Definitely don't buy this if you're looking for lots of info or an extensive essay on the "beat" generation, etc. The awesome Alan Watts does deal with that topic, but almost in passing. He's goes into more detail explaining Zen and Hindu ideas with a huge helping of humor. Some ideas will stay with you. His emphasis on the key concepts of living the moment and a job as an avocation (not just to spend x number of hours making money but to do for the JOY of it)forever will be imprinted in your mind, as well as various clever examples he sites. Especially memorable is his explanation of how we Americans often live too much in the past and future and don't appreciate the present. He likened it to a coin: one side is the future, the other the past -- but the REAL stuff is the metal in between (the present). A small book with lots of big ideas that are cleverly presented.
I am a big fan of Alan Watts. I know of no one else that has the charisma, sense of humor, and intelligence to communicate ideas from Hindu and Buddhist thought. I have read several of his books and while this book is as good as any other- I WARN YOU - it has very little about the beat generation. In fact, there is one ten page essay. It is interesting, but if you are buying this book because you are interested in the beat generation there are more informative books. This book is also a little expensive and is less than one hundred pages. Try "Cloud-Hidden, Whereabouts Unknown" or another one of his cheaper and longer books. Most of them contain similar ideas.