Jack Kerouac: The Town and The City

Updated: Feb 10, 2019


The Town and The City

by Jack Kerouac

Published: February 1950


The Town and The City is the first novel by novelist Jack Kerouac, best known for his 1957 novel On the Road. Released to mixed reviews, The Town and The City was not a commercial success at the time of its original release.


Excerpts


"Out on the hillside, by the cemetery, the rosy sun slants in through the elm leaves, a fresh breeze blows through the soft grass, the stones gleam in the morning light, there’s the odor of loam and grass - and it’s a joy to know that life is life and death is death."


"Her name was Mary and she was an Irish beauty with black tumbling hair. One look from her and Francis was frozen in his soul. He knew that she would always hold him with those eyes of hers and laugh, somehow, because of it."


"Someday on his motorcycle he wanted to go far out across the U.S.A. - just for the "hell of it" and just for something else, too - to see sublime mountains, massive canyons, great mountain forests drumming in high winds, lakes where he could pitch camp, the deserts and the mesas and the great rivers that somehow had forgotten him, the vast "man's country" of his boyish dreams."


"To this boy of New England the May morning was like faint music in the woods again, some unspeakably exciting foregathering of events far in the deep shade of morning pines, all of it stirring there. He could hear it all faintly in the woods from far away, from across the fields and pastures, in the cool misty morning air, and he wanted to go there."

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