Regular price: $26.59

Membership details Membership details
  • 30 days of membership free, plus 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals to get you started.
  • After trial, you'll get 3 titles each month: 1 audiobook and 2 Audible Originals of your choice.
  • Don't like your audiobook? Swap it for free.
  • Cancel anytime and keep your audiobooks.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
  • Get access to the Member Daily Deal
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

The legendary 1951 scroll draft of On the Road, published word for word as Kerouac originally composed it.

Though Jack 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 also part of a wider vital experimentation in the American literary, musical, and visual arts in the post-World War II period.

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. On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of On the Road, Viking will publish the 1951 scroll in a standard book format. 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. The transcription of the scroll was done by Howard Cunnell who, along with Joshua Kupetz, George Mouratidis, and Penny Vlagopoulos, provides a critical introduction that explains the fascinating compositional and publication history of On the Road and anchors the text in its historical, political, and social contexts.

©2007 Jack Kerouac (P)2007 Penguin Audio

More from the same

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    164
  • 4 Stars
    50
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    12

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    172
  • 4 Stars
    45
  • 3 Stars
    18
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    8

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    148
  • 4 Stars
    38
  • 3 Stars
    31
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    16
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A Classic Brought to Life

This edition is as authentic as it gets. The text is exactly what Kerouac first wrote on the legendary single spaced typed scroll. The presentation is excellent, making it easy to follow the story and insights of the author. The clean, straight forward narration style served the content well. Great audio book.

13 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

John V nails it!

Would you listen to On the Road: The Original Scroll again? Why?

I already have

What other book might you compare On the Road: The Original Scroll to and why?

I would compare it to the published version of OTR. I found it very interesting to hear the parts which were edited out and the actual names of the characters.

Which character – as performed by John Ventimiglia – was your favorite?

He did a great job with every character and captured the excitement and momentum of the story. You can tell he loves Kerouac.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

My tag line would be "Don't try to make a movie out of this book"

Any additional comments?

You might be familiar with some of John Ventimiglia's other work. Look him up on IMDB.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • T. Monk
  • Hayward, Wi United States
  • 01-07-18

Better version

What about John Ventimiglia’s performance did you like?

John Ventimiglia must have listened to the recordings of Kerouac, because he captured Kerouac's voice really well. Kerouac had a funny way of pronouncing words with a double o sound, (doom, gloom) and John nailed it.

Any additional comments?

It's worth comparing the scroll with the first-published, edited, and censored version. The scroll is actually a better book.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Yes Sir

I've read the final version, I've watched all the movies and documentaries I can about Jack and the book, so of course this original scroll was fantastic to hear, of course. And what made me purchase something I've already read and researched was the narrator, John Ventimiglia. He makes for a good voice of Jack and I dug the way he handled the rhythms and energies of the story. Done right, yes sir.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Perfect reading of a great book.

The narrator for this book was perfectly cast. Anyone who regularly listens to audio books knows how important this is and in this they nailed it. Will definitively re-listen.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

I didn't get it??????

I read a lot of reviews for this book and when it was offered as a two for one deal I bought it without hesitation. I do realize that the version I have is written a one long paragraph hence the title the original scroll. I just didn't get it.... if I was actually reading I wouldn't have gotten far. I'm still trying to figure out what the book was about? I don't think that the characters and very good people. They do nothing except drive fast Rob stores of food and gas and when they get into a jam call their mother for money! I was so exhausted with the character David, he is a very annoying guy! I had a hard time feeling sorry for him in the end.... The longest story about nothing! But what do I know about lititure? If this book inspired a generation then I have my answer to what went wrong with our country!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • James
  • Chesterton, IN, United States
  • 12-26-17

Absolutely Incredible

We are so blessed to have had Kerouac to tell us this tale - this perceptive portrait of a defining American age...

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wonderfully told story

Great story that is a classic. Not to be missed. Narration is awesome. So glad I took this one into my audible library. Look forward to hearing it again and again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Exceptional presentation of a whacky masterpiece

I'd read a version of this book many years ago, which I think was much abridged. I realize with this version that Kerouac really produced a masterpiece. Sure, it's incredibly weird and, at times, seemingly self-indulgent, but, my God, that man could write. He's always slicing off perfect sentences that nail a particular person, city, situation, or, quite often, America itself.

John Ventimiglia's exceptional narration deserves special praise. He gets every voice exactly right and perfectly sustains Kerouac's tone of urgent seeking throughout. However, even the best narrators manage to mispronounce something. In this case, the mangled word is "Berthoud," as in Berthoud Pass (should be BUR-thed). But that's a minuscule blemish on a masterful piece of work. I only mention it to ensure it doesn't happen again.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I did not expect to cry reading this book.

Without having read the first edition, I still believe this is the superior book. If only to make it easier to gain insight into the people featured within. This book crosses paths with William S. Burroughs’s Junky at a couple of points which only serves to make them both more compelling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful