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On the Road [Paperback]

Jack Kerouac
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (495 customer reviews)
List Price: CDN$ 17.00
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Book Description

Jan. 1 1976
On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac's years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, "a sideburned hero of the snowy West." As "Sal Paradise" and "Dean Moriarty," the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.

Kerouac’s classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be “Beat” and has inspired every generation since its initial publication more than fifty years ago.

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On the Road + The Dharma Bums + Naked Lunch
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Product Description

From Amazon

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 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 Road is 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.

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of Kerouac get the whole beautiful, groovy deal with this new recording of the radically hip novel that many consider the heart of the Beat movement. Poetic, open and raw, Kerouac's prose lays out a cross-country adventure as experienced by Sal Paradise, an autobiographical character. A writer holed up in a room at his aunt's house, Paradise gets inspired by Dean Moriarty (a character based on Kerouac's friend Neal Cassady) to hit the road and see America. From the moment he gets on the seven train out of New York City, he takes the reader through the highs and lows of hitchhiking, bonding with fellow explorers and opting for beer before food. First published in 1957, Kerouac's perennially hot story continues to express the restless energy and desire for freedom that makes people rush out to see the world. The tale is only improved by Dillon's well-paced, articulate reading as he voices the flow of images and graveled reality of Paradise's search for the edge.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Road trip June 13 2004
On the Road captures Americana in a stronger and more vivid fashion than John Steinbeck did The Grapes of Wrath. On the Road covers the same route (and more) but doesn't water down the regional flavors with allegory. Instead American from New York to California and all parts in between is shown for its good, bad, rich, poor, and various ethnicities with humor and honesty.
Through Sal's numerous transcontental road trips, Kerouac describes the regional beauty, kirks, culture and geography of every city and state the protagonist passes through. Of the cities I've either lived in or visited that are visited in this book I enjoyed the most--especially his numerous pilgrimages to San Francisco. His first entry into San Francisco is classic: "Over the Oakland Bay Bridge I slept soundly for the first time since Denver; so that I was rudely jolted in the bus station at Market and Fourth... and there she was, Frisco - long, bleak streets with trolle wires all shrouded in fog and whiteness... . Weird bums (Mission and Third) asked me for dimes in the dawn..." This opening paragraph to San Francisco is still apt, if not, perfect.
While the book is an icon of the Beat generation and Sal, the narrator, desires to be among that set, he's abmismal at it. Throughout the book he worships his friend Dean who is the wildly cool womanizing, debauched, drug addicted man Sal wants to be but Sal just can't manage to follow in Dean's footsteps. Whereas Dean will drive over 100 mph, steal cars and delight in getting drunk, Sal will either drive the speed limit or hide in the back when Dean is driving, try to return Dean's joy ridden cars, or want to sleep off the booze he's drunk when around Dean.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Follow the dotted line . . . Oct. 6 2006
This book first appeared in 1957---I read it in 1976, and have now re-read it in 2006. Strange, but it holds up well, yet is dated. A time capsule really, this is a throw back to the "beat" days and a first stab at autobiography. Sald Paradis sis the narrator of this journey, and it covers everything from reform school to hitchhiking. Full of beautiful and disturbing "music" this has now become a classic. So many writers can be connected with Jack K., and certainly Salinger's "Holden" comes to mind with his wacy takes on life and his own "journey." Must also recommend the excellent novel, "Katzenjammer" by Jackson McCrae, for another excellent book.
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5.0 out of 5 stars True yesterday, true today, true tomorrow June 23 2005
Sal Paradise is a writer just like Kerouac who decides to 'see America'. He hitches rides, washes dishes, works on farms, sleeps on floors and under the stars, experiencing new flavors of life and meeting different kinds of people he never thought existed. It is a kaleidoscopic journey across this country, not some plastic trip on flying tin cans, staying in gaudy hotels, hobnobbing with phony people and walking through tourist traps in line with the flock. He meets other writers just like himself coming and going 'On The Road' who convey their own experiences and enrich Sal's ever more in the process.
The conflict comes in the figure of Dean Moriarty, a hustler and con man who the beatniks first embrace as one of their own, but eventually identify for what he is after patterns begin to emerge in his relationships with his peers. Sal at first sees Dean as a hero, a role model, but slowly grows disillusioned with broken promises, threadbare lies, irresponsible behavior, and eventual deceit and betrayal. The whole story is focused on Sal and Dean, and just as the two go off on a tangent down into Mexico and on into Central America, it seems analogous as to how Sal's vision become blurred and misdirected in following an agenda he mistakenly believes to be his own.
This is probably the best book written on the Beat Generation, capturing the essence of the times and the spirit that established what became the underground culture of America. Teens and young adults having trouble articulating their deepest feelings may find that Kerouac did it for them almost a half century ago. Don't miss it! Along with this great novel, I'd also like to recommend, "THE LOSERS' CLUB: Complete Restored Edition" by Richard Perez, a book I can't stop thinking about since I picked up a "used" copy off Amazon.
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Jack Kerouac wrote this novel about several escapades he took across the country in the late 1940's. He used characters from his real life, such as Allen Ginsburg the poet and author; and Neal Cassidy, Kerouac's idol, and changed their names to use in the story.
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Awesome book! Jack Kerouac makes you feel the spirit of the road trip.
Published 1 month ago by MAsse
3.0 out of 5 stars Pick up the pace...
This book had so much hype and I think that might have been what ruined it for me.

I went into it, hearing all these great reviews. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Maria Casacalenda
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
A classic!
Published 2 months ago by Mason Buettner
5.0 out of 5 stars Good stuff
Yeah, y'know, good book, good quality, cheap, what more do you want. I'd buy again. Might buy it for a friend. Absolute must read.
Published 5 months ago by jonnykaspe
4.0 out of 5 stars Real Adventures of America
The first psychedelic book. Required reading for any serious student of the world. One of the great books of all time.
Published 8 months ago by Larry Sales
2.0 out of 5 stars canadians ripped off
I am fortunate enough to live in the USA for part of the year, and thus have an account with Amazon.com.
I purchased the book "On The Road" for 3. Read more
Published 13 months ago by B. Hopkins
5.0 out of 5 stars On the Road again and again
Read this book a number of times now, lost count. Kerouac is an inspriational and creative writer. This book always drives me manic, like Ive got to move move move, man. Read it.
Published 19 months ago by Benjamin P. Roundell
4.0 out of 5 stars On the Road
The book was banged up a bit, but for the dollar that I paid for it, I received exceptional value.

As for the book itself, I am pleased that I finally got around to... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Andrew Raczynski
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast Paced, Stream of Consciousness Writing, Fantastic!
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a... Read more
Published on March 12 2009 by James Gallen
5.0 out of 5 stars Dillon Does it...
I picked this up second-hand a while ago, and just got around to listening to it. Although it helps that I had already read the book several times, Matt Dillon's reading of it... Read more
Published on Dec 31 2005 by Kerouacky
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