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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 (999 )
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4.3 (740 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Nicole 01-14-15
    Nicole 01-14-15 Member Since 2012
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    "Will Patton was amazing!"

    The book itself was rambling, as I expected it to be. But the way Will Patton read aloud, the voices, the dialect! Amazing! He made it a wonderful experience alone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Idaho Trojan 01-14-15
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    "Entertaining, inspiring and depressing?"
    What did you love best about On the Road?

    Will Patton became Sal Paradise with his narration. I had a hard time turning off the audio to get back to work!


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I identified with the drive for MORE of everything in life, but there are some good lessons about where forsaking everything else always in search of more can lead you ...


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

    Sal Paradise ... but I enjoyed all of the characters Will brought to life. I literally pictured Will as Sal travelling across the country on the floor of a limo at 100 mph.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lyndsey 01-11-15
    Lyndsey 01-11-15 Member Since 2015
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    "Yawn"

    Great narrator, was just a boring story.
    Was always waiting for something to happen. Dean made the entire story, Sal was hardly a character.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laurie 12-11-14
    laurie 12-11-14

    I have edited 38 national best sellers and had a writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

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    "Fasten Your Seatbelts"

    Oh, man, what a gorgeous book. And if I could give Will Patton a hundred stars for his performance, I'd do it. Pretend I did. He nailed the personalities with his delivery, and when he spoke for the manic Dean, Patton read at 110 miles per hour with inflection and didn't miss a beat. Brilliant.

    The writing is astonishing. Kerouac can create a unique living, breathing character in two sentences.

    The only thing I knew about Kerouac is that he "spoke for the Beat Generation." For decades hat description held me back from reading this book. Don't let that happen to you. Jump on it and take a wild ride.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol Prague, Czech Republic 09-20-14
    Carol Prague, Czech Republic 09-20-14 Member Since 2012
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    "A must listen!"
    Where does On the Road rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I have no particular favourite character...all different, all good.


    What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Incredibly well read, best audible reading so far.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    nicolas LAssomption, QC, Canada 12-28-13
    nicolas LAssomption, QC, Canada 12-28-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Typical classic: overhyped and outdated"
    Any additional comments?

    Like for most must-read classics, I found this book incredibly boring, which is sad because I was really looking forward to read this book that was said to have inspired so many people.

    Turns out this book is flat out boring and repetitive. Nothing really happens in this book; the main character travels east to west and back several times without doing anything more than hanging out with his bipolar buddy and submissive girlfriend. This book is a perpetual description of bars and musicians and pointless amazement during meaningless road trips.

    At first I thought the narrator was doing a good job at acting the voices of the different characters but it quickly became very annoying. I suffered in vain through the entire book hoping something great would eventually happen.

    To be honest, I can imagine that this book may have been inspirational for young adults who don't know anything about life in the 1960's, but this book is clearly obsolete in 2013 for adults.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    California Vegan CA 05-28-13
    California Vegan CA 05-28-13 Listener Since 2005
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    "A Classic that has not aged well."
    What would have made On the Road better?

    The two things that might have made this read more enjoyable would have been to have read it 40 years ago, or to have been a male, coming of age, with a sense of adventure but zero life experience.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something light, with a sense of humor.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    The performance was just fine, but the story is no longer relevant.


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

    As a San Francisco resident I found the historical descriptions of the area fascinating.


    Any additional comments?

    As many of the writings of this time, On the Road is trivializes females on a level that is insulting today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    aaron gibbstown, NJ, United States 05-19-13
    aaron gibbstown, NJ, United States 05-19-13 Member Since 2015
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    "fantastic"
    What made the experience of listening to On the Road the most enjoyable?

    the gritty reality and how sal paradise captures the world in his words


    What did you like best about this story?

    i loved how kerouac notices the the sunsets and land scapes and the deeper meanings in his world


    What does Will Patton bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    patton reads the book like kerouac would of read it ,


    Any additional comments?

    if you have ever wanted to know true love of the road and adventure . read this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    miles rose lake, fl, United States 04-19-13
    miles rose lake, fl, United States 04-19-13 Member Since 2013

    Say something about yourself!

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    "pass"

    the narrator sucks. Kerouac was jacked out of his mind on speed when he went into great ,beatnic details about random hipsters he met. whatever, who hasnt done this before. i guess its famous because no one ever wrote about it in great, and i mean great detail. its been about a year and i feel obligated to this books fame to endure it until the end. just like zen and the art of moto maintenance. at least theres a bmw in that book?

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Calgary, Alberta, Canada 04-04-13
    Jennifer Calgary, Alberta, Canada 04-04-13 Member Since 2010

    It was a good day when I realized I could combine my two hobbies- reading AND knitting. Audible has seen me through many projects!

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    "Wow the Reader is Amazing"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Listening to Will Patton read this book is truely an experience worth having.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Relief- Dean Moriarity made me tired just thinking about his personality.


    Any additional comments?

    I'm not sure I would have enjoyed this book if I was reading it myself, but it really came alive with Patton's great work!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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