|Rick Dale with Trois Couleurs On The Road special edition (photo by Crystal)|
Folks, this special edition from Trois Couleurs is awesome and you absolutely need to get a copy. It is 242 pages of full-color Kerouac lore, with pictures you may have never seen (Jack at age 5 and 14, for example), and fantastic entries like a guide to all the characters in the film with pictures of the real-life person next to a bio and a picture of the actor portraying that character. There's a 2-page spread of many different On The Road book covers, descriptions of Kerouac's actual journeys, various articles ("Is There A Beat Look?"), and extensive information about the film itself, including interviews with the actors, pictures, etc.
All in all, this is an amazing compilation of Kerouac lore and pictures. I only have one complaint: There's a bibliography at the end with 22 entries representing "those that have accompanied us throughout the making of this special issue." The list includes Ann Charters' Kerouac: A Biography, Carolyn Cassady's Off The Road, Anne Waldman's The Beat Book, Brenda Knight's Women of the Beat Generation, and various other resources. But it doesn't include the most important Kerouac biography, Gerald Nicosia's Memory Babe: A Critical Biography of Jack Kerouac! What an oversight! Salles even used Nicosia at his "beat boot camp" to train the actors for the film!
I would love someone to explain why this is, but I am afraid I know the answer. It can be found starting on page 220, which begins a multiple page section of tributes written by the likes of Al Hinkle, Carolyn Cassady, Joyce Johnson, Jerry Cimino, and others. But no Nicosia. There is, however, an entry by John Sampas, and that tells the story. Sampas controls the Kerouac estate purse-strings, and given his battle with Nicosia as Jan Kerouac's literary executor, Nicosia is persona non grata whenever Sampas is involved in something.
Maybe there's another explanation, but I sure can't fathom what it might be. Truly sad.
Nevertheless, except for this obvious slight, Trois Couleurs has done a fantastic job and you will definitely want to get your hands on this special edition. It should be available on Amazon at some point. In the meantime, you can enter the OnTheRoad4Kerouac project's contest to win a free copy here.
Time to go - I have reading to do and can't wait to get started . . . .