The First Critique Kerouac Read of “On the Road” on This Day in 1957

Thanks Stephanie for reminding us of this historic date.

Stephanie Nikolopoulos


After years on the road, multiple drafts, and arguments over edits, Jack Kerouac at last saw the publication of the book that would put him on the map –On the Road— on this day, September 5, in 1957.He and his girlfriend, Joyce Johnson, who would become an author in her own right, excitedly went to see how the Beat Generation novel was received by the media:

Together they picked up a copy of the midnight edition of the September 5 The New York Times and headed over to Donnelly’s Bar to read the review that would shift his fortune.

The reviewer, Charles Poore, enamored with Ernest Hemingway, John Steinbeck, and Bernard Malamud, had passed on reviewing On the Road because of illness. Had he been the reviewer, the fate of the novel might have changed. Such was Poore’s clout that many publishers determined their publication dates based on…

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3 Responses to “The First Critique Kerouac Read of “On the Road” on This Day in 1957”
  1. Andrew says:

    Fascinating, I’ll be visiting SF soon to retrace the Beats.

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