Inscribed On the Road book set to see $12,000 in Beat auction

A signed an inscribed copy of the Beat Generation bible On the Road, made out to author Jack Kerouac from Neal Cassady, is set to auction at PBA Galleries in its Beats, Counterculture & Avant Garde auction in San Francisco.

Jack Kerouac On The Road Neal Cassady
Cassady was the inspiration for Dean Moriarty, the book's central character



The association copy, signed by Cassady, his daughter and wife and poet Allen Ginsberg, is expected to make $8,000-12,000.

Neal Cassasdy was a major figure in the 1950s and 1960s counterculture and provided the inspiration for On the Road's Dean Moriarty. The book, a breathless monument of the post-war era, became the defining work of the Beat Generation.

Cassady's inscription reads, "Neal L Cassady, Tell it John", with Jack Kerouac having been born Jean-Louis and commonly known as John to his friends.

Also starring the auction is a first edition printing of Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, which served as the successor to Kerouac's On the Road in becoming a go-to text for the counterculture of the time.

This edition has been signed by the writer, as well as its central character Ken Kesey and 40 other key figures of the day, warranting an estimate of $7,000-10,000. Further adding to its appeal are two colour photographs pasted onto the front free endpaper, which show Kesey and the Merry Prankster's bus, "Further".


William Burroughs was a cult writer who spent much of his life addicted to heroin and methodone

The auction contains a number of items from various countercultures and subversive writers, including a bottle from William S Burroughs' methadone prescription, which has been filled with stones from his gravesite and a .45 calibre shell fired from his gun. It will auction with a $600-900 estimate.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has some superb literary collectibles for sale. We also have a fantastic poster from the California League of Sexual Freedom, starring The Doors and Captain Beefheart.

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