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On the Road by Jack Kerouac
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On the Road (original 1957; edition 1999)

by Jack Kerouac

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28,157386102 (3.63)959
Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. HTML:The classic novel of freedom and the search for authenticity that defined a generation

September 5th, 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of On the Road
Inspired by Jack Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naiveté and wild ambition and imbued with Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz, On the Road is the quintessential American vision of freedom and hope, a book that changed American literature and changed anyone who has ever picked it up.  .… (more)
Member:ennuiprayer
Title:On the Road
Authors:Jack Kerouac
Info:Penguin Books, Paperback, 293 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work Information

On the Road by Jack Kerouac (1957)

  1. 122
    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (MyriadBooks)
  2. 82
    On the Road : The Original Scroll by Jack Kerouac (tootstorm)
    tootstorm: 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. 74
    Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (thiagobomfim)
  4. 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.
  5. 20
    The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac (soulster)
  6. 53
    Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M. Pirsig (hippietrail)
  7. 21
    The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño (hippietrail)
  8. 10
    Théorie du voyage : Poétique de la géographie by Michel Onfray (askthedust)
  9. 10
    Tredje stenen från solen : roman by Claes Holmström (Sawengo)
  10. 10
    Cigarett : roman by Per Hagman (Sawengo)
  11. 10
    Go by John Clellon Holmes (gbill)
  12. 00
    One and Only: The Untold Story of On the Road by Gerald Nicosia (mrkay)
  13. 00
    Big Sur by Jack Kerouac (John_Vaughan)
  14. 00
    The Mysteries of Pittsburgh by Michael Chabon (CGlanovsky)
  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 (115)
Beat (10)
Books (23)
100 (53)
BitLife (115)
Read (16)
Florida (317)
1960s (264)
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» See also 959 mentions

English (348)  Italian (13)  French (7)  Spanish (5)  German (4)  Dutch (3)  Danish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (1)  Catalan (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (385)
Showing 1-5 of 348 (next | show all)
First read in the 2000s while researching at MIT; it was excellent as a concentrated read devoid of distractions. ( )
  sfj2 | Apr 25, 2024 |
A really good look at a specific period in US history. Nothing really transformative or redeeming about it - just a powerful taste of that time in our culture. ( )
  RobertSFox | Dec 12, 2023 |
Reads as the self-important ramblings of a solipsistic alcoholic gallivanting through America with no clear goal at all. His journey has not been ordered into anything readable at all: it sits there as a collection of disjointed episodes of youthful confidence, being about and leading to nothing. There is no reflection.
The only thing keeping this at two stars is the sheer enthusiasm of the writing. ( )
1 vote Maxim2 | Nov 15, 2023 |
Classic novel published in 1957, a fictionalized account of the author's travels back and forth across the continent in the late 1940s. Written in the first person, it tells of Sal Paradise (the narrator) and Dean Moriarty as they hitchhike, drive, and take buses all over the country, meeting various other characters.

In some ways, the novel is a love paean to Dean (Neal Cassady in real life), who seems to be bipolar in manic mode for most of these trips. They do a lot of drinking and smoking marijuana, go out to jazz and other music clubs, and Kerouac spends lots of energy describing the wondrousness of the music he hears. I think the book's depiction of sex was a bit scandalous at the time too- he doesn't describe the sex in any detail, but tells about the chase at length.

This book became one of the key touchstones of the "Beat Generation", and it did help me understand what "Beat" is- young people without a care, searching for new experiences, living on minimal money in post WWII America.

I don't think the book ages that well. Probably I don't get it. The writing isn't anything amazing- I don't think Kerouac was particularly insightful about the inner life, and descriptions of the music and the people are not particularly beautiful or poetic. But I guess the vibe is the point, and he certainly gives us that. ( )
  DanTarlin | Oct 28, 2023 |
A bunch of messed up dudes traveling around, drinking too much, carrying on foolishness, while the rest of America went to work, and tried to be decent human beings. Kerouac has a unique style of writing that carried me through the book, but all I felt when it was finished was despair for the future of the human race.

"Isn't it true that you start your life a sweet child believing in everything under your father's roof? Then comes the day of the Laodiceans, when you know you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, and with the visage of a gruesome grieving ghost you go shuddering through nightmare life."

( )
1 vote MickeyMole | Oct 2, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 348 (next | show all)
The wonder of Kerouac’s muscular, free-form, imagistic language still astonishes. He remains an essential American mythologiser – one caught up in that backstreet world of bohemian life, before it was transformed by the harsh social Darwinism of capitalism. The title of his one towering achievement became a turn of phrase that went global, and his name became an adjective. That strikes me as not a bad legacy for a boy from the mean streets of post-industrial New England. A hundred years after his birth, we still want to live that Kerouacian vision of life as one long cool stretch of highway.
 

» Add other authors (108 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack Kerouacprimary authorall editionscalculated
Brice, SilvijaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Buckley, PaulCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Charters, AnnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Flesher, VivienneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
GolĂĽke, 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)

Classic Literature. Fiction. Literature. HTML:The classic novel of freedom and the search for authenticity that defined a generation

September 5th, 2017 marks the 60th anniversary of the publication of On the Road
Inspired by Jack Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naiveté and wild ambition and imbued with Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz, On the Road is the quintessential American vision of freedom and hope, a book that changed American literature and changed anyone who has ever picked it up.  .

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)
Haiku summary
cars, drugs, girls, jazz, verse/
influential tale thereof/
mostly for teen boys/
(seditiousrabbit)

Legacy Library: Jack Kerouac

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