Customer Reviews for

On the Road

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

Voice of an Era

The most useful purpose On the Road serves is not as a great character exploration - which it is - or as a wild adventure story - which it isn't - but as for better understanding a generation of people inspired by it. In some ways, it's a book about nothing, a book abo...
The most useful purpose On the Road serves is not as a great character exploration - which it is - or as a wild adventure story - which it isn't - but as for better understanding a generation of people inspired by it. In some ways, it's a book about nothing, a book about drifting... which sometimes makes for an aimless narrative, but does capture the way so many have wandered after.

The most appropriate thing about this nook version is that you can take Kerouac's classic on the road with you:)

posted by GeorgyPorgy on March 12, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

16 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

What's all the hype about?

Okay, Kerouac was a talented writer. That is plain to see, and anybody who doesn't see it I feel sorry for. And while On the Road was an enjoyable read, one that I don't regret nor ever will, I still can't help but feel disapointed. This was supposed to be meaningful...
Okay, Kerouac was a talented writer. That is plain to see, and anybody who doesn't see it I feel sorry for. And while On the Road was an enjoyable read, one that I don't regret nor ever will, I still can't help but feel disapointed. This was supposed to be meaningful...where is the meaning? Generally, I'm better than most people at finding allegories within works of fiction, being a nit-picky satirist myself. I can give you symbolism for every event in Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. I can give you the moral, philosophical points of Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. I can decode the works of Burroughs. But 'On the Road' left me feeling like it was pointless...a good, enjoyable read, but...pointless. So here's my advice: Read the book, don't believe the hype. Enjoy the story, but don't expect it to be life-changing, intellectually charged, and allegorically moral, like so many fans want you to believe.

posted by Anonymous on October 2, 2004

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2004

    What's all the hype about?

    Okay, Kerouac was a talented writer. That is plain to see, and anybody who doesn't see it I feel sorry for. And while On the Road was an enjoyable read, one that I don't regret nor ever will, I still can't help but feel disapointed. This was supposed to be meaningful...where is the meaning? Generally, I'm better than most people at finding allegories within works of fiction, being a nit-picky satirist myself. I can give you symbolism for every event in Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle. I can give you the moral, philosophical points of Burgess' A Clockwork Orange. I can decode the works of Burroughs. But 'On the Road' left me feeling like it was pointless...a good, enjoyable read, but...pointless. So here's my advice: Read the book, don't believe the hype. Enjoy the story, but don't expect it to be life-changing, intellectually charged, and allegorically moral, like so many fans want you to believe.

    16 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 30, 2010

    On the Road, Jack Kerouac

    On the Road is written by Jack Kerouac, published by Penguin in 1955. This book is considered to be an authentic representation of the movement in our society called the "Beat Generation." The book tells of Sal Paradise, and his decision to travel from New York to California during the late forties and early fifties, a time when the nation was recovering from the effects of World War II. The music of the time changed from a swing beat to jazz; this was a change from what was known, to something with a beat--jazz was edgy and different. This change in music was indicative of the change in young people, and this is the adventure from which Kerouac writes, because he was part of this beat generation.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2014

    Finished it

    I found this book slow in many ways. If I had been Sal, I would have dumped Dean in Denver the first day. It took the entire book for him to do just that. I am glad that I read it, but I am not a big fan.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2013

    Ilove it but

    I dont like

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 5, 2013

    GOOD BUT NOT GREAT ! Though On the Road is now a classic and em

    GOOD BUT NOT GREAT !

    Though On the Road is now a classic and embodies the spirit of the Beat generation, it is not a mind-boggling novel. There is no denying that Kerouac is a great writer but I was a little disappointed when I read the book because I expected it to be more meaningful, a more life-changing experience. I watched the movie just for comparison and I think that it is neither bad nor great and sometimes verges on the bad road movie. Some basic and fundamental elements and some parts of the novel have been altered or completely deleted. It is too bad because the actors are great!!!

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  • Posted December 26, 2012

    I'll make this brief.... If you're looking for some type of phil

    I'll make this brief.... If you're looking for some type of philsophical life changer, you may not find it in the pages of On the Road. If you're looking for a great story to transport you back to a different time and a book where you can really dig the characters, then read this. I've read other Kerouac works and I don't believe this is his best. From what I understand however, this version is heavily edited from the original scroll. I'm going to try the original scroll version to see if there is a different, more impactful effect.

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  • Posted June 1, 2010

    SchroetterJ

    On The Road by Jack Kerouac was published in 1957. It was a critical mess back then and yet considered a classic now. It all begins with Sal Paradise, living in New York after the break-up of his first marriage. He meets a man named Dean Moriarty. That spring, Sal decides to go on the road. He takes a bus to Chicago then hitchhikes to Denver where he meets up with his friends Carlo and Dean. He then leaves Denver and goes to San Francisco with a friend named Remi. After he leaves San Francisco, he meets a beautiful mexican girl named Terry. He lives with her for a while, picking cotton with her family for a living. He ends up leaving and crossing the country for home. He eventually meets back up with Dean and goes to New York then New Orleans then California. The next year, Sal returns to Denver, hitches a limo to Chicago, then goes back to New York. His next plan is to drive to Mexico and Dean offers to take him there. When they arrive, Sal is too sick to appreciate Dean for driving him there, and Dean just turns around and drives away. The next time they will ever meet is very brief and after that, they will never speak to each other ever again.

    This book was a rendition of Jack Kerouac's life. It is inspiring to me because it makes me want to travel and meet new and interesting people. I love the bohemian style of the characters. This book reminds me of "Into The Wild." I definitely draw a connection between Alexander Supertramp to Sal Paradise. The only thing about this book is there was no point to it. There was no goal to reach or an outstanding achievement to the plot. It was also very repetitive. Overall, this wasn't my favorite book but it also wasn't the worst.

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  • Posted January 15, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    The Road Makes for Good Travel but a Slow Story

    I was at first hesitant to read On the Road, not because I thought it would be a bad book , but because it had reached a point in literary fame that I knew it had inevitably been over hyped. To be honest, it was. I'm not trying to be overly negative. I really did enjoy the book, but it's not my favorite book of all time. That is a place still reserved in my heart for Nineteen Eighty Four. The reason I can never really love this book is the most basic feature of it: concept. I don't particularly care for the idea of non-fiction in the first place and in second place the idea of a non fiction based on no major event is even worse. Yes, I admit that it the book is very interesting and that I found his flow of consciousness writing style to be enjoyable but for some reason I just could not get really into the book. There is just something very anti climamactic about a story that consist of little more then a random travel.
    By far the best quality of the entire book was the characters that flowed in and out of it. Dean Morainty (Neal Cassidy) paints perfectly the image of a careless free spirit in a way that could not have been done better ,even had Jack simply created him out of his imagination. I have also always had an admiration of Allen Ginsberg so it is only natural that I should like his character humorously named Carlo Marx. But more interesting then even learning about the beats was learning about the "normal" people he met during his time on the road whether it be an eccentric truck driver giving him a ride, a young Mexican lady that he finds emotional connection to, or a person that comes to join his circle of Beatniks the random people in life always seem to be exceptionally interesting.
    By the end though even the fascination I have with people was not enough to win me over. I think as I write this now, that perhaps I would have liked it more had I came in with no expectations, but that just cant happen with a book like On the Road. Everyone reading it is going to have expectations of what the book is going to bring to the, table and if it doesn't deliver on those expectations it will seem worse then it is. For this reason I will never really know how good this book would be if I came in with a completely open mind, but I suspect I would still believe there are good characters with no actual storyline.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 28, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Mixed Feelings

    I read On the Road as the first book from Time Magazines 100 greatest novels of all time. While I will give the book its due respect as an American icon and classic, I personally had mixed feelings about it. I can see how, for its time, it was a new concept, very beat, and possibly controversial. But for people in our day and age, its somewhat difficult to connect with. There isn't a man I know who hasn't wanted to live on the road at least once in his life, and this is exciting to read in that respect. However, our country just isn't the same as it was when this was written. Had I read this book in the sixties or early seventies, it would have sent me out onto the road as fast as my Hudson could take me. As it is, I enjoyed it, but was not amazed. Quality characters, a fun journey, just not what I expected from all the hype.

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