Extended Audio Sample

Download On the Road: The Original Scroll Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample On the Road: The Original Scroll (Unabridged), by Jack Kerouac
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (3,734 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jack Kerouac Narrator: John Ventimiglia Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN:
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Here is the legendary 1951 scroll draft of On the Road, word for word as Jack Kerouac originally composed it.

Though Kerouac began thinking about the novel that was to become On the Road as early as 1947, it was not until three weeks in April 1951, in an apartment on West 20th Street in Manhattan, that he wrote the first full draft that was satisfactory to him. Typed out as one long, single-spaced paragraph on eight long sheets of tracing paper that he later taped together to form a 120-foot scroll, this document is among the most significant, celebrated, and provocative artifacts in contemporary American literary history. It represents the first full expression of Kerouac's revolutionary aesthetic, the identifiable point at which his thematic vision and narrative voice came together in a sustained burst of creative energy.

It was not until more than six years later, and after several new drafts, that Viking published, in 1957, the novel known to us today. The differences between the two versions are principally ones of significant detail and altered emphasis. The scroll is slightly longer and has a heightened linguistic virtuosity and a more sexually frenetic tone. It also uses the real names of Kerouac's friends instead of the fictional names he later invented for them.

This audio edition is narrated by actor John Ventimiglia, best known for his portrayal of restaurant owner Artie Bucco in The Sopranos. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Odeen Rocha | 2/15/2014

    " El mejor libro del siglo XX. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cat | 2/7/2014

    " I believe this was probably was a ground breaking book for it's time and I appreciate it's place in American History. That said it wasn't really my type of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Spencer | 2/5/2014

    " Hey, everyone goes through their Kerouac phase, right? Mine was about 10 years ago but I really had a good time reading this. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 1/30/2014

    " read the scroll version. if you like jazz music, you like this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Esme Lorraine | 1/19/2014

    " Reading this book was difficult, as I felt as if I had jumped into absolute chaos anytime I read it. I couldn't help but feeling as if I was yelling it as I read it, even though I was reading it silently. The style of chaotic writing definitely lends itself well to match the absolute insanity of what was going on in the lives of Jack and his friends. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes to travel, can have a good time whenever and wherever they are, and can solidly stick to a book because it takes a a little "umph" to be able to jump in the current with which this book takes you. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel | 1/5/2014

    " The same old story...but different. Just different enough that it feels a little like reading it again for the first time but with more Sex, Drugs and Rock'n'Roll, er...Jazz on Kerouac's end (and probably less on mine). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christina | 1/2/2014

    " I read this a few years ago and I didn't finish it. I had already read On The Road as it was originally published, so reading this version was a bit redundant. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lydia Lee | 12/19/2013

    " It was an interesting read, but not one of my favorites. I read it because I was reading a Bukowski biography and The Beats were mentioned several times. I prefer Bukowski's writing. Nothing beats honesty, and you don't get more honest than Bukowski. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Crane | 12/9/2013

    " the hedonism and pointlessness of the early beats "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 William | 11/7/2013

    " Loved this original scroll version. Make some time, pour a drink and read it straight. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marnie | 7/4/2013

    " I didn't read this exactly but absorbed it vicariously through Peter who read it for a book club. No formatting, includes everything except paragraph formatting... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Celie | 3/7/2013

    " Brilliant. I was totally caught up and I love his style. The discription of 'a fun racy read' is very fitting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lea | 4/2/2012

    " still working on this. Completely different than the first release "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 7/15/2011

    " This book is fantastic. I loved the freeness of it and the stream-of-consciousness writing style. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ddwhi | 6/25/2011

    " I remembered how much I enjoyed reading this book in the late 60s, but I now found the level of activity and the intensity of emotions slightly exhausting. I also missed the jazz/text intro that was included with the original publication. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jonathan | 4/24/2011

    " Most likely my favorite book of all time. Original scroll, original names. Re-release of the original book, but 50 years later, with real people and places instead of the fictional replacements. Absolutely original. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 April | 4/7/2011

    " I TRIED to get into this book... and just couldn't. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Robert | 3/10/2011

    " My favorite book. I liked this edition more than the original publication. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 John | 2/22/2011

    " The best version of his best book! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bhoswald | 2/17/2011

    " I ended up liking this a lot more than I thought that I would, though I think I'd really give it a three and a half. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christina | 1/19/2011

    " I read this a few years ago and I didn't finish it. I had already read On The Road as it was originally published, so reading this version was a bit redundant. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Matt | 11/10/2010

    " I really enjoyed this read. Neal is such a wild character. This makes me want to go adventure-ing so bad... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Garrett | 9/27/2010

    " Loved it. Period. it was a little hard getting use to not having paragraph break but in a way it adds to the insanity that his writing represents. big fan. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 9/10/2010

    " This book is fantastic. I loved the freeness of it and the stream-of-consciousness writing style. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Zachery | 9/8/2010

    " I've read this a million times. Each is clearer and truer than the last. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matthew | 8/15/2010

    " This book made me want to load up a backpack and leave. "

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