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On the Road by  Jack Kerouac - First Printing - 1957 - from Third Mind Books and

On the Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition: Fine/Good- Near Fine

New York, NY: The Viking Press, 1957. First Printing. Hardcover. Fine/Good- Near Fine. "After World War I a certain group of restless, searching Americans came to be called "The Lost Generation." This group found its truest voice in the writings of the young Hemingway. For a good many of the same reasons after World War II another group, roaming America in a wild, desperate search for identitiy and purpose, became known as "The Beat Generation." Jack Kerouac is the voice of this group and this is his novel." (from front flap) 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 non-stop 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-members of the founding Beat Generation. On its 50th anniversary (2007), On the Road was re-published in its original, unedited "scroll" version. We offer here the first edition, first printing of On the Road, hardcover in unclipped first issue dust jacket with blue & red stripes across upper & lower edges of back cover. This & all other points in Charters A2 (a), pg. 17, are present. The very centerpiece of any serious Kerouac collection; among the most iconic relics of the Beat Generation- as if you held the literary equivalent of the Big Bang in your hands. Book in fine condition with only mild rubbing of black cloth front, back covers & spine; tiny bumps with loss of cloth at upper & lower right corners of front cover, even tinier with hardly any such loss at upper spine corners, otherwise no discernable wear at all edges & corners; significant chipping to white letter "A" of "ON THE ROAD" on front cover; miniscule chipping/ loss of ink to a few letters on spine (quite possibly as issued); light browning, rubbing & occasional tiny spots to edges of text block; moderate warpage of spine & text block towards front. Interior very fine with only very light browning at blank margins & edges of endpapers & page leaves. Unclipped, unrestored first issue dust jacket in relatively good-to-near-fine condition with mild-to-moderate rubbing, light browning, scratching & creasing of front, back covers, spine & flaps; mild wear & a few tiny bumps, chips & closed tears at all edges & corners of same; one very thin line with loss of black across front cover just at top of illustration; vertical series of spots & rubbings with loss of black near & at right edge of same; loss of shiny paper across left area of inner front flap; small stain at upper left corner of same; about one square inch of repair tape at upper left corner of inner front cover; vertical line of repair tape & residue with visible loss of shiny paper along right edge of inner rear flap; a few very small, closed tears at edges of outer flaps; very small dark spots along lower edges & corners of inner covers & spine; one each of same at lower edges of outer front & rear flaps.

Perhaps the most famous and influential of the Beat novels, Jack Kerouac's On the Road represents much of what made the Beat and Counterculture movements so unique and important. The plot concerning the road trips and adventures experienced by Kerouac and his friends is well-known, as are the rumors and tall tales of the books' production. Kerouac often claimed that the wrote On the Road in a mere three weeks on a single 120-foot scroll of paper. Although that scroll does indeed exist and is featured in museums, Kerouac kept detailed journals of his travels that would later become passages and chapters in the finished product. The book was first published by Viking in 1957. True first printings of the book include the $3.95 pricing information on the top right hand corner of the front inside dust jacket flap. Later printings and subsequent book club editions do not feature the price in that location. Additionally, a photo of Kerouac is featured on the back inside cover flap along with a brief description of the author. Viking Press would go on to publish an edited version of On the Road in 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first printing. They substituted the fictional names for the real Beat protagonists, and they even included some of the more sexually explicit passages that were edited out of the 1957 edition. Due to the cultural significance of the book, true first editions/first printings of On the Road are quite valuable. But be warned: it is easy to mistake reprints or book club editions for the real thing, so always check with an expert before making a significant purchase.

  • Bookseller: Third Mind Books US (US)
  • Bookseller Inventory #: 3337
  • Title: On the Road
  • Author: Kerouac, Jack
  • Format/binding: Hardcover
  • Book condition: Used - Fine
  • Jacket condition: Good- Near Fine
  • Quantity available: 1
  • Edition: First Printing
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: The Viking Press
  • Place: New York, NY
  • Date published: 1957
  • Keywords: Jack Kerouac, 1957


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On Sep 3 2011, West of Eden Books said:
  "A few years ago, 50 years after its initial publication, and 35 years since I had read it for the first time myself, I loaned my battered paperback copy of On The Road to a young friend of mine who had asked me "What should I read next?". Her reaction was, as I would have hoped, overwhelmingly positive. "It made me want to go hitchhiking" she told me. She didn't go, of course, that's considered too dangerous these days, but she caught the spirit of Kerouac from those yellowed old pages and that made me happy. It made me remember myself from the days before I was twenty. When the world was wide-open in front of me with all my limitless imagination and inexhaustible energy to carry me forward. Those two-and-a-half-hundred pages created in a Benzedrine-fueled typing frenzy spoke to both of us across generations as great writing is meant to do. Jack's tales of Casady, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and the rest would continue in his books that followed but the spirit and zest of On The Road stand alone. Bob Dylan said of On The Road, "It changed my life like it changed everyone else's". Myself and my young friend were lucky enough to experience it that same way."

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Some terminology that may be used in this description includes:
Very generally, "leaves" refers to the pages of a book, as in the common phrase, "loose-leaf pages." A leaf is a single sheet...[more]
First Edition
In book collecting, the first edition is the earliest published form of a book. A book may have more than one first edition in...[more]
The collective of the top, fore and bottom edges of the text block of the book, being that part of the edges of the pages of a...[more]
Sometimes used as another term for dust jacket, a protective and often decorative wrapper, usually made of paper which wraps...[more]
"Cloth-bound" generally refers to a hardcover book with cloth covering the outside of the book covers. The cloth is stretched...[more]
Indicates that the affected part of the book has been impacted in such a way so as to cause a flattening, indention, or light...[more]
A defect in which small pieces are missing from the edges; fraying or small pieces of paper missing the edge of a paperback, or...[more]
The portion of a book cover or cover jacket that folds into the book from front to back.  The flap can contain biographical...[more]
The outer portion of a book which covers the actual binding. The spine usually faces outward when a book is placed on a shelf....[more]
A book in fine condition exhibits no flaws. A fine condition book closely approaches As New condition, but may lack the...[more]
text block
Most simply the inside pages of a book.  More precisely, the block of paper formed by the cut and stacked pages of a...[more]
Abrasion or wear to the surface. Usually used in reference to a book's boards or dust-jacket.


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