Item #25 in my Kerouac bookshelf curation project is another copy of Jack Kerouac's On The Road. This is a Penguin Books publication with the excellent -- and appropriately lengthy -- introduction by famous Kerouac biographer Ann Charters explicating the background of Kerouac's classic and timeless novel. The copyright is 1991 and this is the 19th printing, so go figure what year this copy was actually printed. The provenance of this particular copy is likely that I either purchased it used on Amazon or from the wonderful Twice Sold Tales in Farmington, Maine (it's a bummer but they don't appear to have a website; however, they do have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/TwiceSoldTalesME/)
Since this dog-eared copy has nothing special about it from a collector's point-of-view, and it is only one of several versions of On The Road I have acquired over the years, why did I buy it? Simple. To give away. I always keep a give-away copy of On The Road on hand, along with a give-away copy of The Dharma Bums. Why? Well, from a general point-of-view, the former is Jack's most famous novel and the latter is my favorite, so they make good introductions to a Kerouac virgin. If you meet that criteria and promise to read On The Road, be the first commenter to ask for it and I'll send you a copy. You will have to provide me with your snail mail address, however, and trust that I will keep it private.
From a more specific point-of-view, my book -- The Beat Handbook: 100 Days of Kerouactions -- is a companion reader to these two novels. That is, my 100 "Kerouactions" relate to passages in order from the beginning of Bums to the end of Road. So, a complete gift package from me that includes my book really needs to have On The Road and The Dharma Bums with it. I have gifted that trilogy at least once. Links to all three books are over there on the right side of this blog -----> .
I'm not going into an exegesis of On The Road today, but will save that -- if it happens -- for when we get to my working copy (late on Bookshelf #1). Suffice to say that it is Jack's most famous work, it launched him to fame, it has stood the test of time, it is often included in lists of best novels of all time (e.g., it's #55 on the Modern Library's "100 Best Novels" list), and it rightly earned the title, "The Bible of the Beat Generation."
Dig the ride!
P.S. I dig the cover picture of Neal Cassady (L) and Jack (R).
Below is a picture of Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf showing the placement of this book (6th item from the left) on the day I started curating my collection. Next up: The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac.
|Shelf #1 of my Kerouac bookshelf|