turn to speak. . . ."
Unique among Jack Kerouac's novels, Visions of Gerard focuses on the scenes and sensations of childhood—the wisdom, anguish, intensity, innocence, evil, insight, suffering, delight, and shock—as they were revealed in the short tragic-happy life of his saintly brother, Gerard. Set in Kerouac's hometown of Lowell, Massachusetts, it is an unsettling, beautiful, and sad exploration of the meaning and precariousness of existence.