Jack Kerouac's On The Road as iPad App

Penguin release classic Beat novel in 'amplified' edition
Screenshots of the new On The Road iPad app

About the App

The legendary novel from the postwar prophet of American literature—brought to life with exclusive content for an absorbing and transformative experience

Pulsating with the rhythms of jazz, frenetic sex, illicit drugs, and the mystery and promise of the open road, this iconic novel defined what it meant to be “beat” and captured the impulses of a liberated underground America. Based on Jack Kerouac’s adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends crossing the country in search of a new kind of experience and authenticity that they could not find in mainstream culture. Expressing a quintessential American vision of freedom and longing, On the Road is a timeless tale that resonates with each new generation.

With the complete text of the original 1957 novel at its heart, this digital edition has been curated by Penguin editors, the Kerouac estate, and Beat scholars and includes a set of spectacular features that immerse readers in the book’s backstory and legacy—making for a truly unique literary encounter.


Rare and Never-Before-Seen Material
  • Prized family photographs from Kerouac’s estate, many published here for the first time
  • Exclusive audio clips of Kerouac himself reading three excerpts from an early draft
  • Documentary footage of fellow Beats sharing their firsthand impressions of Kerouac
  • Pages from the journals Kerouac kept while on the road
  • Reproductions of Kerouac’s first draft of the novel on the 120-foot scroll, as well as later typescripts with corrections made by him and his editors
  • Slideshow of cover art from international editions
  • Extensive collection of original reviews
  • Tributes to Kerouac and On the Road by leading artists from John Updike to Bob Dylan
A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Publication
  • Previously unreleased editorial documents from the archives of Viking, the novel’s publisher
  • Side-by-side comparisons of Kerouac’s famous original scroll draft and the published text, highlighting the editorial work that went into his masterpiece as well as the elements removed on the recommendation of Viking’s lawyers—including some of Kerouac’s most explicit treatments of sex, drug use, and other “obscenities”
  • An expert introduction by Beat scholar Howard Cunnell
An Encyclopedic Take on Kerouac and the Beats
  • Fully interactive map of the now legendary trips from 1947, 1949, and 1950 taken by Dean and Sal in the book
  • Complete text of the 1957 edition of the novel, thoroughly annotated with biographies of the real-life Beats behind the famous characters, notes on their favorite hot spots and hangouts around the country, and explanations of cultural references
  • Gallery of new and classic photographs of all the famous Beats
  • Detailed biography with an in-depth look at Kerouac’s personal and artistic life
  • Noteworthy articles by Kerouac on his unique, innovative writing style and the philosophy of the Beat generation
Additional Technical Features
  • Easy book navigation features, including text search, bookmarks, and the ability to flip pages with a tap or swipe
  • Sidebar annotations alongside the novel hide away for an uninterrupted reading experience
  • Reproduced archival documents can be enlarged to full screen with a double tap


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