The Subterraneans
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The Subterraneans

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Regarded by many as Jack Kerouac's most touching works, The Subterraneans and Pic are an evocative and poignant pair of novels from the author of On the Road. This Penguin Modern Classics edition includes an introduction by Ann Douglas.

Leo Percepied, aspiring writer and self-styled free-wheeling bum, gravitates to the Subterraneans, impoverished intellectuals who haunt the bars and clubs of San Francisco, surviving on a diet of booze and benzedrine, Proust and Verlaine. Living among them is Mardou Fox, beautiful and a little crazy, whose dark eyes, full of suffering and sweetness, find recognition in Leo. But, afraid of his growing involvement, Leo sets out to destroy their love. Exuberant and melancholy, Kerouac's spontaneous prose flows across the pages. Written in three days, The Subterraneans is, like all Kerouac's work, closely related to his own life while encapsulating his great vision of America. Also included here is the novel Pic, the story of a young black boy who makes his own journey on the road.

Jack Kerouac (1922-69) was an American novelist, poet, artist and part of the Beat Generation. His first published novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that made Kerouac famous. Publication of his many other books followed, among them The Subterraneans, Big Sur, and The Dharma Bums. Kerouac died in Florida at the age of forty-seven.

If you enjoyed The Subterraneans and Pic, you might like Kerouac's Maggie Cassidy, also available in Penguin Modern Classics.

'The tender and achingly poetic account of a love affair'
Lester Bangs, Rolling Stone
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 126 x 194 x 14mm | 99.79g
  • PENGUIN CLASSICS
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141184892
  • 9780141184890
  • 21,989

About Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac wrote a number of highly influential and popular novels - most famously the international best-seller ON THE ROAD - and is remembered as one of the key figures of the legendary Beat generation. As much as anything, he came to represent a philosophy, a way of life.
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Rating details

11,860 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 22% (2,603)
4 36% (4,280)
3 32% (3,770)
2 8% (1,005)
1 2% (202)
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