The town in this tale is Galloway, Massachusetts, birthplace of the five sons and three daughters of the Martin family in the early 1900s. The city is New York, the heaving melting pot which lures them all in search of futures and identity.
Sal Paradise, young and innocent, joins the slightly crazed Dean Moriarty on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American Dream.
A semi-autobiographical tale of Kerouac's own trip to France, to trace his ancestors and explore his own understanding of the Buddhism that came to define his beliefs.
Jack Kerouac called Doctor Sax, the enigmatic figure who haunted his boyhood imagination, ''my ghost, personal angel, private shadow, secret lover''. In this extraordinary autobiographical account of growing up in Lowell, Massachussetts, told through his fictional alter ego Jack Duluoz, he mingles real people and events with fantastical figures to capture the accents, scents, sights and texture of his childhood: playing among the river weeds and railroad tracks, going to church, witnessing life and death on the street corners. Written when he was staying with William Burroughs in Mexico in 1952, Doctor Sax was Kerouac''s favourite of all his books: a dark, vivid and magical evocation of a boy''s vibrant inner life.>
Published just one year after "On The Road", this is the story of two men enganged in a passionate search for Dharma or truth. Their major adventure is the pursuit of the Zen Way, which takes them climbing into the High Sierras to seek the lesson of solitude.
The Haunted Life is the coming-of-age story of Peter Martin, a college track star determined to idle away what he knows will be one of his last innocent summers in his tranquil New England home town. But with the war escalating in Europe and his two closest friends both plotting their escapes, he realizes how sheltered his upbringing has been. As he surveys the competing influences of his youth, he struggles to determine what might lead to an intellectually authentic life. The Haunted Life is ultimately a meditation on intellectual truth, male friendship and the desire for movement - all themes that would dominate Kerouac's later work.