Written over the course of three days and three nights, "The Subterraneans" was generated out of the same kind of ecstatic flash of inspiration that produced another one of Kerouac's early classics, "On the Road." Centering around the tempestuous brekup of Leo Percepied and Mardou Fox -- two denizens of the 1950s San Francisco underground -- "The Subterraneans is a tale of dark alleys and smoky rooms, of artists, visionaries, and adventurers existing outside mainstream America's field of vision.
"The first clear development of the American Romantic prose since Hemingway, Kerouac's writing is full of mad sex, comedy, widescreen travel writing, and long lyrical evocations of American childhood and adolescent memories."--"The Times" (London)
"Kerouac's work represents the most extensive experiment in language and literary form undertaken by an American writer of his generation."--Ann Douglas
"Each book by Kerouac is unique, a telepathic discord. Such rich, natural writing is nonpareil in the later twentieth century."--Allen Ginsberg
"An outsider in America, Jack Kerouac was a true original."--Ann Charters