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On the Road Audiobook

On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition

Few novels have had as profound an impact on American culture as On the Road. Pulsating with the rhythms of 1950s underground America, jazz, sex, illicit drugs, and the mystery and promise of the open road, Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "beat" and has inspired generations of writers, musicians, artists, poets, and seekers who cite their discovery of the book as the event that "set them free".
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Publisher's Summary

Few novels have had as profound an impact on American culture as On the Road. Pulsating with the rhythms of 1950s underground America, jazz, sex, illicit drugs, and the mystery and promise of the open road, Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "beat" and has inspired generations of writers, musicians, artists, poets, and seekers who cite their discovery of the book as the event that "set them free".

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.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (1277 )
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4.4 (996 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Brian Howell Grand Rapids, MI 03-27-14
    Brian Howell Grand Rapids, MI 03-27-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not What I Expected"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Reney 07-28-12
    Reney 07-28-12 Member Since 2010

    I like to listen to adventure stories and funny stories. I have a real preference for travel tales and sometimes even enjoy a good mystery. I love fiction, but also like to learn facts. I like all kinds of stories. Follow me, if you do too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I Love this Audio Book!"
    What did you love best about On the Road?

    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!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Dean-O, Baby! Honest, gritty, true, sensitive, life-affirming, self-depreciating, funny and real - I want to party "On the Road" with this guy!


    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    He had a nice, soft voice that matches the tone of the book perfectly.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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!


    Any additional comments?

    Whether you are discovering Jack for the first time or are a returning fan - what are waiting for!?!?!?! Gas up your ride and GO!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marsha MOUNT SAVAGE, MARYLAND, United States 02-25-12
    Marsha MOUNT SAVAGE, MARYLAND, United States 02-25-12
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    "Will Patton Rocks"

    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.)

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dr. J. 10-13-11
    Dr. J. 10-13-11

    eclectacist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a wild ride!"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Plano, TX, United States 08-18-11
    Elizabeth Plano, TX, United States 08-18-11
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    "A Classic"

    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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Kennedy 11-11-08
    N. Kennedy 11-11-08 Member Since 2008
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    "Excellent narration - agree w/ Audi"

    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.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Matt Tampa, Florida, United States 11-06-15
    Matt Tampa, Florida, United States 11-06-15 Member Since 2016
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    "Will Patton is Awesome"
    What about Will Patton’s performance did you like?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randy Chinn Davis, Ca 10-15-15
    Randy Chinn Davis, Ca 10-15-15 Member Since 2014

    Randy C.

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    "I didn't get it"
    What did you like best about On the Road? What did you like least?

    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.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    T. Vedder 05-01-15
    T. Vedder 05-01-15

    tvedder

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    "Really overrated."
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    If I could change one thing about this book, it would be to make it not exist anymore.


    Would you recommend On the Road to your friends? Why or why not?

    No.


    What didn’t you like about Will Patton’s performance?

    Almost unbearable to listen to him chewing the scenery with his drippy characters and groans.


    Any additional comments?

    I can’t believe this is so revered as a “classic”. Yet another fraud the baby-boomer generation has thrust upon us.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    TWG Columbus, Ohio United States 04-30-15
    TWG Columbus, Ohio United States 04-30-15 Member Since 2011
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    "Hard to relate"

    I know this book is a classic. I just had a hard time relating to characters who made repeated decisions to not take responsibility for their actions. The story and writing were excellent. The characters were well developed but never really changed. The second half of the book flowed better once I accepted the characters for what they were.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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