On the Road by Jack Kerouac, First Edition, 1957

Kerouac, Jack. On the Road. New York: The Viking Press, 1957. First edition. 8ov. Rebound in 1/4 leather and cloth with embossed titles and raised bands to the spine. Presented with a matching archival slipcase. 

Presented is a first edition printing of Jack Kerouac’s second novel, On the Road. This first edition was published in New York by The Viking Press in 1957. On the Road is a retelling of Kerouac’s own physical and metaphysical journey across America. The book has been rebound in a custom quarter leather and cloth binding with matching archival cloth slipcase.

Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was an American novelist and poet. “Between 1947 and 1950, Neal Cassady and Jack Kerouac took off on a freewheeling journey through the USA and Mexico in search of something outside their domestic experience. Ten years later, their adventures were related in ‘On the Road’” (Parker, 339).

The novel’s composition has become a well-known anecdote in its own right. Returning home from his travels, Kerouac spent almost a year pondering how, and in what form, he might convey the life he had been living and his wanderings. Several false starts were made, but “in April 1951 he fed a 120-foot roll of teletype into his typewriter, typed for three weeks and the result, largely unrevised, was ‘On the Road’” (Parker, 339).

“Just before Jack Kerouac died in 1969, he told Neal Cassady that he feared he would die like Melville, unknown and unappreciated in his own time… On the Road has become a classic of the Beat Movement with its stream-of-consciousness depiction of the rejection of mainstream American values set in a physical and metaphysical journey across America” (Book in America, 136).


Good condition overall. 8vo. Rebound in quarter leather and cloth binding with gilt titles, stamps, and raised bands to the spine. Interior pages healthy with only light toning. Presented with a matching cloth slipcase with a portrait of Kerouac inlaid on the front. Book Dimensions (with slipcase): 8 7/8”H x 6” W x  1 7/8” D. 

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