Maybe you're not familiar with Thomas Pynchon. He was a contemporary of the Beats, and my friend Charlie recommended his book, Slow Learner: Early Stories (which I actually had the economic wisdom to borrow from the library instead of buy from Amazon).
The book consists of a lengthy introduction by the author, and four of his short stories written early in his career. I'm only on page 6, but the intro is well-done and sets a nice stage for the stories to come.
On page 7, Pynchon says, "...and a book I believe is one of the great American novels, On the Road, by Jack Kerouac."
You go, Thomas!
have you checked out half.com ? tons of cheapo books, i buy my everything from there when i can. most of the time you'll find old (even hardcover!) copies of books for $0.75 (then 3-4 for shipping). amazon actually has the same thing sometimes except the prices go down to one cent! you can find old back issues too. some of the books I got from there, the price printed on them is even less than the 3-4 bucks I paid for 'em. old school.
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