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Book of Sketches

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  518 Ratings  ·  39 Reviews
A never-before-published book of poems by Jack Kerouac?in a deluxe package In 1952 and 1953 as he wandered around America, Jack Kerouac jotted down spontaneous prose poems, or sketches as he called them, on small notebooks that he kept in his shirt pockets. The poems recount his travelsNew York, North Carolina, Lowell (Massachusetts, Kerouacs birthplace), San Francisco, De ...more
ebook, 496 pages
Published April 4th 2006 by Penguin Books (first published 2006)
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JT
Jan 17, 2017 JT rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
greetings rucksack hipsters & railway walkers

Jack Kerouac is a personal literary hero for me. he changed how the outside world viewed the Beat Generation. this collection of pomes or sketches is transformative. it really pushes the social and spiritual boundaries of what post-war poetry represents. this is not the most popular form of literature though. there will be dissenters and adversaries. certainly, kerouac was not an angel with his flawed ways. he was authentic, honest till the words
...more
Jake
Apr 12, 2014 Jake rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A few really good ones, but mostly average. Kerouac wrote these while working on the railroad before On the Road was published. He was a pretty negative guy while writing these sketches, even dissing Ginsberg, Burroughs and Cassady.
Nestor
Jul 19, 2015 Nestor rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Tal como se dice desde el principio, los esbozos de Kerouac eran solo ideas sueltas, pensamientos erráticos y observaciones rápidas sobre su vida y entorno. No estaban pensados para ser públicos, ni para ser un libro. Así debieron quedarse, en lo privado.
Mike
Feb 14, 2017 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
All over the place, but that's sort of the point, right? This is one for the Kerouac fans who can hear his voice when they read him.
June
Jan 20, 2008 June rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Jack Kerouac's style of writing, I think it is so unique and beautiful and quirky. In passing, a friend once read me a poem of his about Buddha, or enlightenment, something of the sort, and I LOVED it, and have been trying to find it ever since, which is why I picked up this book. I've listened to/watched many videos of him reading his work on youtube, so it's easy for me to hear his voice narrating these poems as I read them, and I definitely think that is an essential part of the reader ...more
Dane Cobain
Jul 06, 2013 Dane Cobain rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Words alone can’t describe how beautiful this book is to hold in your hands – it’s a gorgeous, pocket-sized collection of some of Kerouac’s poetry, which is as delightful to read as it is to look at it. Perhaps the coolest aspect of it is the serrated pages – every twenty pages or so, the page size changes slightly, creating a visual effect a bit like a harpsichord that feels incredible when you ruffle the pages.

But enough about the cover and bindings – what you really want to know about is the
...more
Chris Chinchilla
Apr 19, 2014 Chris Chinchilla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

A never-before-published book of poems by Jack Kerouac in a deluxe package In 1952 and 1953 as he wandered around America, Jack Kerouac jotted down spontaneous prose poems, or sketches as he called them, on small notebooks that he kept in his shirt pockets. The poems recount his travels New York, North Carolina, Lowell (Massachusetts, Kerouac s birthplace), San Francisco, Denver, Kansas, Mexico observations, and meditations on art and life. The poems are often strung together so that over the co

...more
Simone Subliminalpop
“Come Jackson Pollock, Kerouac escogitò un modo per prendere un oggetto che tutti noi contempliamo e utilizziamo quotidianamente trasformandolo in Arte. Il nuovo linguaggio coincideva con quello che noi parlavamo da sempre. Semplicemente, prima di aprire bocca, si trattava di conoscere ciò di cui si voleva parlare.”

“E’ proprio questo a dare incisività agli schizzi: il senso di frattura, quasi di taglio, trasmesso dalle descrizioni. Hai l’impressione che ti puntino contro, ma quando meno te l’asp
...more
Hannah
Nov 03, 2012 Hannah rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A book of sketches is exactly what this is; sketches with words and feelings instead of lines and shades. Only Kerouac could accomplish this so gracefully. And you see these scenes in your head, FEEL them, much more acutely than if you were looking at an actual sketch. Nobody invokes such warmth, feeling, and wondering comfort like Jack Kerouac does. You read him to a beat that is his entirely. The things he wrote about are timeless and that is why he is remembered and his writings have endured. ...more
David Rullo
Dec 18, 2014 David Rullo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Let's face it, this book wasn't meant to be published. It is exactly what it says, sketches Kerouac made. It takes a little while to get into the book and I think a certain amount of time for Kerouac to find his voice but when everything connects you can really sense his feel and genius for writing, whether through a rhythm, a rhyme or simply some observations. There are plenty of times where Kerouac does what he does, describes everything in front of him in minute detail. Would he have expanded ...more
Curtis
Dec 11, 2014 Curtis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lets be honest, these personal notes by Kerouac were meant to be a book. I to keep a small notebook in my pocket where i jot down random musings, but I like Kerouac have no interest in publishing this notebook. The simple yet poignant writings are proof of Kerouac's monstrous memory and his attention to detail, yet in no way formed like a traditional book. As such, it is beautiful poetry, and artfully crafted everyday life. Kerouac has the entertaining ability to make even mowing the lawn seem p ...more
Mat
Feb 02, 2012 Mat rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic. This left me absolutely speechless.
There are just too many jaw-dropping moments for me to mention.
In fact, even though this book is not a story but a collection of notebook scribblings poured straight onto the page by one of the great literary minds of the 20th century, there is something very magical about this book. Is it the opening description? Hard to say.
Incredibly visual description. As George Condo says in the introduction, this really shows you just how much of a genius Kero
...more
Collin
Dec 23, 2012 Collin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely spellbinding. This is not only what poetry should truly be but how the mind actually works. Kerouac sounds less like an artsy writer and more like a down=to-earth journalist. Not only is the sheer scope of this amazing but the way he switches from concrete descriptions of everyday life to more abstract philosophizing on his own role and the nature of reality is flawless. Spontaneous, rough, yet engaging and beautiful in its own way.
Dana
Sep 06, 2014 Dana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This books of notes (which were not supposed to be published) taught me something new about writing, that there's some kind of order and meaning behind anything that seems at first random. I like Kerouac's voice and it could be heard clearly in this book, but I can't say I enjoyed every poem. There were parts and Sketches I liked but others bored me.
Simon Sweetman
Reading these road-poems, a blur of journalism and diary entries as could only be the case when written propped against the window of a moving car, I really loved some of the language, and the style of reportage. But a lot of them seemed so full of nonsense, or just lost on those highways, never transported into the present day. It was too long...too much words, bro!
Nick
Jan 27, 2009 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
insightful as a window into his creative process in writing on the road. good to see even someone as groundbreaking as kerouac is subject to personal procrastination.
Tom Mueller
A book of sketches as only Kerouac envisioned; that of words. Written during what critics have called Kerouac's most literate periods - between 1952 & 1957 while not coincidentally he was on the road almost constantly - published posthumously in 2006.
Cherie
May 04, 2008 Cherie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry, beats
B- The idea--publish Kerouac's sketches (his journal of dashed of writing that was often not complete). Sometimes, very interesting, but other times, you realize there are reasons all of this was not published.
Shant Barsoumian
Mar 17, 2009 Shant Barsoumian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Kerouac captures his stream of consciousness/Jazz/beatnik style in poetry form, a lot if it is just observations but they capture the moment without over thinking things. Lots of pretty insightful stuff too and great one liners at times.
Nicole
Jun 06, 2013 Nicole rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Some thoughts best left unpublished.
Rich
Jan 07, 2011 Rich rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Kerouac, you will always be my favorite
Ollie
Dec 29, 2011 Ollie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: know-it-poet
Interesting!
Mugren Al-Ohaly
Sep 06, 2014 Mugren Al-Ohaly rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014
I really don't like this book. I believe the description is misleading. It's not beautiful or poetic. All it is are short pieces listing what is in front of him using plain words.
Sandra
Dec 01, 2014 Sandra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sé el nombre de la obra de tu vida..."
Satine Dali
Blurred lines of time and travel. The humanity of it all.
Isaac Miller
Sep 21, 2008 Isaac Miller rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've found a lot of inspiration from this book. Every time I pick it up I feel encouraged to work on my own poetry.
Josh
May 11, 2008 Josh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dulouz-legend
new york tok to slap paint on
Katy
May 26, 2009 Katy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
I read from this book to my son during his baths. He seemed neutral. I really liked reading it to him, but if I had read this quietly to myself, I would not have enjoyed it so much.
Casey
Jun 28, 2012 Casey rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
This book showed me that making a mess and seeing what happens is the best possible way ti write poetry and begin fiction.
M. J.
How to pack a rucksack.
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  • Reality Sandwiches
  • Jack Kerouac: Angelheaded Hipster
  • Why Kerouac Matters: The Lessons of On the Road (They're Not What You Think)
  • Big Sky Mind: Buddhism and the Beat Generation
  • Pomes Penyeach and Other Verses
  • The Annotated Milton: Complete English Poems
  • Poems and Translations
  • Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, The Beat Generation, And America
  • Hiding Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme
  • Open All Night: New Poems
  • Selected Poems of Robert Creeley
  • Letters
  • Pieces of a Song: Selected Poems
  • The Typewriter Is Holy: The Complete, Uncensored History of the Beat Generation
  • Jack's Book: An Oral Biography of Jack Kerouac
  • Selected Poems
  • Road-side Dog
  • The Art of the Lathe
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Jack Kerouac was born Jean-Louis Lebris de Kerouac on March 12, 1922, in Lowell, Massachusetts. Jack Kerouac's writing career began in the 1940s, but didn't meet with commercial success until 1957, when On the Road was published. The book became an American classic that defined the Beat Generation. Kerouac died on October 21, 1969, from an abdominal hemorrhage, at age 47.


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“A scene should be selected by the writer for haunted-ness-of-mind interest.
If you're not haunted by something, as by a dream, a vision, or a memory, which are involuntary, you're not interested or even involved.”
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“Hateful bitch of a world, it wouldn't ever last.” 30 likes
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