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On the Road: 50th Anniversary Edition | [Jack Kerouac]

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

3.8 (721 )
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4.2 (490 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Deb Pace, FL, United States 08-07-12
    Deb Pace, FL, United States 08-07-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    4
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    Story
    "This is one for the "what were they thinking?""
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    A different story with a plot that makes sense. This one's not worth the money or the gigs.


    What could Jack Kerouac have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Nothing, I'm afraid. It was not well written, uninteresting and shallow.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Will Patton?

    The narrator did a great job with what he had to work with.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Not for me.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer United States 05-04-12
    Amazon Customer United States 05-04-12 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonas stockholm, Sweden 03-05-12
    Jonas stockholm, Sweden 03-05-12
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    22
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    Story
    "Repetitive"

    Sure, there is a nice mood in this book. But after the first hour or two , you "get it" and after that it's all the same stuff over and over again.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anthony Shingle Springs Dr., CA, United States 11-05-11
    Anthony Shingle Springs Dr., CA, United States 11-05-11
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    "Didn't live up to my expectations"

    I am probably too simple minded to really get the concept of this book. Was too "stream of consciousness " for my taste. Many love this book, It is a classic, I just couldn't get into it, and was really really bored. Overall a 2.75.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall Lincoln, NE, United States 09-06-11
    Randall Lincoln, NE, United States 09-06-11 Member Since 2011
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    "An odd, quirky and enjoyable book"

    This is a coming of age/alienation book similar to The Catcher in the Rye or the movies Easy Rider or Rebel Without a Cause. Kerouac is credited with helping to start the beatnik generation and also is said to have influened the hippie movement. After listening this book I can see why. I liked the book but it seemed a bit too long. I enjoyed the narrator and thought he did a masterful job. He seemed to use a different "voice" for each character. He also seemed to capture the essence of each character as well and that came through in his narration. The characters in the book are quite amusing and just odd enough to be interesting. An easy listen.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    art zacchia 08-03-11
    art zacchia 08-03-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "On The Road"

    The narrator is great but the story stinks. The characters are ridicules and there really is subject matter except wild ramblings Don't waste your time or money.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margo Newnan, GA, USA 12-13-07
    Margo Newnan, GA, USA 12-13-07
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    "another wild crazy trip?"

    I know this is supposed to be a "classic", but it seemed a bit repetitive to me. Each adventure seemed too much like the last. Seemed like there were entirely too many wild, drunken trips across the US, and not enough imaginative plot. His later works are much better.

    2 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    krisjs1767 Mercer Island, WA USA 01-15-09
    krisjs1767 Mercer Island, WA USA 01-15-09 Member Since 2006

    krisjs1767

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I don't get it"

    I know this book is supposed to be a "classic" but so far it's just a bunch of boring stories about some people who need to grow up and get a life. I don't think Will Patton's narration helps or hurts, although he does a pretty good job of channeling Jack Lemmon as the voice of Neal Cassady.

    0 of 10 people found this review helpful
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