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On the Road Audiobook

On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition

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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 (1433 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 05-04-12
    Amazon Customer United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Disgusting!"

    Ok, I've heard about this book for years and always wanted to read it. There was even a "Quantum Leap" episode about this book that I loved. So can you imagine how disappointed I was to discover that the book was about a bunch of sick, self-centered, narcissistic freeloaders, who not only didn’t give a damn about the law, but treated everyone they met like garbage. These hoodlums roar around in their own self-indulgence, stealing whatever they can, and taking advantage of anyone stupid enough to get near them. They father children and abandon them, marry women and treat them like dirt, and laugh while other people suffer in order to get their “kicks.” It boggles my mind that so many people find “inspiration” in this book. I’m certainly no prude, and I grew up as a “hippie” but even the lowest rats that I knew cared more about their fellow men that the douche-bags in this book.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Søren 09-07-16
    Søren 09-07-16
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    "Great book and good read, but better on paper"

    I read on the road on paper a few years back, and I enjoyed listening to the story again. And the reading is very good. But I think the spontaneity of the writing style is experienced much more extreme when reading the paper yourself.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HH 08-31-16
    HH 08-31-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Crazy Book, Crazy Characters"

    This book has the craziest characters in it. You will laugh out loud at their insane behavior. This isn't a negative though, it's very entertaining.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer S. Leblanc Houston, TX 08-08-16
    Jennifer S. Leblanc Houston, TX 08-08-16 Member Since 2010

    goodlifecpa

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    "Hot mess with abrupt end"

    I couldn't tell if this was a coming of age story of a story about mental illness. The narrator made the best of it but it was unsatisfying as a story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jim D 08-06-16
    Jim D 08-06-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Over rated"

    You only need read 60-70 pages. After that the names and places change but not much else.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nurture Learners and Able Observers 06-21-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Dated."
    Would you try another book from Jack Kerouac and/or Will Patton?

    No.


    Has On the Road turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    He did his best considering the material. He was put in a rough position and did the best anyone could have done.


    What character would you cut from On the Road?

    None of them were extraordinary. No one memorable. It's a memoir of a guy hitchhiking who can only see the worst in women , and worships a man named Dean.


    Any additional comments?

    I guess in it's time is was interesting to young people. That was half a century ago.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kevin Crumpton 06-20-16 Member Since 2009
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    "Disappointing and repetitive"

    The writing was not what I expected. More of a chronicle of events than anything interesting or profound. Most of my book club did not choose to finish it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Alanbsacks 06-12-16
    Alanbsacks 06-12-16 Member Since 2015
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    "5 stars all over."

    Listened as my wife and I are driving cross country. Real gone trip. I love Kerouac and this reading brought it too life

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KJS 06-01-16
    KJS 06-01-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Masterful literary work captured perfectly"

    Will Patton's reading of this work, captures every ounce of the Beat era flavor. There is no finer reading of this work available. Thoroughly enjoyed it!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bene vixit bene latuit over the rainbow... 05-21-16
    Bene vixit bene latuit over the rainbow... 05-21-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Kerouac's okay, I guess, but Will Patton is a god!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of On the Road to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print edition. But yes, yes, yes. Kerouac's prose is often transcendent, yet he might have benefitted from an editor, and he and Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady) strike me as self-absorbed, self-indulgent, misogynistic lunks with way too much time, alcohol and marijuana on their hands. But Will Patton as narrator - OH.MY.GOSH. He NAILS this. His delivery is flawless, tender and wondrous. I've always liked Patton as an actor, but in listening to him perform this book I came to realize how immensely talented he really is. Worth listening to the book just for his performance. Masterful. Truly.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    As someone who prefers her men to be emotionally stable, physically present and, if at all possible, employed, the main characters would not make my Top 100 list. And it is really all about them (in the book and in their lives) so it's hard to come up with a favorite character. Maybe the much-wronged but patient Camille, who is, regrettably, married to Dean.


    Which character – as performed by Will Patton – was your favorite?

    Probably Dean Moriarty, as Patton perfects his verbal tics with his delivery. But the road itself is as much a character as any of the people, and the cities of Denver and San Francisco and New York, and the country of Mexico - these are the best characters.


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

    "...the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes 'Awwww!'"


    Any additional comments?

    Maybe I'm being too harsh on Jack and Dean (Neal). This book truly is a hallmark of its times and thus, is rightfully considered a classic. But for me, Patton makes this classic a true classic.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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