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A uintessential novel of America the Beat Generation On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac's years traveling the N American continent with his friend Neal Cassady a sideburned hero of the snowy West As Sal Paradise Dean Moriarty the two roam the country in a uest for self knowledge experience Kerouac's love of America compassion for humanity sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance This classic novel of freedom longing defined what it meant to be Beat has inspired every generation since its initial publication


10 thoughts on “On the Road

  1. says:

    This is probably the worst book I have ever finished and I'm forever indebted to the deeply personality disordered college professor who assigned it because if it hadn't been for that class I never would've gotten through and I gotta tell you this is the book I love to hateI deeply cherish but don't know that I fully agree with Truman Capote's assessment that On the Road is not writing at all it's typingLovely Turman but let's be clear typing by itself is fairly innocuous this book is so awful it's actually offensive and even incredibly damagingI'd be lying if I said there aren't parts of this book that're so bad they're good good as in morbidly fascinating in the manner of advanced stage syphilis slides from seventh grade health class Keroac's ode to the sad eyed Negro is actually an incredible incredible example of something I'm glad has been typed For the record So we can all see it clearly and KNOWPlease don't get me wrong My disproportionately massive loathing for Jack Kerouac has zero to do with his unenlightened racial views I mean it was written in the fifties and anyway it's great that he was able to articulate these ideas so honestly No the real reason I hate this book so much is that it established a deeply retarded model of European American male coolness that continues to plague our culture todayI could go into a lot depth on this topic but it's come to my attention that I've been using my horrible addiction to Bookster to avoid the many obligations and responsiblities of my daily life to which I should now return So in closing this book SUCKS This book is UNBELIEVABLY TERRIBLE And for that very reason especially considering its serious and detrimental impact on western civilization I definitely recommend that you read it if you have not suffered that grave misfortune already


  2. says:

    I'm supposed to like On the Road right? Well I don't I hate it and I always have There are a lot of reasons why I hate it I find Kerouac's attitude toward the world pathetically limited and paternalistic In On the Road he actually muses about how much he wishes that he could have been born a Negro in the antebellum South living a simple life free from worry and does so seemingly without any sense of irony On every page the book is about how Kerouac a young white middle class solipsistic alcoholic feels and nothing But that's only one reason I hate this book The main reason I hate it is because for me reading Kerouac's prose is almost physically painful I love the ramblings of self centered drunks when they're self deprecating ironic andor funny but Kerouac was none of these things He was a pretentious self important bore who produced some of the most painfully bad and inconseuential prose of the 20th century Or any century


  3. says:

    A View from the CouchOTR has received some negative reviews lately so I thought I would try to explain my ratingThis novel deserves to lounge around in a five star hotel rather than languish in a lone star saloonDisclaimerPlease forgive my review It is early morning and I have just woken up with a sore head an empty bed and a full bladderConfesssionLet me begin with a confession that dearly wants to become an assertionI probably read this book before most of you were bornSo thereWouldn't you love to say thatIf only I had the courage of my convictionsInstead I have only convictions and they are many and variedHowever I am sure that by the end of my this sentence I shall be releasedElevated to the BarI read OTR in my teens which were spread all over the end of the 60's and the beginning of the 70'sMy life was dominated by Scouting for BoysI mean the book not the activityMy mantra was be prepared although at the time I didn't realise that this actually meant be prepared for warAfter reading OTR my new mantra was be inebriatedMind you I had no idea what alcohol tasted like but it sounded goodGone were two boys in a tent and three men in a boatOTR was about trying to get four beats in a bar no matter how far you'd travelled that dayTyping or WritingForget whether it was just typing rather than writingThat was just Truman Capote trying to dot one of Dorothy Parker's eyesThis is like focusing on the mince instead of the sausageAll Drums and SymbolsYou have to appreciate what OTR symbolised for people like meIt was On the Road not In the House or In the BurbsIt was about dynamism not passivityIt wasn't about a stream of consciousness it was about a river of activityIt was about white light white heat not white picket fencesSavouring the SausageOK your impressions are probably recent than mineMine are memories that have been influenced by years of indulgence I do maintain that alcohol kills the unhealthy brain cells first so it is actually purifying your brainI simply ask that you overlook the mince and savour the sausageBeyond EphemeralityI would like to make one last parting metaphorI have misappropriated it from the musician Dave GraneyHe talks about feeling ephemeral but looking eternalDave comes from the Church of the Latter Day HipstersHe is way cooler than me he even looks great in leather pants in a spivvy kinda wayHowever I think the point he was making if not then the point I am making is that most of life is ephemeral It just happens and it's gone foreverHowever in Dave's case the way he looks the way he feels he turns it into something eternalIt's his art his music our pleasure our memories at least until we dieFootnotes on CoolCreativity and style are our last chance attempt to defy ephemerality and mortality and become eternalYes all that stuff between the bookends of OTR might be typing it might be preserving ephemerality that wasn't worthy or deservingHowever the point is the attempt to be your own personal version of coolHeck no way am I cool like the Beats or James Dean or Marlon Brando or Jack Nicholson or Clint Eastwood or Keith Richards or Camille PagliaHowever I am trying to live life beyond the ephemeralThat's what OTR means to me If it doesn't mean that to you hey that's alright I'm OK you're OK It's coolOriginal posted March 01 2011


  4. says:

    This is the book which has given me anxiety attacks on sleepless nightsThis is the book which has glared at me from its high pedestal of classical importance in an effort to browbeat me into finally finishing it And this is that book which has shamed me into feigning an air of ignorance every time I browsed any of the countless 1001 books to read before you die listsYes Jack Kerouac you have tormented me for the past 3 years and every day I couldn't summon the strength to open another page of 'On the Road' and subject my brain to the all too familiar torture of Sal's sleep inducing infuriatingly monotonous narration Finally I conuer you after nearly 3 years of dithering I am the victorious one in the battle in which you have relentlessly assaulted my finer senses with your crassness and innate insipidity and dared me to plod on I can finally beat my chest in triumph ugh pardon the Tarzan ish metaphor but a 1 star review deserves no better and announce to the world that I have finished reading 'On the Road' Oh what an achievement And what a monumental waste of my timeDear Beat Generation classic I can finally state without any fear of being called out on my ignorance that I absolutely hated reading you Every moment of it Alternatively this book can be named White Heterosexual Man's Misadventures and Chauvinistic Musings And even that makes it sound much interesting and less offensive than it actually is In terms of geographical sweep the narrative covers nearly the whole of America in the 50s weaving its way in and out of Los Angeles and New York and San Francisco and many other major American cities Through the eyes of Salvatore 'Sal' Paradise a professional bum we are given an extended peek into the lives of a band of merry have nots their hapless trysts with women booze drugs homelessness destitution jazz as they hitchhike and motor their way through the heart of America Sounds fascinating right? Ayn Rand will vehemently disagree though But no it's anything but that Instead this one just shoves Jack Kerouac's internalized white superiority sexism and homophobia right in the reader's face in the form of some truly bad writing This book might as well come with a caption warning any potential reader who isn't White or male or straight I understand that this was written way before it became politically incorrect to portray women in such a poor light or wistfully contemplate living a Negro's life in the antebellum South But there's an obvious limit to the amount of his vile ruminations I can tolerate There was an old Negro couple in the field with us They picked cotton with the same God blessed patience their grandfathers had practiced in ante bellum Alabama Seriously? God blessed patience? Every female character in this one is a vague silhouette or a caricature of a proper human being Marylou Camille Terry Galatea are all frighteningly one dimensional they never come alive for the reader through Sal's myopic vision They are merely there as inanimate props reduced to the status of languishing in the background and occasionally allowed to be in the limelight when the men begin referring to them as if they were objectsEither they are 'whores' for being as sexually liberated as the men are or they are screaming wives who throw their husbands out of the house for being jobless cheating drunks or they are opportunistic and evil simply because they do not find Sal or Dean or Remy or Ed or any of the men in their lives to be deserving of their trust and respect which they truly aren'tAnd sometimes they are only worthy of only a one or two line description like the following I had been attending school and romancing around with a girl called Lucille a beautiful Italian honey haired darling that I actually wanted to marry Look at Sal talking about a woman as if she were a breed of cat he wanted to rescue from the animal shelter Finally he came out with it he wanted me to work Marylou Is Marylou a wrench or a machine of some kind? And this is not to mention the countless instances of 'get you a girl' 'get girls' 'Let's get a girl' and other minor variations of the same strewn throughout the length of the book and some of Sal's thoughts about 'ueers' which are eually revolting Maybe I am too much of a non American with no ties to a real person who sees the Beat era through the lenses of pure nostalgia or maybe I am simply incapable of appreciating the themes of youthful wanderlust and living life with a perverse aimlessness or maybe it's the flat writing and appalling representation of women Whatever the real reasons maybe I can state with conviction that this is the only American classic which I tried to the best of my abilities to appreciate but failed


  5. says:

    I've been thinking about this book a lot lately so I figured that I'd go back and write something about it When I first read this book I loved it as a piece of art but its effect on me was different than I expected So many people hail Kerouac as the artist who made them uit their jobs and go to the road become a hippie or a beat and give up the rest When I read it though I had been completely obsessed with hippie culture for a long time and it caused me to steer away from it for a while While I thought that it would be a rollicking tale of freedom and glory I found that all of Dean's conuests were tainted by the fact that he had to take advantage of other people every step of the way He was a hugely entertaining character but would have been a terrible friend lover or even acuaintance From the women he married to gas station attendents right down to Sal Paradise himself Dean drained everything that he was right out of other people and it eventually ruined him It left him beatnot heart beating exhilarated but beat up dead beat and alone Once I stepped back a little from the awe at Dean's greatness this book was really sad and it caused me to put away that romanticism for a whileNow 2 years later though On the Road is coming back to me full on I didn't escape the total wonder at the Beats and the road I have been on the road myself for the last 2 months and have a long way to go before I get back home and I am constantly aware that the the way was paved by Kerouac and the rest of the crazy geniuses of his generation The road is every bit as romantic as Sal Paradise made it out to be and its glory far out weighs the short comings of Dean as a friend I mean the road is a lot like Dean it takes a lot out of you but you get addicted to it and obsessed with it and can't let it go and I don't think there's any other way about it I am in love with America for the first time Now that I've seen it driven across and up and down around and over America I find it sublime and incredible I think that Kerouac and his friends might've been the first to see that Maybe not Maybe they are just part of all of American historythey translated the world of Western expansion and canvas covered wagons into the way of the modern world America is something to dream about It is worthy every exuberant and formerly offensive I'm proud sticker that's plastered on the back of a pick up truck And Kerouac saw that first hand So it seems that there is a certain tragedy in this book but that it is less important than the unavoidable glory that you come to associate with the road and freedom after following these guys on their crazy adventure I think this book should be read by everyone who wants to know about America


  6. says:

    Read for an Aries inspired vlog


  7. says:

    Kerouac's masterpiece breathes youth and vigor for the duration and created the American bohemian beat lifestyle which has been the subject of innumerable subseuent books songs and movies I have read this at least two or three times and always feel a bit breathless and invigorated because of the restlessness of the text and the vibrance of the characters There was an extraordinary exhibit at the Pompidou Center earlier this year where the original draft in Kerouac's handwriting was laid out end to end in a glass case It was like seeing the original copy of Don uixote in the royal palace in Madrid very moving In any case there is no excuse not to read this wonderful high point of mid 20th century American literatureRe read and found both beauty and sadness in this work The sadness stems from the sexism racism and homophobia expressed throughout the book Sign of the times I know but it is still painful to see that these Beat visionaries for all their open mindedness towards other religions and sex and drugs still expressed such backwards views and attitudes sometimes As for the beauty the story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty crossing the US again and again with a last trip down to Mexico City is epicI pictured myself in a Denver bar that night with all the gang and in their eyes I would be strange and ragged and like the Prophet who has walked across the land to bring the dark Word and the only Word I had was Wow P 37I have driven from Florida to San Francisco by myself and back again when I was in college and felt that Kerouac captured the enthusiasm that the memory still evokes in meI thought and looked every as I had looked everywhere in the little world below And before me was the great raw bulge and bulk of my American continent P 79The descriptions of bebop jazz are absolutely astounding throughout as they listen to Prez Bird DizzyThe pianist was only pounding the keys with spread eagled fingers chords or at intervals when the great tenorman was drawing breath for another blast Chinese chords shuddering the piano in every timber chink and wire boing P 197The writing makes you feel the musics energy pulsating and driving that is one of my favorite aspects of On the RoadHoly flowers floating in the air were all these tired forms in the dawn of Jazz America P 204Other moments are surreal and yet moments I have known many timesJust about that time a strange thing began to haunt me It was this I had forgotten something There was a decision that I was about to make before Dean showed up and now it was driven clear out of my mind but still hung on the tip of my mind's tongue P 124Or the feeling of mysteryThis was a manuscript of the night that we couldn't read P 158 and those that do not share their trip on the road they stand uncertainly underneath immense skies and everything about them is drowned P 167I perhaps just ignored it in my previous readings but this time I was struck by the heroin references Old Bill was off in the bathroom tying up and yet taking care of his kids alarming Perhaps the predominant mood and attitude of the book and Kerouac's view of the period is summarized on Sal's 3rd trip to San FranciscoI realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn't remember especially because the transitions from life to death and back to life are so ghostly easy a magical action for naught like falling asleep and waking up again a million times the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it I realized it was only because of the stability of the intrinsic Mind that these ripples of birth and death took place like the action of wind on a sheet of pure serene mirror like water I felt a sweet swinging bliss like a big shot of heroin in the mainline vein; like a gulp of wine late in the afternoon and it makes you shudder; my feet tingled P 173Kerouac captured the spirit of the Beats who would later become the hippies of the 60's but without the Vietnam War in both its glory and its sualor The book is both beautiful and uplifting and desperate and depressing Regardless of how one reacts to it it is truly one of the great works of the expression of the American spirit in the post WWII period


  8. says:

    484 from 1001 On the Road Jack Kerouac Based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the United States The two main characters of the book are the narrator Sal Paradise and his friend Dean Moriarty much admired for his carefree attitude and sense of adventure a free spirited maverick eager to explore all kicks and an inspiration and catalyst for Sal's travels The novel contains five parts three of them describing road trips with Moriarty The narrative takes place in the years 1947 to 1950 is full of Americana and marks a specific era in jazz history somewhere between its Charlie Parker Ornithology period and another period that began with Miles Davis The novel is largely autobiographical Sal being the alter ego of the author and Dean standing for Neal Cassadyعنوانها «در جاده»؛ «در راه»؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش روزبیست و یکم ماه نوامبر سال 2015میلادیعنوان در راه؛ نویسنده جک کرواک؛ مترجم احسان نوروزی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1394؛ در 388ص؛ شابک 9789643625245؛ چاپ دوم 1395؛ موضوع زندگینامه و سرگذشتنامه سده 20معنوان در جاده؛ نویسنده جک کرواک؛ مترجم یاشین آزادبیگی؛ تهران، کوله پشتی، 1394؛ در 540ص؛ شابک 9786008211242؛ کتاب، در سال 1957میلادی، برای نخستین بار، توسط «وایکینگ پرس» منتشر شد؛ عنوانش، جزو یکصد کتاب سده ی بیستم میلادی، به گزینش بسیاری از روزنامه ها بوده است، خودزندگی‌نامه‌ نوشت است، و حاصل تجربیات «کرواک»، در دیدار با مردمِان سرتاسر «آمریکا»ست؛ روایت سفر «اودیسه­» وار جوانی، به نام «سالواتوره پارادایز سل، سلی» است، نویسنده ­ای که پس از جدایی از همسرش، سرخورده، و افسرده، بر آن می­شود، تا دلش را به دست جاده­ های «آمریکا» بسپارد، و می­کوشد از آنراه، مفهومی برای زندگی پوچ خویش، بیابد؛ در راه، با جوانی کوچکتر از خویش، به نام «دین موریارتی» آشنا می­شود، و تحت تاثیر دیوانه­ بازی­ها، و مرام آشوب­گرانه ی­ او، قرار می­گیرد؛ «دین موریارتی» نیز، در لابلای آن همه هیاهو، هدفی مهم­تر دارد، و آن، یافتنِ پدر گمشده ی خویش است، که با نام «دین موریارتیِ پیر»، از او یاد می­شودتاریخ بهنگام رسانی 30061399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا شربیانی


  9. says:

    I think this book which launched Kerouac's career and gave him insta fame has to be seen as a product of its timeI found it a chore to read a long dull boast about a series of road trips It's populated by vacuous largely despicable alcoholics with zero impulse control and an unshakeable belief that they are deeply profound observers of the human conditionOne saving grace of the book is that Kerouac has an unusual writing style with a strong voice that he uses well especially when describing the landscapes and cities as his avatar rushes to and fro across America The other is that the 'shocking' nature of the book back in 1955 immersed in drugs alcohol and sexuality five years before a court case finally allowed the rather tame Lady Chatterly's Lover to be published in the UK 32 years after it was written has been replaced with a certain historical interest in the modern reader seeing how things worked over 60 years agoThe book garnered so much interest because it was said to capture zeitgeist of the beat generation it variously explained andor titillated with an under the hood look at the youth movement of the late 40searly 50s that led into rock and roll and on into hippydom We also see the young white male characters mixing with African Americans and Hispanics decades before the civil rights movementKerouac's avatar Sal Paradise follows Dean Moriarty a hollow messiah of the age and together they haunt jazz and bop clubs trying to capture it and waxing ecstatically about saxophonists blowingWe see several years of the pair's directionless lives Dean oscillating between three women spawning and abandoning children dropping everything repeatedly on a whim to cross America east to west or back again and finally to Mexico CityThe pair cheat and steal their way while claiming to savour the goodness of those they encounter Dean has to be warned off the 13 year old daughter of a friend and later in Mexico they sleep with 15 year old prostitutesIn a manner familiar in Dickens and Dostoevsky and recently echoed by Rothfuss our characters are always penniless generally because if they get money they spend it at a ridiculous rate until they have noneDean and Sal are characterised by a refusal to look beyond the next hour The conseuences of their actions are of little concern to them because they feel no responsibility for themI realise that I sound like a scolding schoolmarm the epitome of everything this book was likely a reaction to But after hundreds of pages of having their reaction forced down my throat I have my own reaction back against it No I don't dig it And it being a travelogue based on real experience there is of course no plot and as it turns out no real sense of progression which led to the book feeling rather samey after a while It was apparently hand written on a roll of wallpaper and it really does feel rather like a long list of and then and then and thenI was moved to try Kerouac back in the 80s by a line in a Marillion song read some Kerouac and it put me on the track to burn a little brighter now Yes this is a book about living at full throttle and much of it is spent shooting across the States at 110mph about burning the candle at both ends about not living a milk toast life it shouts at you what are you saving yourself for? and those ideas of course hold a certain appeal But then again when you look at the sad sacks in this book maybe notThe second star is for the uality of the prose In fact both of them are Join my 3 emails a year newsletter #prizes


  10. says:

    Although the ideas hold a certain appeal this book is ultimately just a half assed justification of some pretty stupid self destructive irresponsible and juvenile tendencies and attitudes the end result of which is a validation of being a deadbeat loser a perpetual child This validation is dressed up as a celebration of freedom etc As literary art stylistically the book is pretty bad The analogies to bebop or even free jazz are misguided That improvisation was by talented musicians or at least musicians who understood music had a remarkable ear Kerouac is just rambling and he thinks that ualifies as the literary euivalent of jazz improv It doesn't It's just tiresome DeLillo's prose is an example of prose that accurately can be described as analogous to bebop I'm not going to hold it against anyone that they like this book I know that it influenced some important and serious artists who were many times Kerouac's superiors I understand its appeal and even its historical importance But reading it today and not being 16 any it really is a bit of a joke Its importance in itself too has faded The Beats live on as myth that surpasses for the most part their actual output in both resonance and uality Moreover their myth has been adapted especially in popular music so well that it has rendered a lot of their actual work trivial especially the lesser Beats in terms of talent eg Kerouac Nobody needs to read On the Road any and all it's going to do is perpetuate some pretty idiotic notions we already have enough of and lead to a lot of ripoffs of ripoffs of Whitman thinking their poetry is important and crowding bars I don't want to have to see them at Just look at contemporary literature the voices we have the stuff that's selling well on the literary market A lot of that stuff is just workshop fiction that isn't going to last long in particular well regard but a lot of it is brilliant stuff and far literate intelligent and interesting than what this guy had to offer This book's time is up Aside from youth clinging to a false nostalgia for a nonexistent time and place and crowd its appeal is pretty much done too