I agree that Visions of Cody was a great book, tho I lost my copy of it last summer. Another one of my faves would have to be The Dharma Bums, I thought it was very prosy and well done. Not to mention, Mexico City Blues which I thought was brilliant. I should get into the exercise of reading one blue a day, then when I get to the last page, back to the beginning and do it over again, repeat. (I think I'll start trying that one today.) On The Road is great to intro someone to him, from there they're pretty much decided as to whether they like him or not. Tristessa seemed hard for me to read, but i could see the beauty of this ravaged junkie in there that the narrator was in love with in MExico City, and it all seemed so sad. Desolation Angels was interesting, that book, for me as someone who's interested in Kerouac, made me felt as if I'm watching him going into despair, just getting off Desolation Peak, then coming off the mountain into fame and he's thinking "I don't want it -- why bother--- it's all nothingness."
But I'm kind of taking a sabbatical from Kerouac and the last book I've read was The Town and The City back in January. I'm considering picking up a copy of "Satori in Paris/Tic" the next time, or maybe I'll pick up "Visions of Cody" again. Gotta have that line "Everything belongs to me because I am poor." on the bookshelf somewhere. When I first read that line, I felt my jaw dropped at the whole simple brilliance of that line.