On the Road (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) Paperback – 24 Jun 1999
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|Paperback, 24 Jun 1999||
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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 Road is thinly fictionalised autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac's real life friends, lovers and fellow travellers. Narrated by Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac's alter-egos, this cross-country bohemian odyssey not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest levels of American thought and culture. --Acton Lane --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
"Life is great, and few can put the zest and wonder and sadness and humor of it on paper more interestingly than Kerouac." --San Francisco Chronicle
Life is great, and few can put the zest and wonder and sadness and humor of it on paper more interestingly than Kerouac. San Francisco Chronicle"
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Top Customer Reviews
In "On The Road", Sal Paradise(Kerouac), a young writer from New York City, ventures to cities around the country, staying with old friends, making new friends, and doing everything he can to stay alive and move on. His mentor and friend, Dean Moriarty(Neal Cassidy), often travels with Sal, always talking, laughing, and being his insane self. Now let's stop and take a brief look at the fascinating life of Dean Moriarty: Throughout the story, Dean plays several different women, has 3 wives and 4 children, half of whom he can't account for ever meeting. He was born in Salt Lake City, and grew up going to reform schools and jail. Dean was an infamous hustler in Texas and Denver who was always stealing cars and money, but never for more then $10 or just when he needed a quick ride. He was insane, always laughing and having a great time, and always getting the most he could out of life. Sal and Dean experienced some great high's and low's of travelling together, seeing such cities as Chicago, Denver, San Francisco, and Mexico City. Throughout the book you get to know the fascinating personalities of Sal, Dean, and several other characters.
Just as important as the story and the characters is the STYLE in which the book is written; it's this style, which gives the book its vibrant, breathless, spontaneous intensity. And, yes, this is where the book really earns its legendary status, because few other books are able to convey the exhilaration and excitement and fun of a mad attempt to "seize the day.Read more ›
The novel overall has a fresh feel and I think this is because the idea of youth searching for more than the conformity of the society they are in is an idea which is being constantly being explored. This does not mean that the book is cliqued however as although the subject matter might not be original, the descriptions of their methods, ideas and the people they encounter is. Crossing the American continent is exhausting enough (I know, I did it) and Kerouac does not hide from the reader the exhaustion, the dirty aspects, the arguments along the way.
One of the stronger aspects of the novel are the people that Sal and Dean encounter along the way. They have various conversations with drunks, travellers, drug addicts and poor immigrant workers all of whom often add more insight than Sal and his friends can provide. The friendship between Sal and Dean is also interesting and goes through many changes throughout as they spilt then meet up again.
A lot has been said on the bad behaviour of the characters and yes they take drugs, have wild parties, visit Mexican brothels and steal cars. This might not seem so shocking now but when you consider these guys were born before my grandmother it just goes to show that despite the fact that each generation thinks they invented teenage bad behaviour, they really didn't.Read more ›
This wonderful book is crammed full of life, excitement, love, yearning and a delight in experiencing the new. I read it in about 1972, the tail-end of the Hippy Era and it made me realise that I had to....just like Dean and Sal...go on the road. Directly inspired by this book I spent the next few years hitchiking around the UK and Europe, experiencing everything I could.
Regard it as a manual for living. Kerouac had a tender, religious attitude to his fellow man. He was endlessly fascinated by everyone and everything around him. He also had little regard for materialism...other than a bottle of liquor, a joint or a bebop record. For Jack, experience and friendship is everything.
More than anything it is a thrilling read. Kerouac takes you with you on his epic journey of self-discovery and you will NEVER forget the ride.
Let's just hope the new movie - it it EVER appears - does justic to this sacred text.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
After falling in love with Ginsberg's Howl and Burroughs Junkie I thought it was about time I read the most publicisied 'Beat Generation Book' 'On The Road'. Read morePublished 25 days ago by Amazon Customer
I read this so many years ago but lost my copy. Nice to have it back, although it is so dated now. Galatea and Ed Dunkel remembered.Published 27 days ago by Amazon Customer
Read this because it was a classic- you can get why but in the end I am too fuddyduddy not to find Sam and Dean's irresponsibility irritating.Published 1 month ago by R. S. Stanier
Love the fact my children want this book... the next generation...!!Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
At the end it arrived!! Thank you!! Book in excellent conditions with a nice bookmark :)Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A bit rambling and not an easy read. I expected more of what some refer to as a classic!Published 1 month ago by Tripod
ravings of a qualuude head but entertaining nonetheless, not sure what all fuss is aboutPublished 2 months ago by THOMAS