The tale of Kerouac's alter-ego, Vanity of Duluoz presents Jack Duluoz's high school experiences as a sporting jock in Massachusetts and his time at Columbia University on a football scholarship. Just as Jack's glamorous new adult life begins, so does World War II, and he joins the US Navy to travel the world. As Jack experiences more, he realizes the limits of his former plans and returns to New York at the start of the Beat movement, to a riot of drugs, sex and writing. Vanity of Duluoz was Kerouac's final work published before his death in 1969.
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