More than sixty years ago, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac sat down in New York City to write a novel about the summer of 1944, when one of their friends killed another in a moment of brutal and tragic bloodshed. The two authors were then at the dawn of their careers, having yet to write anything of note. Alternating chapters and narrators, Burroughs and Kerouac pieced together a hard-boiled tale of bohemian New York during World War II, full of drugs and obsession, art and violence. The manuscript, called And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks after a line from a news story about a fire at a circus, was submitted to publishing houses but rejected and confined to a filing cabinet for decades. First published in 2008, And the Hippos Were Boiled in Their Tanks is a remarkable piece of American literary history, a fascinating window into the lives of its authors, and an engaging novel, a fast-paced read that brings to life a shocking murder at the dawn of the Beat Generation.