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On the road by Jack Kerouac
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On the road (original 1957; edition 1986)

by Jack Kerouac

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
25,28434893 (3.65)926
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:ibelknap1983
Title:On the road
Authors:Jack Kerouac
Info:New York : Penguin Books, 1986.
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:None

Work Information

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 (13)
Read (92)
Books (23)
Read (16)
1960s (208)
Beat (10)
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English (318)  Italian (8)  French (7)  Spanish (4)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (348)
Showing 1-5 of 318 (next | show all)
As someone who loves being on the road I was looking for some thoughts on what is good about being on a road trip. Jack Kerouac does bring something to this. He talks about wanting to get back on the road and follow the white line. His trips are about people, more than landscape and certainly not about sightseeing! There is nothing mundane here, they never do any laundry and rarely manage to work for long. The journeys go on and things happen and they meet people and we hear their stories. There is affection for all the variety of people they meet and some interest in the landscapes. Occasionally his prose is so fantastic and descriptive it blew me away. His words for the heat of the night in Mexico when he is sleeping on the car roof took me there. Dean is his travelling companion and he is both difficult and likeable. I am glad I got round to reading this eventually. ( )
1 vote CarolKub | Oct 14, 2021 |
For years I had a vague feeling that I should read this, but really didn't want to, because people I knew in college wrote so much terrible crap under his influence - and maybe because I associated it with macho cool, and thought it might make me feel wimpy and naive. Fortunately I got over it and this really is a great novel.

Kerouac and his friend Neal Cassady (a.k.a. Sal and Dean) travel around, lose each other off and on, settle down once in a while, meet people. Dean is a broken person, kind of sociopathic in a non-aggressive way, but he's entertaining so he gets away with things; Sal is obsessed with trying to figure him out and describes him as a mythic figure, and Sal has some big ideas about himself too: writer, free spirit, representative of the new jazz bohemia, etc. But somehow even so, the book doesn't really allow him or Dean to become larger than life; things keep happening around them and in spite of them, and Sal keeps losing sight of his navel and getting caught up in the stories of others. Kerouac describes a diverse assortment of people, landscapes, towns, jobs, and relationships, all with such affection that you can see why Sal wants to keep moving and see them all, but he (mostly) manages to avoid the sense that they're all just about what they mean to the narrator - he values them for just existing, and Sal also understands at some level that Dean is whatever he is and has his own story.

It would be stupid to use this as a template for your own pursuit of happiness, and many of the characters behave very badly, but it's a humane book. The prose has a casual elegance and it's also pretty funny. Read it for what's in it, not for the mythology. ( )
  elibishop173 | Oct 11, 2021 |
I should hate this novel.

It's essentially plotless, more a stream of consciousness dialogue of observations, generally issued in a drug-induced/sexually aroused/adrenaline-fueled state of mind. There's no real character arcs, and there's not really a likeable character in the pile...

...and yet.

There's something about this novel, the pulsating rhythm of its prose, it's incandescent observations of people and places from an earlier, less jaded, more hopeful age, that simply captures me and drags me in.

I should hate this novel, but goddamn...I love it. ( )
  TobinElliott | Sep 3, 2021 |
One of those books I discovered in high school that was not on the reading list. So when I should have been reading Rolvaag's Giants in the Earth, I was reading this, impatient to get out of town. This was one of the signposts on the way. ( )
  HenrySt123 | Jul 19, 2021 |
Little interest other than historical (style). ( )
  KENNERLYDAN | Jul 11, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 318 (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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Epigraph
Dedication
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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Do not combine with On the Road: The Original Scroll
Publisher's editors
Blurbers
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS
Canonical LCC

References to this work on external resources.

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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