New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich – A Harvest Book, 1983 (1950). Large paperback. 500 pages. Foxing to edges and inner cover, else overall clean and solid good copy
Kerouac’s debut novel: “In his big, compelling first novel, Jack Kerouac drew on his own New England background and experiences to tell the story of George and Marguerite Martin and their three daughters and five sons, a clan of energetic individuals, each wrapped in his own vision of life. The narrative follows the members of the family from the early part of the century through World War II, which uproots them from their Massachusetts home and scatters them across the country and to Europe and Okinawa. The surviving children are reunited again only briefly at their father’s funeral after the war.” (from back cover of HBJ edition) The first novel by Jack Kerouac, Founding Father of the Beat Generation, was originally published in hardcover during March of 1950 by then-Harcourt Brace and Company, with the author referred to by his formal name of “John Kerouac” for the first & only time. The novel is written in a conventional style reminiscent of Thomas Wolfe, & the “Spontaneous Bop Prosody” that would revolutionize literature would not blast off until seven years later upon the first publication of On the Road. Nevertheless, this semi-fictional work, as with all his further works, is really an impressionistic, romanticized memoir with thinly disguised characters who represent Kerouac (“Peter Martin”), his family & the real-life cohorts who would co-found the Beat Generation, including William S. Burroughs (“Will Dennison”), Allen Ginsberg (“Leon Levinsky”) & Herbert Huncke (“Junky”). The experiences depicted are the legends of early Beat history”.