On the Road
On the Road
By Jack Kerouac
Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780140042597, 307pp.
Publication Date: December 28, 1976
Inspired by Jack Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Roadtells 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 naivete and wild ambition and imbued with Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz, On the Roadis the quintessential American vision of freedom and hope, a book that changed American literature and changed anyone who has ever picked it up.
"An authentic work of art . . . the most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as 'beat, ' and whose principal avatar he is."
--Gilbert Millstein, The New York Times
"On the Roadhas the kind of drive that blasts through to a large public. . . . What makes the novel really important, what gives it that drive is a genuine new, engaging and exciting prose style. . . . What keeps the book going is the power and beauty of the writing."
--Kenneth Rexroth, San Francisco Chronicle
"One of the finest novels of recent years. . . a highly euphoric and intensely readable story about a group of wandering young hedonists who cross the country in endless search of kicks."
--Leonard Feather, Downbeat
Known as the "Joan Anderson Letter," the 18-page, single-spaced, stream of consciousness note from Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac was found amid the dusty papers of a now-closed publishing house. More at NPR.org
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