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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: 13.1 x 1.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 222 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (498 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #563 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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.

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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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Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By James Gallen TOP 100 REVIEWER on March 12 2009
Format: Paperback
"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 commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"

This was my first introduction to Jack Kerouac. I found this book to be fantastic! For those like me who have heard of Kerouac and "On The Road" but really do not know what it is about I will provide a brief synopsis without giving too much away. It is the story of Sal Paradise (substitute for Kerouac) and his friend, Dean Moriarty (modeled on Kerouac's friend) and their late 1940s cross country searches for "it", music, sex, liquor...life, as they know it.

Those who have read my other reviews may be surprised at my gushing praise for this classic of the Beat Generation. The life style described in this book is, in my opinion, utterly disgusting. What makes this book great, to my taste, is the writing style. It is a fast paced, stream of consciousness description of totally irresponsible, hedonistic behavior. I would not recommend this life style to anyone but I do recommend the book to any fan of great writing with the maturity to avoid the siren call to take to the road.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sarah Sammis on June 13 2004
Format: Paperback
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 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 is one of those books that I had often heard about, but never got around to reading, until recently. While I'd like to say I understand now what all the fuss was about, and how important this book was, especially for the generation that came of age in the 1950's, I can't. I'm sure it revolutionized how the American novel, and was iconic or non-conformist or who knows what else, but nobody ever tells you how boring so much of it is. The cast of characters, loosely based on Kerouac and and a group of his friends who all eventually became quite famous as part of the counter-culture of the time, travel back and forth across the United States. They drink and party a lot, they sleep with various women, although not excessively, and they are constantly on the look-out for some sort of meaning to their lives, or maybe they just want to have more fun. They drive, take buses, hop freight trains and hitchhike, from New York City to Denver to San Francisco, then back again, then back the other way, then... You get the idea. It was okay for a while, until I realized that this was all that would be going on in the book. Then it became very hard to get through. None of the characters are very realistic, and there are a few that are just plain weird, although not otherwise interesting, and I guess it's great that they lived like irresponsible teenagers for a while, but honestly I couldn't get myself to care very much about what they were doing (see above) or what was going to happen to any of them (spoiler alert: not a whole heck of a lot!). So, I guess I'm a Philistine who doesn't appreciate art. Or this book is just too dated to matter anymore.
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