On the Road. Jack Kerouac.
On the Road
On the Road

On the Road

New York, NY: The Viking Press, Inc., 1959. First Softcover Compass Books Edition. Softcover. "This is the novel that put Jack Kerouac and the Beat Generation on the national map and the best-seller lists. Concerned with a group of exuberantly uninhibited young Americans, the narrative roars back and forth across the continent and down to Mexico in one of the most fantastic journeys ever to appear in our native literature. The book is ultimately a celebration of life itself- a lyrical Yea-saying outburst from one of the few truly original talents to careen down the literary pike in many a year." (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 which 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 by The Viking Press in September 1957, heralded by an enthusiastic article 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 republished in its original, unedited "scroll" version. Offered here is the first Compass Books Edition issued by The Viking Press in 1959, trade-format softcover published simultaneously with a hardcover version (Charters, A2 ("Note"), pg. 21). This edition, for sale in the USA & Canada, reproduces the same front cover illustration & design as on the dust jacket of the first hardcover edition of 1957 (see our Item No. 3337), & was preceded by the Signet Books softcover edition with its own cover artwork & graphics of 1958 (see our Item No. 3352). A unique & quite rare first-edition-thus of the Cornerstone Classic of Kerouac & the Beat Generation. In very fine condition with only very light rubbing & browning to front, esp. back covers & spine; very slight wear & a few tiny bumps at edges & corners of same; sparse, light rubbing to lower edge of text block. Interior very fine with only small-to-tiny bumps & creases to mostly lower corners of a few page leaves. Very Fine. [Item #4042]

Price: $125.00 save 25% $93.75

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