Book of the Month

On The Road - Jack Kerouac

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  • Published on: 2007-09-06
  • ISBN-10: 184614020X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1846140204
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • 416 pages

US Viking edition ISBN - 067006355X


This is the original scroll: the first ever publication of Kerouac's original draft for the book - transcribed from the famous 'scroll': hundreds of typed pages which constitute the manuscript taped together by Kerouac himself. "On the Road" chronicles Jack Kerouac's years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, "a sideburned hero of the snowy West." As "Sal Paradise" and "Dean Moriarty," the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.

From the Publisher

On the Road, Jack Kerouac's whirling, swirling celebration of the generation we call Beat, was first published in 1957, by The Viking Press in the States, and André Deutsch in the UK. To celebrate its fiftieth birthday, we're publishing the unexpurgated scroll for the first time, in a beautiful hardback edition that is absolutely exquisite. Legend has it that Kerouac wrote the novel in a fury of movement: fuelled by caffeine and cigarettes, he typed this magisterial work on a series of pieces of paper, taped together to make a rudimentary `scroll', flowing down the page, unstoppable, rather like the energetic road trip he and his friend, Neal Cassady, took across America, and that he documents in the novel.

For the first time, you can finally read exactly what Kerouac wrote - the edition we all know and love was strongly edited, to excise the more racy bits that were deemed to be too strong meat for the `50s crowd. References to sex and drugs - though not entirely expunged - were toned down and tempered. The text was chopped up into neat paragraphs, to be easy on the eye. But now you can read the full, out-of-breath paean to the heady joys of living with the wind in your hair and only a dollar in your pocket.

About the Author

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.