On the Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Perhaps the most famous and influential of the Beat novels, Jack Kerouac's On the Road represents much of what made the Beat and Counterculture movements so unique and important. The plot concerning the road trips and adventures experienced by Kerouac and his friends is well-known, as are the rumors and tall tales of the books' production. Kerouac often claimed that the wrote On the Road in a mere three weeks on a single 120-foot scroll of paper. Although that scroll does indeed exist and is featured in museums, Kerouac kept detailed journals of his travels that would later become passages and chapters in the finished product. The book was first published by Viking in 1957.  Viking Press would go on to publish an edited version of On the Road in 2007 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the first printing. They substituted the fictional names for the real Beat protagonists, and they even included some of the more sexually explicit passages that were edited out of the 1957 edition. Due to the cultural significance of the book, true first editions/first printings of On the Road are quite valuable. But be warned: it is easy to mistake reprints or book club editions for the real thing, so always check with an expert before making a significant purchase.

First Edition Identification

On The Road was first published by Viking in 1957. True first printings of the book include the $3.95 pricing information on the top right hand corner of the front inside dust jacket flap. Later printings and subsequent book club editions do not feature the price in that location. Additionally, a photo of Kerouac is featured on the back inside cover flap along with a brief description of the author.

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On Sep 3, 2011, billyminersbooks said
A few years ago, 50 years after its initial publication, and 35 years since I had read it for the first time myself, I loaned my battered paperback copy of On The Road to a young friend of mine who had asked me "What should I read next?". Her reaction was, as I would have hoped, overwhelmingly positive. "It made me want to go hitchhiking" she told me. She didn't go, of course, that's considered too dangerous these days, but she caught the spirit of Kerouac from those yellowed old pages and that made me happy. It made me remember myself from the days before I was twenty. When the world was wide-open in front of me with all my limitless imagination and inexhaustible energy to carry me forward. Those two-and-a-half-hundred pages created in a Benzedrine-fueled typing frenzy spoke to both of us across generations as great writing is meant to do. Jack's tales of Casady, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and the rest would continue in his books that followed but the spirit and zest of On The Road stand alone. Bob Dylan said of On The Road, "It changed my life like it changed everyone else's". Myself and my young friend were lucky enough to experience it that same way.

Available Copies

On the Road

On the Road

by KEROUAC, Jack

Condition
Used - Fair
Jacket Condition
Fair
Published
1958
Binding
Hardcover
Quantity Available
1
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Gloucester City, New Jersey, USA
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€883.40

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Description:
(London): Andre Deutsch, 1958. Hardcover. Fair/Fair. First English edition. A worn, fair only copy, bumped at bottom corners, dampstains at the edges of first and last leaf, and other middling flaws, in poor dustwrapper with tape repairs and lacking the majority of the spine. Indeed about the only think to recommend this copy is the ownership signature of… Read more about this item
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€883.40
On The Road.

On The Road.

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used
Published
1957
Quantity Available
1
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Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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€6,974.25

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Description:
New York: The Viking Press, 1957. First edition of Kerouac's classic novel. Octavo, original black cloth. Near fine in a bright very good dust jacket. Jacket design by Bill English. With the original New York Times article for On the Road laid in. Housed in a custom half morocco clamshell box. A sharp example. The raucous, exuberant, often wildly… Read more about this item
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€6,974.25
On The Road
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On The Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Fine
Jacket Condition
Fine
Edition
first
Published
2007
Binding
Brown covers with black cloth spine
ISBN
9780670063550
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1
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pdx, Oregon, USA
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€37.20

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book is unread. as new, one owner text is unmarkedincludes 100 pages of notes and history of scroll-lots of folk lore and dispute about the creation of the book on the road scroll now at University of IndianaImportant piece of American Literature and life
Item Price
€37.20
On the Road
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On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

Condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket Condition
Very Good Indeed
Published
1959
Binding
Cloth
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1
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BATH, Somerset, GBR
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€925.16

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Description:
London: Andre Deutsch, 1959. Cloth. Near Fine/Very Good Indeed. 7.5" by 5" . None . A bright third impression of Jack Kerouac's iconic semi-autobiographical novel in the original unclipped dust wrapper. The first UK edition, third impression of this work, published the year following the first edition. Jack Kerouac's post-war Beat and Counterculture generation defining work based on… Read more about this item
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€925.16
On the Road
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On the Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Near Fine
Jacket Condition
Near Fine
Edition
Third Printing
Published
1957
Quantity Available
1
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Portland, Oregon, USA
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€32,546.50

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Description:
New York: The Viking Press, 1957. Third Printing. Near Fine/Near Fine. Third printing of the first edition. Signed by Jack Kerouac on the front free endpaper and inscribed "To Don--- / from / Jack Kerouac / I'm really happy / that you came to the / party Henri threw for me!" Henri was one of Kerouac's oldest friends,… Read more about this item
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€32,546.50
On the Road (Penguin Classics)
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On the Road (Penguin Classics)

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Collectable - Good Condition
Edition
First Edition
Published
2012
Binding
Hardback
ISBN
9780141198200
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1
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Cambridge, Cambridgeshire, GBR
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€123.15

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Description:
Penguin Classics, London, United Kingdom, 2012. First Edition. Hardback. Collectable - Good Condition. Good+ 1st impression 2012 Penguin Classics hardback, with rear cover reproduction of the first proposed paperback edition cover design from 1952. Some yellowing to pages and patches of foxing to page edges, base of spine bumped, tight and unmarked otherwise. Size: 144\nx… Read more about this item
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€123.15
On the Road
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On the Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used
Edition
First Edition, First Printing
Published
1957
Binding
Hardcover
Quantity Available
1
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CROTON-ON-HUDSON, New York, USA
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€3,254.65

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New York: Viking Press, 1957. First Edition, First Printing. Hardcover. Condition is Very Good, bound in full black cloth; with a Very Good, original first issue dust jacket. Edge wear to jacket, including a few small chips and short tears. Crease to base of jacket at front panel. No markings to text. Binding firm. 8vo, 8 1/4"h x 6"w.… Read more about this item
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€3,254.65
ON THE ROAD
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ON THE ROAD

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used
Edition
First
Published
1958
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1
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PASADENA, California, USA
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€1,115.88

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A very good first edition in dust jacket
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€1,115.88
On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)

On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Very Good
Binding
Paperback
ISBN
9780141182674
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1
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GORING BY SEA, West Sussex, GBR
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€1.20

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Paperback. Very Good.
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€1.20
On the Road
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On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

Condition
Used
Edition
First Edition
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1
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Mississauga, Ontario, CAN
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€11,623.75

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Description:
1957: Viking Press. First Edition . First Edition/First Printing. Hardcover. Fine book in a near fine Dust Jacket, with slight wear. Jacket priced at $3.95. Bright unrubbed copy and the cornerstone of Beat literature. Uncommon in this condition. Housed in a clamshell case.
Item Price
€11,623.75
On The Road
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On The Road

by Jack Kerouac

Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Good
Edition
First
Published
1957
Binding
Tight
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1
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Portland , Oregon, USA
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€2,092.28

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Description:
1st Edition. Very Good in a Good dust jacket. Date 1957 stated on title and copyright page. Signed and dated "Allen Ginsburg 10/7/1989" on front end paper. Book shows overall light foxing, minor rubbing on front cover bottom corner, slight fading on top edge papers. Original jacket has been trimmed unevenly about 1/8 in. along top edge; creases and folding… Read more about this item
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€2,092.28
On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)
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On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)

by Jack Kerouac

Condition
Used
Published
February 24, 2000
ISBN
9780141182674
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1
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Portsmouth, Hampshire, GBR
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€11.99

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Penguin Modern Classics paperback in good condition,with creasing to spine and wear to cover. No inscription or other writing throughout A more than acceptable reading copy. Postcard of author in mint condition.
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€11.99
On The Road.

On The Road.

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used
Published
1957
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1
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Palm Beach, Florida, USA
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€4,649.50

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Description:
New York: The Viking Press, 1957. First edition of Kerouac's classic novel. Octavo, original black cloth. Near fine in a near fine dust jacket with a closed tear and light rubbing to the extremities. Jacket design by Bill English. A nice example. The raucous, exuberant, often wildly funny account of a journey through America and Mexico, Jack Kerouac's On… Read more about this item
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€4,649.50
On The Road
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On The Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Fine
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Edition
1st Edition
Published
1957
Binding
Hardcover
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1
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Beverly Hills, California, USA
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€4,184.55

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The Viking Press, 1957. 1st Edition. Hardcover. Fine/Very Good. Fine in a very good dust jacket. First edition with no mention of later printings on the copyright page. Jacket has original price of $3.95 printed on front flap; very good with some chipping and rubbing along edges and at corners. Book fine. Comes housed in a custom slipcase.… Read more about this item
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€4,184.55
On the Road
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On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Very Good
Edition
First Edition
Published
1957
Binding
Hardcover
Quantity Available
1
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Southampton, New York, USA
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€5,114.44

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Viking, 1957. First Edition. Hardcover. Very Good/Very Good. Stated First Edition, First Printing. Not price-clipped ($3.95 price intact). Published by Viking, 1957. Octavo. Black cloth boards stamped in white with red topstain. Book is very good plus with spine straight and sharp corners. Binding tight and pages crisp. Has a light erasure mark on flyleaf and some very… Read more about this item
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€5,114.44
On the Road

On the Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Good
ISBN
9780140274158
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Thessaloniki, GRC
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€5.00

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A good paperback, crinkles & wear on cov as in image, text good+ with underlining & notes.291p. 18x11cm. 200gr. When Jack Kerouac's On the Road first appeared in 1957, readers instantly felt the beat of a new literary rhythm. A fictionalised account of his own journeys across America with his friend Neal Cassady, Kerouac's beatnik odyssey captured the soul of… Read more about this item
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€5.00
On the Road

On the Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Good
Published
2008
Binding
Paperback
ISBN
9780141037486
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1
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Forrestfield, Western Australia, AUS
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€3.42

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England: Penguin, 2008. Book. Good. Soft cover. Spine is uncreased, covers faded and dirty. Where possible small books will have postage reduced.
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€3.42
On the Road
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On the Road

by Jack Kerouac

Condition
Used - Very Good
Jacket Condition
Fair
Edition
1st Edition
Published
2007
Binding
Hardcover
ISBN
9780670063260
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1
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Rochester, Vermont, USA
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€26.97

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Description:
Viking, 2007. 1st Edition . Hardcover. Very Good/Fair. 50th Anniversary Edition.
Item Price
€26.97
On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)

On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Good
Binding
Paperback
ISBN
9780141182674
Quantity Available
1
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GORING BY SEA, West Sussex, GBR
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€0.93

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Description:
Paperback. Good.
Item Price
€0.93
No image available

On the Road

by Kerouac, Jack

Condition
Used - Good
ISBN
9780140185218
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1
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Dunfermline, Fife, GBR
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€7.01

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Description:
Penguin Publishing Group. Used - Good. Ships from the UK. Used book that is in clean, average condition without any missing pages.
Item Price
€7.01