On the Road

English language

Published Sept. 3, 1998

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4 stars (24 reviews)

On the Road is a 1957 novel by American writer Jack Kerouac, based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the United States. It is considered a defining work of the postwar Beat and Counterculture generations, with its protagonists living life against a backdrop of jazz, poetry, and drug use. The novel is a roman à clef, with many key figures of the Beat movement, such as William S. Burroughs (Old Bull Lee), Allen Ginsberg (Carlo Marx), and Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty) represented by characters in the book, including Kerouac himself as the narrator Sal Paradise. The idea for On the Road, Kerouac's second novel, was formed during the late 1940s in a series of notebooks, and then typed out on a continuous reel of paper during three weeks in April 1951. It was published by Viking Press in 1957. The New York Times hailed the book's appearance …

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Review of 'On the Road' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I probably would have connected with this more if I had read it back when I was in my late teens early twenties. But it was still fairly fun, and there's definitely a driving, propulsive sort of flow that made it easy to keep plowing away at it. There are individual portions that are really beautiful and touching even though they might be intermingled with some act of stupidity or recklessness. Overall I enjoyed it, although it won't induce me to make any lifestyle changes.