The Portable Jack Kerouac share button
Jack Kerouac
Format Paperback
Dimensions 5.14 (w) x 7.74 (h) x 1.15 (d)
Pages 656
Publisher Penguin Group (USA)
Publication Date August 2007
ISBN 9780143105060
Book ISBN 10 014310506X
About Book

The definitive Kerouac collection-now in Penguin Classics

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. Featuring selections from Kerouac's autobiographical fiction, as well as from his poetry, criticism, Buddhist writings, and letters, The Portable Jack Kerouac offers a total immersion in an American master.

This essential introduction to one of America's most important writers is the only anthology of Jack Kerouac's work ever published. Featuring selections from the many volumes of the "Legend of Duluoz, " in chronological order, the volume also includes poetry, letters, and essays on Buddhism, writing, and the Beat Generation.


Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly

Much as Viking's Portable William Faulkner rekindled interest in Faulkner because his editor, Malcolm Cowley, had the brainstorm of pulling together a map of Faulkner's epic Yoknapatawpha County series of novels and stories in order to give the work a new coherence, so Kerouac gains new stature as a result of labors by his biographer, Charters (Kerouac: A Biography). Here she chronologically excerpts the perhaps 16 volumes of the Legend of Duluoz to create a map of Kerouac's oeuvre, which, according to the publisher, he had planned before his death. She supports it not only with fat slices of Kerouac's best writing but also with an investigation into his bop prosody that gives his jazz-riff style a new currency. In fact, this volume may deal a fist in the face of the English sentence, because Kerouac's revamping of the sentence is so song-filled and emotion-ridden that its properties could well do for American prose what Whitman did for verse: give it new life. An alcoholic jamming by candlelight with scotch and pot on the kitchen table, he mixes jazz with Rimbaud's derangement of the senses to create a vehicle for his own anguish as he recollects his life on the run. The Portable shows Kerouac at his best as a riff artist but also gathers to stronger effect than any single Kerouac novel. Includes selections from his poetry and experimental novels. (Mar.)