Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Jack Kerouac books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.
- On the Road (1999)
- On the Road: The Original Scroll (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (2008)
- The Dharma Bums (1971)
- Desolation Angels (1995)
- Big Sur (2019)
- THE SUBTERRANEANS by Jack Kerouac /1st Edition (1966)
- Big Sur (1992)
- Mexico City Blues (Penguin Modern Classics) (2019)
- Big Sur / Jack Kerouac (1962)
- The Portable Jack Kerouac (Penguin Classics) (2007)
On the Road (1999)
Inspired by Jack Kerouac’s adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience.
On the Road: The Original Scroll (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (2008)
IN THREE WEEKS in April of 1951, Jack Kerouac wrote his first full draft of On the Road—typed as a single-spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing paper, which he later taped together to form a 120-foot scroll. A major literary event when it was published in Viking hardcover in 2007, this is the uncut version of an American classic—rougher, wilder, and more provocative than the official work that appeared, heavily edited, in 1957.
The Dharma Bums (1971)
First published in 1958, a year after On the Road put the Beat Generation on the map, The Dharma Bums stands as one of Jack Kerouac’s most powerful and influential novels.
Desolation Angels (1995)
Originally published in 1965, this autobiographical novel covers a key year in Jack Kerouac’s life—the period that led up to the publication of On the Road in September of 1957.
Big Sur (2019)
2019 Reprint of 1962 Edition. Coming down from his carefree youth and unwanted fame, Jack Kerouac undertakes a mature confrontation of some of his most troubling emotional issues: a burgeoning problem with alcoholism, addiction, fear, and insecurity. He dutifully records his ever-changing states of consciousness, which culminate in a powerful religious experience.
THE SUBTERRANEANS by Jack Kerouac /1st Edition (1966)
Here for your delectation is the SPECTACULAR & RARE——————THE SUBTERRANEANS by Jack Kerouac. The Subterraneans haunt the bars and clubs of San Francisco, surviving on a diet of booze and benzedrine, Proust and Verlaine. Living amongst them is Leo, an aspiring writer, and Mardou, half-Indian, half-Negro, beautiful and neurotic. Their bitter-sweet and ill-starred love affair sees Kerouac at his most evocative. Many regard this as being Kerouac’s most touching and tender book.
Big Sur (1992)
In this 1962 novel, Kerouac’s alter ego Jack Duluoz, overwhelmed by success and excess, gravitates back and forth between wild binges in San Francisco and an isolated cabin on the California coast where he attempts to renew his spirit and clear his head of madness and alcohol.
Mexico City Blues (Penguin Modern Classics) (2019)
Freewheeling and spontaneous, Mexico City Blues is Jack Kerouac’s most significant and emblematic poem. Consisting of 242 loosely linked ‘choruses’, it takes in life, death, spirituality, jazz improvisation, memory, fantasies and dreams, all infused with the rhythm of the blues, to create a surreal and all-encompassing epic. ‘A spontaneous bop prosody and original classic literature’ Allen Ginsberg’A jazz poet.
Big Sur / Jack Kerouac (1962)
The Portable Jack Kerouac (Penguin Classics) (2007)
To coincide with the 50th anniversary celebration of On the Road, Penguin Classics republishes this landmark collection. The Portable Jack Kerouac made clear the ambition and accomplishment of Kerouac’s “Legend of Duluoz”-the story of his life told in his many “true story” novels.
Best Jack Kerouac Books That You Need
We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some jack kerouac books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.
Jack Kerouac, Haiku, Haikus
Author(s): Jack Kerouac
ID: 2512591, Publisher: Jack Kerouac, Year: 2020, Size: 340 Kb, Format: pdf
Jack Kerouac and the Decline of the West
ID: 2874937, Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC - KDP Print US, Year: 2020, Size: 304 Kb, Format: azw
Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, The Beat Generation, And America
Author(s): Dennis McNally
ID: 3586320, Publisher: Hachette Books, Year: 2020, Size: 2 Mb, Format: epub
Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are really hot items according to Chicago Tribune, others are drafted by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant links you could recommend? Leave a comment if you have any feedback on the list.