On the Road. Jack Kerouac.
On the Road

On the Road

New York, NY: The New American Library/ Signet Books, 1958. First Softcover Edition. Softcover. "Wild drives across America...buying cars, wrecking cars, stealing cars, dumping cars, picking up girls, making love, all-night drinking bouts, jazz joints, wild parties, hot spots...This is the odyssey of the Beat Generation, the frenetic young men and their women restlessly racing from New York to San Francisco, from Mexico to New Orleans in a frantic search- for Kicks and Truth." (from back cover) On the Road, along with Allen Ginsberg's Howl & William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch, ignited the Beat Generation into a popular phenomenon that in turn paved the way for the seismic literary & cultural upheavals that culminated a decade later. Famously written on a single roll of paper in a nonstop benzedrine-fueled binge of only several weeks during 1951, it gestated in Kerouac's rucksack until finally published in a highly edited form in September 1957, heralded by an enthusiastic review in a trusted "establishment" newspaper's book review. As with all of Kerouac's novels, this is really a memoir, in this case of Kerouac's ("Sal Paradise") adventures back & forth across the American continent during 1947-1950 with Neal Cassady ("Dean Moriarty"), & their encounters with WSB ("Old Bull Lee"), Ginsberg ("Carlo Marx"), Herbert Huncke ("Elmer Hassel") & many other of their real-life co-founding members of the Beat Generation. On the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication (2007), On the Road was re-published in its original, unedited "scroll" version. Offered here is the first softcover edition, "First Printing, September, 1958" as stated on copyright page, one year after the historic first hardcover printing (Charters, A2(b), pgs. 17-18). "Complete and Unabridged" from the first hardcover edition as noted on front cover with exemplary contemporary illustration of "Paradise" & his "frantic" activities. Mass-produced to take advantage of its phenomenal success among younger readers, this edition further, exponentially popularized Kerouac's signature novel & is now a collectible rarity itself. In relatively very good-to-near fine condition for a 1950s-era pulp paperback, with moderate rubbing, scratching & creasing of front, back covers & spine; mild wear & small bumps at edges & corners of same; short vertical separations of paper at upper & lower spine-edges resulting in mostly closed tears; a few tiny dimple-marks esp. near upper edge of back cover; mild rubbing, spotting at edges of text block with slight loss of red dye coloring; one thin, faint ink(?) marking across width of upper text block edge. Interior near-fine with previous owner's signature in blue ink on blank inner front cover; very light browning of page leaves; small bumps, creases at corners of same; middle area (appx. pgs. 97-112) where spine-creasing has resulted in slight loosening, but not detachment, of page leaves. Very Good- Near Fine. [Item #3352]

Price: $150.00

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