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On the Road

A book by Jack Kerouac

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  • Jul 15, 2005
This is one of those works that sort of draws a line in the sand as to American Literature. As you will note from the various reviews, folks either love or hate this particular book. I first read this work as a very young man, with the attitude of a youth in the 1950s and 1960s. My view of that work was completely different than my view during a recent reread, having reached geezerdom. Having traveled a few of the roads that the narrator, Sal, traveled, in more ways than one, I can say that the author hit pretty close to the mark in most areas. That being said, I must admit that my recent reading brought a great sadness on me, more for the author himself, rather than that of the so called "beat" generation. Most of the beats finally grew out of it. I have the feeling the author never did. That to me is sad. The work though, is good if you like this particular style. The author does hit upon and well expresses several truths and I feel he does give a voice to that era which hits the mark pretty well. This is one of those works, much like Catcher in the Rye, that really should be read, if only for the expierence. It is always nice to taste different foods even though, after finishing, you might tell yourself "never again." All in all I highly recommend this one. Read it and pass your own judgement.

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review by . June 27, 2010
On the Road is one of the finest works from travel writer Jack Kerouac.  The fiction novel is based on Kerouac’s own journeys crossing the United States in the late fifties, a time when hitchhiking was a safer and more practiced means of inexpensive travel and adventure.               The greatest draw to Kerouac’s On the Road is the cast of wild and enduring characters Sal Paradise encounters as he hitches one ride …
review by . August 25, 2010
Not three weeks on a roll of teletype paper but nearly a decade in the making, this "prose narrative" celebrates the myth that would become the Beats. What may be overlooked is the time this novel takes place: 1947-49. It's a pivot between the wartime duty & conformist necessity and the individualist, rebellious reaction that would turn into the culture of teenagers, rock, be-bop, and fads. This book's celebration of "con-man angel" Neal Cassady's familiar to …
review by . July 12, 2010
The king of the Beatniks some say, Jack Kerouac, is no doubt one of the greatest American authors of the twentieth century.  The Beatnik culture of the 1950s is one often overlooked.  In all their subversive tendencies, the Beatniks built a path for all counter-cultural clans of hipsters to come. They countered taboo and broke way for sexual liberation.  They put a new face on American literature and poetry.  They created a whole …
Quick Tip by . August 25, 2010
I reviewed the Original Scroll edition published 2007 over at the other listing for this title subtitled "novel." It gives the rawer, uncensored version of what the 1957 polished book had to understandably delete,
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
America's hippie liberal for the fifties. Kerouac's almost socialist view of what could be America's future never got a footing outside a small group. and with good reason. He just did not make long-term sense.
Quick Tip by . July 04, 2010
I really didn't enjoy this book. The main characters are deplorable and pathetic. Dean, in particular, is supposed to be the epitome of the beatnik, living his life to the fullest. But honestly, he's just a guy who sleeps and drinks around, parties too hard, and finally abandons the woman he gets pregnant. I really didn't understand what I was supposed to like about this book.
Quick Tip by . July 13, 2010
To develop you literary muscle, this is an excellent read by a prolific author.
Quick Tip by . July 12, 2010
Read this when I was in High School. It gave me the travel bug. It is definitely fun to read, but I would warn people not to try to live like the main character.
Quick Tip by . July 06, 2010
classic journey of life on the road - a must read
Quick Tip by . July 03, 2010
interesting journey but a little ridiculous at times
About the reviewer
Don Blankenship ()
Ranked #229
Retirement does not suit me and I now substitute teach in our local schools system. I spent twenty years in the military, twenty years in health care as a consultant and have taught in various colleges … more
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About this book


On The Road, the most famous of Jack Kerouac's works, is not only the soul of the Beat movement and literature, but one of the most important novels of the century. Like nearly all of Kerouac's writing,On The Roadis thinly fictionalized autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac's real life friends, lovers, and fellow travelers. Narrated by Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac's alter-egos,On the Roadis a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest levels of American thought and culture.
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ISBN-10: 0140042598
ISBN-13: 978-0140042597
Author: Jack Kerouac
Publisher: Penguin

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1984 (British first edition)



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