Based on Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady, On the Road tells the story of two friends whose four cross-country road trips are a quest for meaning and true experience. Written with a mixture of sad-eyed naïveté and wild abandon, 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.
©1955, 1957 John Sampas, Literary Representative, the Estate of Stella Sampas Kerouac; John Lash, Executor of the Estate of Jan Kerouac; Nancy Bump; and Anthony M. Sampas; (P)2007 Penguin Audio, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
For me, Will Patton's performance was the saving grace for this audiobook, this was not what I expected. I'd never read On The Road, but had preconceptions that the book would be filled with Beat-philosophy (whatever that would be), and romanticism of the open road. Maybe that's what I got, but I just didn't like what it all turned out to be?
Now, who am I to say what's good and what's bad from a literary point of view? This was my first exposure to Kerouac, and I found his writing style to be an energetic randomness of pointless wandering. For me, there were moments of greatness, but they were few and far between, and the entire story felt like the original "[story] about nothing".
I'm glad I "read" it, and Patton's performance was probably the BEST of any audiobook, but I feel like it's something I've checked off a list. Done and done.
A chance to enjoy this book in a new and different way! After 40 years of reading and re-reading ole' Jack - I have fallen in love all over again!
Dean-O, Baby! Honest, gritty, true, sensitive, life-affirming, self-depreciating, funny and real - I want to party "On the Road" with this guy!
He had a nice, soft voice that matches the tone of the book perfectly.
This book and others like it have moved me clear across the country and beyond - but, it's not enough! I could jump in the car any time and take a road-trip - a truly, All-American experience!
Whether you are discovering Jack for the first time or are a returning fan - what are waiting for!?!?!?! Gas up your ride and GO!
No one can read audiobooks as well as Will Patton. At this point, I'd listen to him read ANYTHING (yes, even the phone book.)
I first experienced the wonder of On the Road in 1969 and deemed it "far out" (along with just about everything else!). Listening to it these many moons and schools and experiences later I found it just as mind blowing as that first read. My great joy this time was listening to Will Patton's magical interpretation. His melodious, southern-tinged voice is perfect for the ra-ta-tat-tat rhythm of Kerouac's words, pulling me into Sal's world in a way my old 17 year-old brain couldn't possibly have understood. Thanks, Will. Beautifully done.
A classic story beautifully read by narrator Will Patton. Patton brings to life the vocal intonations that were common in the days that Kerouac lived this crazy vagabond lifestyle - bringing us to feel like we were there in those cars and buses with him and those he traveled with.
Will Patton's narration perfectly captures the spirit of this emerging beat generation and this wildly exploratory group. His portrayal of Dean's frenetic nature gives the story its life and ties together the sequence of adventures with its unique 'rationality'. It is definitely not over done. In fact, without the link to the core inspiration and impulses that drove these characters the story would come off as flat and as just a jumble of wanderings.
I like Kerouac. I like On the Road. I love audiobooks. And I was very disappointed with this one. The narration, for me, is way too "acted", especially the main character/narrator, who is performed throughout the book in a sort of amazed half-whisper. When Kerouac writes for example "Dean lived in a shack with his wife", it sounds like "Dean lived in a _shack_ with _his_wife_!". Now read an entire book like this and you'll see what I mean. It is bearable, but just barely. To make sure I wasn't missing anything, I watched an old video of Kerouac himself reading from the book and he didn't sound like that.
Obviously, this is a matter of personal taste. But I wish I had bought the other version available here.
This book already started pretty bad, so the only reason I finished it was because I could not believe it could continue being that bad and still have the reputation it has. I'm glad it was audiobook format, or I would not have managed it. Since I can't un-read it, I'll complain about it.
From what I understand, this is a memoir/journal of a character who travels places and does things with certain people. But the characters are all so painfully uninteresting I couldn't care less about any of them. They mostly drive through all of America, so the narrator sort of just names all the places they pass by, them having done absolutely nothing exciting in any of those places. And the main character, the narrator, isn't funny, isn't smart, isn't compassionate or anything else I could have maybe me amused by. He's actually a drunk misogynist jerk, and his friends are all jerks, but this book is trying to convey how ~coo~l they all are. It's kind of embarrassing.
Having there been nothing redeeming about the prose itself, I just feel really sorry I ever picked up this book.
About the audio version: it's finisheable, so the reader isn't half bad, I could't ever have finished this if I was reading it on paper, it was so terrible. So kudos to the reader.
Patton's Dean Moriarty is electric, his Bud Lee eerie and ominous. I can't imagine any other voice telling this story. He is the beat narrator.
Irritating characters and a story that went everywhere and nowhere fast. But I enjoyed the joyfulness of the writing. The narration was outstanding; I would have given up reading the book long before finishing.
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