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E-BOOKS: WHAT CAN AN ENHANCED E-BOOK, “E +,” DO FOR JACK KEROUAC’S ON THE ROAD?

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ON THE ROAD

In a prior post we wrote about the enhanced e-book, “e +,” as a new genre which requires the incorporation of many disciplines and technologies. Now, Penguin Books has published an enhanced e-book by Jack Kerouac’s novel: On the Road. Both Penguin editors and the Kerouac estate curated this digital edition of On the Road. The book includes valuable features that show what can be done with the enhanced e-book novel, and is an excellent example of the use of New Media digital technology to enhance the value of the e-book, and the reader’s experience.

FROM THE PUBLISHER

The legendary novel from the postwar prophet of American literature—brought to life as an iPad app with exclusive content for an absorbing and transformative experience… Pulsating with the rhythms of jazz, frenetic sex, illicit drugs, and the mystery and promise of the open road, this iconic novel defined what it meant to be “beat” and captured the impulses of a liberated underground America.

WHAT CAN “ENHANCEMENT” ADD TO ON THE ROAD E-BOOK?
On the Road - Screenshots
Screenshot from the enhanced On the Road

The publishers divide the book’s features into four sections “Rare and Never-Before-Seen Material,” “A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Publication,” “An Encyclopedic Take on Kerouac and the Beats,” and of course, “Additional Technical Features.” You can read about some of the features in Penguin’s website, but here are a few selected ones:

  • Prized family photographs from Kerouac’s estate, many published here for the first time
  • Exclusive audio clips of Kerouac himself reading three excerpts from an early draft
  • Documentary footage of fellow Beats sharing their firsthand impressions of Kerouac and thoughts on his celebrated literary career
  • Pages from the journals Kerouac kept while on the road, with notes on the novel’s plot and structure
  • Reproductions of Kerouac’s first draft of the novel on the 120-foot scroll as well as later typescripts with corrections made by him and his editors
  • Extensive collection of original reviews, showing the literary community’s reaction to a major new voice
  • Side-by-side comparisons of Kerouac’s famous original scroll draft and the published text, highlighting the editorial work that went into his masterpiece as well as the elements removed on the recommendation of Viking’s lawyers—including some of Kerouac’s most explicit treatments of sex, drug use, and other “obscenities”
  • Fully interactive map of the now legendary trips from 1947, 1949, and 1950 taken by Dean and Sal in the book, with historical photographs and notes on the contemporary context
  • Gallery of new and classic photographs of all the famous Beats
  • Detailed biography with an in-depth look at Kerouac’s personal and artistic life

The enhanced e-book of On the Road is available on iTunes for $16.99

A FORK IN THE ROAD
The fork taken by publisher Backlit Fiction is much different. As reported by Angela Wattercutter in Wired:

Backlit Fiction  envisions future e-books as far more social experiences, incorporating what [the publisher] calls “literary Farmville” aspects. For instance, secret chapters could be unlocked as a person’s friends read a book. Backlit foresees readers using a reddit-like model to up-vote characters or storylines they enjoy, or publishers forming partnerships with Foursquare that could reveal clues to readers who check in at certain locations. Backklit seeks to have its electronic books evolve into television shows or movies.

AND NOW, A KEROUAC AND GINZBERG VIDEO, FROM YOUTUBE
Check this out,

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