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On the Road Paperback – Jan 1 1976


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Books; 1 edition (Jan. 1 1976)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0140042598
  • ISBN-13: 978-0140042597
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 1.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (494 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)


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I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Strange fiction fan on Oct. 6 2006
Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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. I love learning and reading about the beat generation, but this book was just too slow for me and far to bland. There were no peaks.

I really wish I liked it but, you can't like all the classics I suppose.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 5 2004
Format: Paperback
I read this book because a friend said it was her favorite book. About a hundred pages in I was completely bored, and I was only able to finish it through sheer will power. Only a few gems of insight into the human character are scattered throughout an endless stream of "and then, and then, and then" escapades. I did not relate to anyone in the book; characters are restless, aimless, without direction, eager to go somewhere just for the sake of going, unable to commit to anything or anyone, including each other, always sure that the best thing is just around the bend. They're like kids in an amusement park who want to ride everything, but shortly after they get in line for one ride, they decide to get in line for another ride, and they repeat this until the park is closed. So I felt little sympathy for them when they would inevitably find themselves down and out somewhere, wondering why they hadn't arrived at the mirage, and wondering which mirage to chase next.
My personality is just not at all suited to this kind of aimless wandering.
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By Mason Buettner on July 2 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A classic!
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By jonnykaspe on April 11 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The first psychedelic book. Required reading for any serious student of the world. One of the great books of all time.
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Format: Paperback
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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Format: Paperback
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
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