Download On the Road epub book
Author: Jack Kerouac
ISBN13: 978-0451066039
Title: On the Road
Format: lrf mobi rtf txt
ePUB size: 1726 kb
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Language: English
Category: Literary
Publisher: Signet (September 1, 1958)

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

On the Road is a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac, based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the United States.

Jack Kerouac's On the Road is one of the most controversial American novels of the 20th century. When critics concede that the book and its author were instrumental in triggering the rucksack revolution, this is to damn with praise, as Kerouac is reduced to a one-book author (though he published some twenty volumes containing a wide range of prose and poetry). Moreover, the spiteful acknowledgement of a sociohistorical fact imports an aesthetic grudge against a novel that a close reading reveals to be far more conventional than most of its adversaries would would care to realize.

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922, the youngest of three children in a Franco-American family. He attended local Catholic and public schools and won a football scholarship to Columbia University in New York City, where he first met Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg, and William S. Burroughs. His first novel, The Town and the City, appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, first published in 1957 and memorializing his adventures with Neal Cassady, that epitomized to the world what became known as the Beat generation and made Kerouac one of the most controversial and best-known writers of his time. Publication of his many other books followed, among them The Dharma Bums, The Subterraneans, and Big Sur. Kerouac considered them all to be part of The Duluoz Legend.

Based on Jack Kerouac’s own experiences driving across the USA, ‘On The Road’ tells the story of Sal Paradise – the narrator – and Dean Moriarty. This book stands out of all the works written by the ‘Beat Generation’, and has been an inspiration for the young and restless ever since its publication. 1) Read the extract as you listen to the narration, and fill in the gaps below. 2) Answer the True/False questions to test your comprehension. 3) Listen to the complete book.

centerlight pop and everybody goes Awww! ― Jack Kerouac, On the Road. Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road

When I put On the Road on my Classics Club list, I knew little or nothing about the Beat Generation, except what I picked up living in San Francisco for a few years. Still, Kerouac is one of those literary icons I don’t feel complete without reading. This book came up as my Classic Spin book for March-April, which means it was picked randomly from my list as the next book I read. Which is good, because I had to force myself to read this book. I heard from a number of bloggers that this was a disappointing and difficult read, and it was.

DETAIL: Jack Kerouac’s On the Road has become a classic text in American literary counterculture. Paradise’s journey with the free and reckless Dean Moriarty (based on fellow Beat adventurer Neal Cassady) from the East to the West Coast of America is a celebration of the abundance, vitality, and spirit of American youth

Reviews: 7
"On the Road" is based on events that happened on author Jack Kerouac's journeys across America from 1947 to 1950. These stories of travel, searching, and exploration provide a window into mid-century Beat culture and have been read for decades.

Kerouac's keen travel observations provide the present-day reader with insights into what the country was like two or three generations ago and some of the ways it differs from America today. America seemed more free and wide-open in these pages, but the book is a reminder of how the encroachments of centralization and bureaucracy are on ongoing process--one of the characters in "On the Road" laments how much less free the country was at the book's mid-century vantage point than it was in the years before World War I.

Jazz was still wildly popular in America in the 1940s, and Kerouac references it constantly in these pages. Less savory aspects of the Beat culture included indiscriminate sexual activity, drug use, and alcohol abuse, and the repetitive nature of the stories describing these activities suggests that the characters were searching for something and just not finding it. Not all of the tales in the book were seedy, though, with many just plain fun travel stories.

In spots the repetitiveness did get tiresome, as did some of the eye-rolling driving techniques that suggested that the characters were just overgrown delinquents, but readers who have always been curious about the book and want to examine the Beat culture will find much of interest in "On the Road."
On the Road has been interpreted, debated over and, ironically enough, turned into an engine of capitalism in the fifty some years since it was published. This clash of interpretations is because Kerouac wasn’t writing an adventure story, as it is often read, but a character study of one of the most interesting individuals in modern literature.

While ostensibly the story of Sal Paradise’s adventures across North America, the real focus of the book is on the other central character Dean Moriarty. Sal is fascinated, almost obsessively, with Dean as soon as he meets him. To those who know him only casually, Dean seems like a conman. He works and fudges his way towards enough money to sustain drinking, womanizing and, above all, traveling. All the while he leaves behind a string of heartbroken women and fatherless children across the US. And yet this conman fascinates the more responsible Sal so much that he spends several years of his life following him around trying to understand how Dean seems to know the secret of life.

And, according to the author, Dean really does know the secret, or better put, lack thereof. Dean simply lives life in the moment. He isn’t moral and he isn’t immoral. He is more amoral-he simply doesn’t think in those categories. He isn’t religious but he has a strange religious sense about him. More Eastern than Western he sees the life of work, marriage and responsibility as mostly an illusion to be fled from.

This attitude towards life, this simply to be fully alive every second, can’t be put into so many words. That’s why Dean is forever talking about someone getting IT. IT is simply this sense of living at its utmost that seems like such a banal insight unless expressed as lived in a person like Dean Moriarty.

And this understanding of life comes with an understandable sadness since human life is always finite. Hence the dichotomy between Dean fully feeling IT and his often expressed melancholy.

To be honest, I don’t share Kerouac’s enamor with Dean Moriarty. But then I’m married, work in an office and have a mortgage to meet. Perhaps Kerouac wouldn’t have been so enamored with my choices.

Regardless, the book is a deserved classic for espousing a way of life that people around the world aspire to attain. One can condemn, belittle or otherwise reject this life but it rarely has been better sold. A must read for all who want to understand the type of life many modern people try to imitate.
After reading the published edition years ago, I found the scroll version MUCH better and true to Kerouac's intent compared to the edited and butchered published edition which Jack disliked. With minimal punctuation and using actual names (unlike the published edition), the scroll edition is a true "diamond in the rough" and is like reading one long paragraph that takes 12 hours to read.

A MUST for any fan of Kerouac!
A trip of a life with friends who appear with hope and quickly disappear in torment. The Beat Generation following the aftermath of World War Two redefined a portion of American literature and culture. This novel riffs on jazz explorations applied to life and friendships that finally devolve into madness for Dean Moriarty and wisdom for Sal Paradise. It is a wonder to behold such bantering intellect and then utterly heartbreaking to witness the drug and alcohol induced willful destruction of creative minds followed by anger knowing their self-destruction robbed my generation of further exploratory literature. Beautiful and pathetic in its poverty of spirit and absence of personal responsibility. May the real Dean (Neal Cassady) and Sal (Jack Kerouac) continue the party wherever their conversations landed them. A brilliant read to be digested slowly and thoughtfully.
After reading Jack Kerouac's ON THE ROAD, I'm struck by two major impressions. #1- Kerouac had only two true loves in his life, those being the incredible, vast road trips he continually took, and his undying devotion to Neal Cassady (aka: Dean Moriarty) #2- Neal Cassady was an impossibly active, motorhead of a man, relentless and utterly driven. I have never known, nor even heard of anyone as electrically charged w/ unbridled energy! Many considered him "crazy". His light-speed tour of life is certainly difficult for "normal" people to fathom. A very interesting character indeed, it's hard to feel sorry for him while he zooms past in a seemingly mindless blur! Kerouac captures -intermittently- this whirling dervish as he darts in and out of his life. ON THE ROAD was written in a free-form, maniacally immediate style. It flows like a river, untamed from beginning to end, just as Kerouac intended. Now, I'm nothing like the author, or his friends (hell, I hate travelling!), but I definitely enjoyed every page of the book...