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)
The "beat" generation of the late 40's and 50'sthat laid the foundation for the 60's and 70's mass cultural revolution was a white male phenomenon with profoundly racist ideas and fully supportive of male supremacy, yet it still managed to challenge the "straight" society that was otherwise thoroughly suckered into the consumerist cu materialism of the post-war ascendant American industrial empire. Kerouac's grilling of this tale without a shred of anticipation of the mass civil rights and feminist movements that would begin in just a half dozen years highlights the degree of radical transformation inherent in those movements.
Marketing practitioner and perpetual student
This is a book everyone should read, or listen to at least twice in your life. Once when you're 20, again when you're much older (and maybe a few times in between) .
It's the literary equivalent of the great jazz from the 50s, and the great abstract expressionist paintings from that era.
It was wonderful to hear the original scroll. Some things said in there were a little abrasive, however it was great to hear Jack's original mindset as he wrote it. it gives the book a more vivid description of the time period hints at undertones not found in the other edited copies.
I have wanted to read OTR for over 20 years and glad I finally had an opportunity. It was a bucket list to do. Thoroughly enjoyed Kerouac, but how can you compare great books against one another - I can't.
The energy and the seemingly carefree attitude of the beat generation.
Loved the way he intoned the voice of Neal Cassidy - I loved when 'Neal' spoke
There were ha ah moments when they spoke of the cruelty and uncertainty of the future and how police would overstep their authority - made me realize things haven't changed all that much
A wonderful reading of one the finest works of American literature - Beat or otherwise - in its original, expanded form. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who has read and/or listened to the audiobook of the original published version, as well as to anyone who has not experienced 'On the Road' yet. Highly recommended.
fact based fiction. wild stream of consciousness
old school vocab
sleeping along roadside in mexico
laughed multiple times
great throw back for any baby boomer
My first experience with Kerouac and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. I'm glad I waited all my life because the scroll version is the only one I wanted to know. The narrator delivered the story in the perfect grit and tone that made me feel like he was the author himself, telling me his story. Superb performance.
An educator and senior who listens to his books from his phone through his hearing aids.
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.
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