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From On the Road to Exterminator!, from The Western Lands to Riprap, we can help you find the beat literature books you are looking for. As the world's largest independent marketplace for new, used and rare books, you always get the best in service and value when you buy from, and all of your purchases are backed by our return guarantee.

Top Sellers in Beat Literature

    On the Road by Jack Kerouac

    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.

    Howl and Other Poems by Allen Ginsberg

    "Howl" was originally written as a performance piece by a young, new poet, Allen Ginsberg.  When published by poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1956, Howl broke so many social taboos that copies were impounded as obscene, and  Ferlinghetti arrested. In 1957 the courts ruled that the poem was not obscene, and "Howl" went on to become the most popular poem of the Beat Generation. I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix; Angel-headed hipsters burning for the ancient heavenly connection to the starry dynamo in the machinery of night.

    The Dharma Bums by Jack Kerouac

    The Dharma Bums is a 1958 novel by Beat Generation author Jack Kerouac. The semi-fictional accounts in the novel are based upon events that occurred years after the events of On the Road. The main characters are the narrator Ray Smith, based on Kerouac, and Japhy Ryder, based on the poet, essayist Gary Snyder, who was instrumental in Kerouac's introduction to Buddhism in the mid-1950s.

    A Confederate General From Big Sur by Richard Brautigan

    A Confederate General From Big Sur is Richard Brautigan's first novel, published in 1964. The story takes place in 1957. A man named Lee Mellon believes he is a descendant of a Confederate general who was originally from Big Sur. This general is not in any books or records and there is so far no proof of his existence. Although Mellon meets a drifter from the Pacific Northwest who has also heard of this general.

    The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac

    The Subterraneans was generated out of the same ecstatic flash of inspiration that produced many of Kerouac's other works. This book centers on the tempestous relationship of Leo and Mardou, and it was written over the course of three days and three nights.

    Cities Of the Red Night by William S Burroughs

    Cities of the Red Night is a novel by William S. Burroughs. It was the first book in the final trilogy of the beat author, and was first published in 1981. This was his first full-length novel since The Wild Boys a decade earlier. It is the first in a trilogy and is followed by The Place of Dead Roads and The Western Lands. The plot of this somewhat disjunctive work revolves around a group of revolutionaries who seek the freedom to live under the articles set out by Captain James Mission.

    Maggie Cassidy by Jack Kerouac

    Maggie Cassidy is a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac, first published in 1959. It is a largely autobiographical work about Kerouac's early life in Lowell, Massachusetts from 1938 to 1939, and chronicles Kerouac's real-life relationship with teenage sweetheart Mary Carney. It is unique for Kerouac for its high school setting and teenage characters. He wrote the novel in 1953 but it was not published until 1959, after the success of On the Road (1957).

    Book Of Dreams by Jack Kerouac

     Jack Kerouac's "private dream diary."

    Naked Lunch by William Burroughs

    Naked Lunch (sometimes referred to as The Naked Lunch) is a novel by William S. Burroughs originally published in 1959. The book was originally published with the title The Naked Lunch in Paris in 1959 by Olympia Press. An American edition by Grove Press followed soon after in 1962. The American edition was titled Naked Lunch and was substantially different from the Olympia Press edition, because it was based on an earlier 1958 manuscript in Allen Ginsberg's possession.

    Nova Express by William S Burroughs

    Nova Express is a 1964 novel by William Burroughs, whose plot cannot easily be described. It features Burroughs' cut-up method of enfolding snippets of different texts into the novel, including T. S. Eliot's "The Waste Land", among others. It is the third in The Nova Trilogy formed by The Soft Machine, The Ticket That Exploded, and Nova Express. Naked Lunch is seen as a prequel to these. Nova Express was nominated for the Nebula Award for Best Novel in 1965.

    Satori In Paris by Jack Kerouac

    Satori in Paris is a 1966 novel by American novelist and poet Jack Kerouac. It is a short, semi-autobiographical tale of a man who travels to Paris, then Brittany, to research his genealogy. Kerouac relates his trip in a tumbledown fashion as a lonesome traveler. Little is said about the research that he does, and much more about his interactions with the French people he meets.

    Howl by Allen Ginsberg

    Reprint. Originally published: New York: Harper & Row, 1986. "50th anniversary edition"--Cover. Includes bibliographical references (p. 189-190) and index.

    Marabou Stork Nightmares by Irvine Welsh

    Marabou Stork Nightmares is a novel by Irvine Welsh. The book's narrative is split into two styles: a conventional first person account of the past and a more surreal, stream of consciousness account of an otherworldly present. Like many of Welsh's novels, its tone veers from black comedy to outright tragedy, and is written for most parts in Welsh's trademark Edinburgh Scots dialect.

    Ghost Tantras by Michael McClure

    Word Virus by William S ; Silverberg, Ira; Grauerholz, James Burroughs

    Rommel Drives On Deep Into Egypt by Richard Brautigan

    Baby Driver by Jan Kerouac

    Evergreen Review by Barney Rosset

    The Ticket That Exploded by William Burroughs

    Dark Brown by Michael McClure

    Indian Journals by Allen Ginsberg

    Willard and His Bowling Trophies by Richard Brautigan

    Exterminator! by William S Burroughs

    Conspirators plot to explode a train carrying nerve gas. A perfect servant suddenly reveals himself to be the insidious Dr. Fu Manchu. Science-fantasy wars, racism, corporate capitalism, drug addiction, and various medical and psychiatric horrors all play their parts in this mosaiclike, experimental novel. Here is William S. Burroughs at his coruscating and hilarious best.

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