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On the Road (Penguin Great Books of the 20th…
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On the Road (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century) (original 1957; edition 1999)

by Jack Kerouac

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24,25433798 (3.66)922
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.… (more)
Member:ambientguitar
Title:On the Road (Penguin Great Books of the 20th Century)
Authors:Jack Kerouac
Info:Penguin Books (1999), Edition: 1, Paperback, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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Work details

On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Author) (1957)

  1. 122
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (MyriadBooks)
  2. 92
    On the Road : The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac (alaskayo)
    alaskayo: If you still have the choice, do not pick up the originally-published edition and instead go for the Original Scroll. This should be on its way to replacing just plain ol' On the Road as the primo Kerouac (and even Beat) text for the adventurous romantics to become enamored with. More rhythm, more life, more of that depressing truth that filled Kerouac's subsequent work. It's a much stronger book.… (more)
  3. 30
    Off the Road: My Years with Cassady, Kerouac, and Ginsberg by Carolyn Cassady (Jannes)
    Jannes: Interesting behind-the-scenes look, and also something of an counterpoint to the tendency of over-romanticizing Jack and the gang that we, or at least I, are sometimes guiltily of. If you're a Beat-geek you can't really ignore this one.
  4. 74
    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (thiagobomfim)
  5. 53
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig (hippietrail)
  6. 20
    The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac (soulster)
  7. 10
    Cigarett : roman by Per Hagman (Sawengo)
  8. 10
    Go by John Clellon Holmes (gbill)
  9. 10
    Théorie du voyage : Poétique de la géographie by Michel Onfray (askthedust)
  10. 21
    The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño (hippietrail)
  11. 10
    Tredje stenen från solen : roman by Claes Holmström (Sawengo)
  12. 00
    The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon (CGlanovsky)
  13. 00
    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac (John_Vaughan)
  14. 00
    One and Only: The Untold Story of On the Road by Gerald Nicosia (mrkay)
  15. 12
    Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar (caflores)
    caflores: Gente que busca y no sabe qué.
  16. 13
    The Day of the Locust by Nathanael West (hippietrail)
  17. 010
    Ye Ole Fiendly Towne and Other Whittier Zombie Haikus: Whittier is suddenly scoured with zombies! And just where is Doobie McDonald during these mayhaps...BAY-beh!? by Doobie McDonald (privycouncilpress)
    privycouncilpress: A road trip film symbolizing the mindtrip your soul will have while reading 'Ye Ole Fiendly Towne and Other Whittier Zombie Haikus"
1950s (15)
Read (92)
Books (23)
Read (16)
1960s (208)
Beat (10)
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» See also 922 mentions

English (308)  Italian (8)  French (7)  Spanish (4)  German (3)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  Swedish (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (337)
Showing 1-5 of 308 (next | show all)
I've had this sitting on my shelf for a little while now and pushed on by my enjoyment of Junky by Burroughs I decided it was time to give it a go. I actually also have 'The Dharma Bums' on my shelf but decided to go for this as its longer and also Kerouac's most famous work. As usual with the Penguin Modern Classics series there is an intro about the author and the book itself. This section of the book adds some interesting background to the story, especially the fact that he wrote it all in a 3 week burst on a single roll of paper.

I have a rule where any book I pick up gets 100 pages to draw me in and gain my interest. If it fails to do this I tend to hand it away to anyone who wants it. So far this rule has served me well, I have only given up on a couple of books. Initially I thought that this book was going to be a disaster, I just couldn't get into it. I found the prose hard to follow in places, in particular because of Kerouac's tendency to insanely long sentences. I couldn't wait to hit page 100 knowing that I could put the book aside but at the same time feeling sad that a modern classic had passed me by without effect.

Eventually though this changed and I started to find myself being drawn in and wanting to read on. The prose was still a pain to navigate at times but it has an energy to it. There is some real zeal to the writing especially in places where Moriarty is in a frenzied state of excitement. This is very evident when he is caught up in a new exciting place such as New Orleans or when they are watching Jazz musicians perform. During these parts I saw a glimmer or what caught the imagination of people when the book was first published. I could feel the excitement that the book would have created for young men wanting to travel carefree across America and beyond.

I really liked Sal Paradise (Kerouac) although found his looking up to Dean Moriarty (Cassady) a bit bewildering. Moriarty didnt appeal to me, I understand being carefree and wanting to live the simple life but criminality stretches it too far for me. As the book progresses you can feel Moriarty starting to lose grip mentally. He starts off as a bit of a likeable pain and slowly becomes an asshole (excuse my language).

Overall I liked the book, I found some of the prose great and some of it really self indulgent drivel. I had hoped it would be more like Burroughs in Junky and it was quite different. I don't think its a book I will return to, I think I may have come to it too late in life to full appreciate it's gift. I am however very glad I stuck with it, its not a book that I will instantly forget. I suspect I will read 'The Dharma Bums', just not for a while. I am more likely to read more Burroughs next time I am in a 'Beat' mood than Kerouac. ( )
  Brian. | Jun 14, 2021 |
I chose to read this book for it's literary and cultural importance. It's often cited as one of the defining works of the Beatnik generation, and as a person who is somewhat of a Hippie, I felt I needed to read this.

I expected to enjoy it more than I did. Unfortunately, I found myself rather bored, as the story didn't seem to have a particular direction or particular arc, just the meandering travels of Sal and co. I couldn't quite get into the story, as the characters didn't feel particularly compelling to me. Sal came across as bland to me, while Dean was unpleasant to follow. Overall it felt very "white male" to me, in the sense that the characters can hitchhike without fear, the way they treat women (Terry, Camille, Marylou, etc.) and the comments on non-white characters. This is not meant as a critique, but rather, a commentary on how it clearly is a product of it's time - readers like myself may see themselves as the background characters, and not as Sal or Dean. This fact in and of itself can highlight important changes through American literary history, and important shifts through the Alternative/Counterculture movements that follow the Beatnik generation.

Overall, while this work is considered an American classic, it may bore some readers with its writing style, and others may feel alienated from the story. As important as this work is, and it should retain that place in canon, it may not be everyone's favourite work of literature.
  WaldensLibrary | Jun 9, 2021 |
This could have been so much better.

I hated, hated the Dean character. Whenever he was out of the picture, things settled down, the writing sparkled, the story captivated me. Then he's back, and everything gets stupid again; and once again I have to slog through paragraph after paragraph, page after page, of him banging two girls at once and saying "Oh yass" and running around in a circle and smoking "tea" and oh what a party it was and listening to bop and having only two dollars left.

Sample paragraph with Dean around:
"He giggled maniacally and didn't care; he rubbed his fly, stuck is finger in Marylou's dress, slurped up her knee, frothed at the mouth, and said, 'Darling, you know and I know that everything is straight between us at last beyond the furthest abstract definition in metaphysical terms or any terms you want to specify or sweetly impose or harken back...' and so on, and zoom went the car and we were off again for California."

Sample paragraph without Dean:
"I took the Washington bus; wasted some time there wandering around; went out of my way to see the Blue Ridge; heard the bird of Shenandoah and visited Stonewall Jackson's grave; at dusk stood expectorating in the Kanawha River and walked the hillbilly night of Charleston, West Virginia; ad midnight Ashland, Kentucky, and a lonely girl under the marquee of a closed-up show. The dark and mysterious Ohio, and Cincinnati at dawn. Then Indiana fields again, and St. Louis as ever in its great valley clouds of afternoon. The muddy cobbles and the Montana logs, the broken steamboats, the ancient signs, the grass and the ropes by the river. The endless poem. by night Missouri, Kansas fields, Kansas night-cows in the secret wides, cracerkbox towns with a sea for the end of every street; dawn in Abilene. East Kansas grasses become West Kansas rangelands that climb up to the hill of the Western night." ( )
1 vote Tytania | May 30, 2021 |
Why haven't I read this? It's been on my shelf for years and years.
  wickenden | Mar 8, 2021 |
There was nowhere to go but everywhere, so just keep on rolling under the stars. ( )
  SolangePark | Jan 26, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 308 (next | show all)
El Sal Paradise de todas las ediciones conocidas de esta novela mítica es aquí, al fin, Kerouac. Y también Cassady, Ginsberg y Burroughs aparecen con sus verdaderos nombres. Con la publicación del rollo original, la gesta viajera y existencial de En la carretera se vuelve autobiográfica de pleno derecho y a plena luz del día, sin censura alguna. Y el relato adquiere toda su potencia narrativa. El lector tiene en sus manos una suerte de manifiesto de la beat generation. Seguimos a Kerouac y a toda la cáfila que desfila por estas páginas en toda su desnudez y penuria. Precursores del movimiento hippy y la contracultura de finales de los años sesenta, los personajes de esta novela pululan sin rumbo por Norteamérica. La sed vital insatisfecha, la búsqueda de horizontes de sentido, de dicha y de conocimiento y los atisbos místicos se estrellan contra una realidad inhóspita y desesperanzada. Un vívido compendio de los grandes temas, y al tiempo una apasionante aventura humana y una metáfora de la existencia. «El rollo original de On the Road es una de las más veneradas y enigmáticas reliquias de la literatura moderna... Un texto fascinante» (James Campbell, The Times Literary Supplement).
added by Pakoniet | editLecturalia
 

» Add other authors (45 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kerouac, JackAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Charters, AnnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Golüke, GuidoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Holmes, AndrewCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Muller, FrankNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pivano, FernandaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sauter, PeeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vandenbergh, JohnTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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First words
I first met Dean not long after my wife and I split up.
Quotations
". . . and I shambled after as I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because 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!'"
In the window I smelled all the food of San Francisco.   There were seafood places out there where the buns were hot, and the baskets were good enough to eat too; where the menus themselves were soft with foody esculence as though dipped in hot broths roasted dry and good enough to eat too.  Just show me the bluefish spangle on a seafood menu, and I'd eat it; let me smell the butter and lobster claws.  There were places where hamburgers sizzled on grills and the coffee was only a nickel.  And oh, that pan fried chow mein flavored air that blew into my room from Chinatown, vying with the spaghetti sauces of North Beach, the soft-shell crab of Fisherman's Wharf- nay, the ribs of Fillmore turning on spits! Throw in the Market street chili beans, red-hot, and french-fried potatoes of the Embarcadero wino night, and steamed clams from Sausalito across the bay, and that's ah-dream of San Francisco.  Add fog, hunger making, raw fog, and the throb of neons in the soft night, the clack of high heeled beauties, white doves in a Chinese grocery window.
Great beautiful clouds floated overhead, valley clouds that made you feel the vastness of old tumbledown holy America from mouth to mouth and tip to tip.
'You have absolutely no regard for anybody but yourself and your damned kicks. All you think about is what's hanging between your legs and how much money or fun you can get out of people and then you just throw them aside. Not only that but you're silly about it. It never occurs to you that life is serious and there are people trying to make something decent out of it instead of just goofing all the time.'
Every one of these things I said was a knife at myself. Everything I had ever secretly held against my brother was coming out: how ugly I was and what filth I was discovering in the depths of my own impure psychologies.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Do not combine with On the Road: The Original Scroll
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Wikipedia in English (2)

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.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Sal Paradise, un giovane newyorkese con ambizioni letterarie, incontra Dean Moriarty, un ragazzo dell'Ovest. Uscito dal riformatorio, Dean comincia a girovagare sfidando le regole della vita borghese, sempre alla ricerca di esperienze intense. Dean decide di ripartire per l'Ovest e Sal lo raggiunge; è il primo di una serie di viaggi che imprimono una dimensione nuova alla vita di Sal. La fuga continua di Dean ha in sé una caratteristica eroica, Sal non può fare a meno di ammirarlo, anche quando febbricitante, a Città del Messico, viene abbandonato dall'amico, che torna negli Stati Uniti.
(piopas)
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Penguin Australia

4 editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141182679, 0140265007, 0141037482, 0141198206

Recorded Books

An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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HighBridge

An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.

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