Though Kerouac began thinking about the novel that was to become On the Road as early as 1947, it was not until three weeks in April 1951, in an apartment on West 20th Street in Manhattan, that he wrote the first full draft that was satisfactory to him. Typed out as one long, single-spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing paper that he later taped together to form a 120-foot scroll, this document is among the most significant, celebrated, and provocative artifacts in contemporary American literary history. It represents the first full expression of Kerouac's revolutionary aesthetic, the identifiable point at which his thematic vision and narrative voice came together in a sustained burst of creative energy.
It was not until more than six years later, and after several new drafts, that Viking published, in 1957, the novel known to us today. The differences between the two versions are principally ones of significant detail and altered emphasis. The scroll is slightly longer and has a heightened linguistic virtuosity and a more sexually frenetic tone. It also uses the real names of Kerouac's friends instead of the fictional names he later invented for them.
This audio edition is narrated by actor John Ventimiglia, best known for his portrayal of restaurant owner Artie Bucco in The Sopranos.
©2007 John Sampas, Literary Representative, the Estate of Stella Sampas Kerouac; John Lash, Executor of the Estate of Jan Kerouac; Nancy Bump; and Anthony M. Sampas; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
"It is a dazzling piece of writing for all of its rough edges, and, stripped of affectations...it seems much more immediate and even contemporary....The novel that On the Road became was inarguably the book that young people needed in 1957, but the sparse and unassuming scroll is the living version for our time." (The New York Times)
Evening and Weekend Manager Lone Star College-Greenspoint Center Houston, TX 77060
Before I read On The Road, The Scrolls, I read that Jack Kerouack died at the age of 49. By the time I finished it, I understood what cut his life so short. Still, this listen made me wish that every stranger vaccinated with a phonograph needle, who sat beside me on the plane or those who tried to entertain me until the doctor or dentist would rescue me could word smith their conversations as well as Jack.
If you've gotten to adulthood or beyond you owe it to yourself to re-examine where it is we've come from. In high school I quoted Ferlinghetti but forgot to log in on Kerouac's shores. Coming back to it from my perspective of years it knits the progression of ideas that create todays reality more firmly in my mind. If sub-culture had a history lesson this would be it. Anonymous and Occupy and Facebook and Google should read and realise how etherial they are in the big picture of evolution of thought.
t p prince esquire international-- Switzerland / USA --Author publisher of adult and children's literature.
The original Scroll of On The Road was amazingly inspiring for its warmth, honesty and integretty. I remember reading about Jack Kerouac in my journalism school days at Mizzou but I never really connected with Neal Cassidy till I listened to John Ventimiglia's interpretation of the original penning. What a wonderful, tragic and inspiring charachter he was. I spend my time hitching on the road in the seventies and this reading brought back the freedom and honesty that America once was. Who would have the balls to do those trips today? Who could so openly love and project themselves as Neal did back in the 50s? Easy Rider without a chopper!
Great look at America in 1947, wonderful imagery. The characters were contrasting and the book was a real nice listen during a long road trip.
All were good
Road trip before interstates
I live now on the eastern tip of the Big Island of Hawaii... and work in Pahoa Town... where I try to anticipate the weather...
Anybody who came of age in the mid 20th Century (1945-1970) has read this book at least once back then... when they were young... and it resinated. Not so much because of the stuff Jack and his friends did and talked about... but just because they could... and did and wrote about it. What a relief to read a book about a guy hitchhiking... and staying up all night and talking on wine and speed and pot and working at any old job because nobody much cared about the future or their career or the clothes they wore. This was a revelation... because I felt this way too... mostly.
Not now... because Kerouac kept writing 'On the Road' over and over. All his subsequent books were more versions of this book... and no way as good.
I liked the narrator very much... and this is a great book to hear... listen too... better I believe than reading it... it's such a verbal tour.
I don't like to listen to any book in one sitting... 'On the Road' included... but it would be a trip.
'On the Road' is a book for the young. Listening to it now... in my sixties... I find faults without knowing why... but I love it still... mostly because it took me back... for another ride.
I absolutely love On The Road but the Original Scroll is even better. It is what Jack initially wrote before he was told to edit it for the novel and I am happy that I read what Jack initially wanted On The Road to be.
LuAnne is my favorite character because her role in Jack and Neal adventures is put more emphasis than on the novel version.
Ventimiglia brought to me more of how the characters were with his accents
The ending when Jack thinks about the the two coasts, everything that is in between and Neal Cassady.
This is ideal for anyone who loves the Beat Generation.
Live in Cocoa Beach Florida. Am a videographer and photographer.
Although I was just a boy during the time frame of this manuscript, I found the charactors totaly foreign. Drugs, alcohol and meaningless relationships. I did not like any of the charactors. They were all one diminsional jerks thinking only of themselves. Still, I could not stop listening.
I'm an artist and an art historian, and a chef, and a dog mom, master crocheter, a mediocre gardener, and a girlfriend, mostly. My favorite authors (in equal amounts of favorite) are Tom Robbins, Jane Austen, J.D. Salinger, and Haruki Murakami.
I feel like this book would have been much more interesting written from an unprivileged minority's perspective, then a whiteboy looking for "adventure".
Nothing. I know that it is a classic, I just really found it boring.
His voice was boring to me. He didn't make me like the main character. He made me loathe him even more.
Maybe. Maybe the movie would take a different spin on the main character. Give him some interesting qualities.
I just have to say, if you are looking for adventure in this book you wont find it. If anything I find this book is important to America to show that it is still full of hipsters trying to make their lives more meaningful. The answer to that is to do great things, not bum off of people who really are unprivileged, and then make a mockery of their lives as a way to make yourself more interesting.
recording is great, the reader is awesome - the story is easy to follow.
with all that said the rating i gave is primarily due to the time wasted on Kerouac's constant digressions.
the first half is exciting! and seems like you will follow this great man on an amazing adventure!!! but as it gets more into the last half you begin to think, "whoa Kerouac, did you forget where you were going with this?"
he goes into ridiculous digressions of relationships with people who ultimately do not matter and are as uninteresting as my grandmothers new hummel.
sadly, and in my opinion, the story begins to break down in the last half into an anticlimactic bit of frustration.
i totally stopped listening because i got BORED.
Over hyped, but I guess these guys foreshadowed the hippies of the ‘60’s. Some powerful descriptions of America interspersed with a rambling narrative of pointless road trips heavy on sexual exploits. Women are one dimensional second class citizens. Neal Cassidy? Is he supposed to be a hero or a victim? He’s neither. Other than having a heightened sensitivity to, and appreciation of, the world around him, he’s a total loser.
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