Below I’ll give you my selections for the best Kerouac books by a few categories. I will cover these and other great books more in depth later.
1. On the Road (2015)
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. This version, capturing a moment in creative history, represents the first full expression of Kerouac’s revolutionary…
3. Desolation Angels 1ST Edition Thus (1966)
From the International Underground of the Beat Generation, Intro by Seymour Krim, Spine creased, slight signs of age or use….
4. The Dharma Bums (1959)
Mass Market Paperback Publisher: Signet (October 1, 1959) Language: English ISBN-10: 0451084942 ISBN-13: 978-0451084941 Product Dimensions: 7 x 1 x 5 inches Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars 349 customer reviews Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,957,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #232196 in Literary Fiction (Books) Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?…
5. 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. Only nature seems to restore him to a sense of balance. In the words of Allen Ginsberg, Big Sur ”reveals consciousness in all its syntactic elaboration, detailing the luminous emptiness of his own paranoiac confusion.”…
6. Wake Up: A Life of the Buddha (2009)
In the mid-1950s, Jack Kerouac, a lifelong Catholic, became fascinated with Buddhism, an interest that had a significant impact on his ideas of spirituality and later found expression in such books as Mexico City Blues and The Dharma Bums. Originally written in 1955 and now published for the first time in paperback, Wake Up is Kerouac?s retelling of the life of Prince Siddhartha Gotama, who as a young man abandoned his wealthy family and comfortable home for a lifelong search for enlightenment. Distilled from a wide variety of canonical scriptures, Wake Up serves as both a…
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. “The first clear development of the American Romantic prose since Hemingway, Kerouac’s writing…
8. Maggie Cassidy (1968)
3rd Printing, slight crease to spine, normal signs of age, Tender love story honestly and simply told….
9. 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. Big Sur was written sometime after Jack Kerouac's best-known works, following a visit to northern California and the first feelings of midlife crisis. Kerouac stayed for several…
10. Book of Sketches (Penguin Poets) (2006)
In 1952 and 1953 as he wandered around America, Jack Kerouac jotted down spontaneous prose poems, or “sketches” as he called them, on small notebooks that he kept in his shirt pockets. The poems recount his travels—New York, North Carolina, Lowell (Massachusetts, Kerouac’s birthplace), San Francisco, Denver, Kansas, Mexico—observations, and meditations on art and life. The poems are often strung together so that over the course of several of them, a little story—or travelogue—appears, complete in itself. Published for the first time, offers a luminous, intimate, and transcendental…
11. Mexico City Blues. (1976)
Paperback Publisher: Bourgois (1976) Language: French ISBN-10: 2267000261 ISBN-13: 978-2267000269 ASIN: B0140WFBZM Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?…
Paperback Publisher: Penguin Books; Later Printing edition (1993) ASIN: B002FVM5IW Package Dimensions: 7.6 x 4.6 x 0.6 inches Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies) Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,093,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #8846 in Quilts & Quilting (Books) Would you like to tell us about a lower price? If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?…
13. The Town and the City (1970)
In this compelling first novel, Kerouac draws on his New England mill-town boyhood to create the world of George and Marguerite Martin and their eight children, each endowed with an energy and a vision of life….
14. Lonesome Traveler (1994)
In his first frankly autobiographical work, Jack Kerouac tells the exhilarating story fo the years when he was writing th books that captivated and infuriated the public, restless years of wandering during which he worked as a railway brakeman in California, a steward on a tramp steamer, and a fire lookout on the crest of Desolation Peak in the Cascde Mountains….
15. The Subterraneans (1994)
Written over the course of three days and three nights, The Subterraneans was generated out of the same ecstatic flash of inspiration that produced another one of Kerouac’s early classic, On The Road. Centering on the tempestous breakup of Leo Percepied and Mardou Fox–two denizens of the 1950s San Francsico underground–The Subterraneans is a tale of dark alleys and dark rooms,of artists, of visionaries,…
Best Kerouac Books that Should be on Your Bookshelf
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 Genesis and download some 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.
Slapstick Modernism: Chaplin to Kerouac to Iggy Pop
Author(s): William Solomon
Publisher: University of Illinois Press, Year: 2016, Size: 1 Mb, Download: pdf
Empty Phantoms - Interviews and Encounters with Jack Kerouac (Expanded & Revised)
Author(s): Paul Maher Jr.
Publisher: Lulu.com, Year: 2015, Size: 498 Kb, Download: epub
Please note that this booklist is not absolute. Some books are absolutely best-sellers according to USA Today, others are composed by unknown writers. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant resources you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.