On the Road: The Original Scroll

on the road cover image On the Road: The Original Scroll

by Jack Kerouac
General Fiction
Penguin Classics

We dug Jack Kerouac’s On the Road the first time through. But that was fifty years ago and we were twenty and it was the 60’s. As noted in last month’s notes, our interest was renewed by the new novel, Manana Means Heaven by Tim Z. Hernandez that chronicles a fictional account of Kerouac’s “Mexican Girl.” So, we got a copy of On the Road: The Original Scroll – the 300-plus-page unexpurgated 2007 version of the 120-foot-long scroll of tracing paper on which (as Capote cattily said) Kerouac “typed” (rather than “wrote”) uninterrupted for three weeks. The book is similarly printed as one long paragraph, single-spaced and nothing is left out including the real names of the characters – Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsburg, William Burroughs, etc. Well, we are not twenty anymore and it was a long slog. But, we didn’t put it down and we dug it!