Customer Reviews for

On the Road

Average Rating 4
( 320 )
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(175)

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(77)

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(42)

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(13)

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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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  • Posted March 12, 2011

    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 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:)

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2011

    Important Read

    This book started off strong for me and I got into it really fast. About halfway through I started to really hate the characters particularly Sal but I still wanted to keep reading and I am glad that I did. While the characters were completely unlikable to me the way this story shows the expanse of America and represents a different side of this generation than what I am used to reading is great. I definitely thing everyone should read this book it might not be the best book you have ever read but you won't regret reading it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2012

    KG

    Kerouac is such a great writer, and I recommend watching the film adaption of this novel (directed by Walter Salles). It has great performances and captures the feelings that the book gives you perfectly.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2012

    Life Changing

    I loved this book and it made me a Kerouac fan for life. I can't wait to see the new movie adaptation and read Big Sur. A lot of people either love or hate the "Beat" generation and writings, I'm firmly in the LOVE camp.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 18, 2012

    A must read for the free spirit adventeror A must read for those who love no ties and true freedom

    Great story based on free spirit and free love just before the hippie era

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 30, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Simple and Carefree

    On The Road is a simplistic story about a man who wanted to make a drastic change with his life. Most people don't have the guts to do it. Sal Paradise was unhappy living his life as it was so took off for the west coast in search of...meaning. It was something he was skeptical in doing at first, but his buddy Dean Moriarty was sure this is what he needed. Dean is the extreme adventurous type who can never stay in one place for too long. He is the proof that as much as people need to mix it up, everything needs to be done in moderation. This gives hope to those who would like to have the option to escape from it all. It shows that it can be done. Sal experiences what life is like all throughout the country again and again. It's a scenic trip the whole time that I would recommend to any reader with a free spirit.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    (Contains Spoilers)

    On the Road was a great book. Not the best I've ever read, but I enjoyed it very much. This book appeals to a crowd that can identify, or that likes imagining they are living life on the fringe, with no responsibilities. I did like this idea in the book, but after all that was said in the book, I couldn't tell if there was too much of an overall meaning behind it, or if it was just simply a story. The major topics and ideas that will mostly likely define whether or not you will like this book (I will delve into each) are: the lack of a plot line, new characters being continually introduced, new settings being continually introduced, the beatnik generation, and the lack of romance.
    The main part of the storyline consists of Sal, the main character, traveling around the U.S. If you enjoy story-lines that take random twists and turns, but aren’t actually leading to much of an end-product, then you may like this story. While the book itself may be trying to say something, the storyline itself seems to lack an end goal. Sal isn’t trying to accomplish anything in his travels. About half the time he is traveling, he doesn’t even choose to travel (his personality is relatively passive), it is usually his friends that decide to go across the country. Personally this is one of the aspects I loved about the book. When a plot is evident, it’s easy to guess how the story may progress. When there isn’t much a plot however, anything is possible in the story. This kept me interested, wondering what may happen next to the characters. For the first half of the book this is the fashion it went in and I loved it. However, after the halfway point, happenings in Sal’s life repeated themselves many times. I felt a great redundancy by the latter part of the book. While this makes sense, since this is based on actual events, which aren’t always super-entertaining, I was reading for enjoyment, and the story slowly lost my attention.
    Another part of the book I liked was the amount of characters that were introduced in it. If you would rather read about a main character who is independent and strong, this may not be the story for you. Many different characters influence Sal, he isn’t very definitive in comparison to the other characters, and he is quite passive in his personality compared to the other characters. But if you do enjoy these types of characters, Kerouac does a good job of introducing characters that are interesting and who give the story motion (more so than Sal). At the times where Sal is hitchhiking across the country alone, Kerouac uses parallel structure that kept me captivated. Each new person that picked Sal up has a new personality, which was fun to read about. Kerouac did a good job of diversifying the characters in the story, but within limits, which made it engrossing and realistic. This kept me wondering what the next person Sal meets would be like. Not all the characters Sal met would stay in the story: some characters would randomly resurface, some stayed prevalent throughout the story, while others made a big impact on the story, yet appeared once.
    Going along with the idea of the characters in the story, there are a multitude of different settings introduced in the story. If you prefer a story that takes place in one or few settings, where you can really become familiar with the setting over the entire story, you shouldn’t buy this. However I liked the continually changing setting. As Sal travels around, I got to constantly take in the new settings. It was also interesting to see how the characters adapted to the new settings. This kept the story fresh, in a way, new possibilities arose as new settings (and characters) were presented.
    Another part of the book that may attract certain readers is the fact that this book is formed around the beatnik generation. If you have a strong connection to that generation, this may be a good book for you. While reading a story in which the setting is exactly how you lived when you were younger, you could make numerous connections with the book. This would make the story much more interesting. I myself couldn’t make those connections, but I did like reading the story because the idea of rejecting traditional living was prominent. As I live a fairly structured life in comparison, it was gripping to be immersed in a story where the characters lived day-to-day and were never anchored down in one location. The characters would not know how they were going to pay for food or room most nights, and they would constantly change jobs, which made the story involving.
    The last part of the book that may or may not draw in readers is the romantic ideas (or lack thereof) in the book. This may have to do more with the idea of beatniks, but since romance and relationships are major parts of books in general, it can stand alone. Most of the characters in the book have broken relationships that involve cheating, or just leaving their partner while they travel across the country. Even Sal gets in a relationship with a woman whom he leaves without much reason, after living with her and becoming involved in her life. I don’t mind this type of romance in the novel, it seems realistic with the kind of people most of the characters are. But if you’re against this type of relationship, you might not like the book, seeing as most of the male characters seem to objectify woman a lot. Again this seems realistic with their mindset and being in their mid-20s (sorry for the stereotype).
    Overall I think this book is great and that if you like most of the characteristics named above, then you’ll enjoy the book. It does get relatively redundant towards the second half of the book (it’s realistic, so that makes sense). Bear in mind this is just my opinion on the book, so don’t be afraid to get even if you don’t think you’ll like it. But if you don’t mind the mild redundancy and are interested in the ideas presented, you’ll love it and you may even wish you yourself were On the Road.

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  • Posted July 26, 2009

    A Demanding Read

    While I do recommend this book, I also think it's a bit overrated and not as good as other Kerouac books such as 'Desolation Angels' and 'Big Sur'. Also, this book may have limited appeal and I would not recommend it to any of you ladies out there. I doubt they would fully understand it or relate to some of the more male emotions involved.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 8, 2008

    Very good book

    This book was very unique with a great writing style and incredibly detailed. I enjoyed every single description. It was so full of colorful words and country slang so proper and fitting to the theme and characters. This marvelous piece of work tells the story of two men, Sal and Dean . Sal is a New York City boy who is a very quiet, and discreet writer eager to see the world, yet he´s not daring enough to do so. He meets Dean through friends in the summer of '47 . Sal makes Dean look like this smart, dreamy, woman-loving, Mid-Western character who he looks up to very much. Sal is so intrigued by this original character and his friends that he decides to pack his bags and cross the whole country to see Dean to Denver and continue all the way to the West Coast alongside his new buddy. He encounters many obstacles and meets new friends which he talks about with deep detail. One can see as Sal changes from that quiet, young, peaceful writer into a more social and extroverted being. This tale is about friendship, finding one´s self and life on the road. The whole story was inspired on real life events of the author Jack Kerouac while he lived life on the road in the late 1940´s. This book takes many twists and changes as we see the lives of Sal and Dean progress though time. The majority of their adventures on the road involve casual sex, drug use, and wreckless behavior from all the characters in the story as they try hard to find love, happiness and the need to live life to its fullest, doing so by going on the road . This was piece of literature that changed my perspective on many things and opened up my mind to what others experiment and what life on the road was like in those years of madness.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2005

    Dont go swimming expecting to stay dry. .

    and don't read 'On the Road' expecting life changing realizations. You will experience a great book. But you wont have life change around you. It will always be the same; ups and downs. what you make of it. A wonderful story about a journey man takes. Keep in mind that it is not the destination but the journey itself that makes our life. This is as it is with this masterpiece. I've read a couple dozen times and thoroughly enjoy it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2005

    A great book

    While some may believe the beats were pursuers of petty crimes and careless lives, this book goes above and beyond anything I imagined. Not only did it emphasize friendship and relationships, it made me, a student, realize that literature comes in all forms. I had never read about he beats and before I read this story, I could not have given the time frame of this generation. As a student, I found some parts lengthy and boring, but I urge anyone who starts this book to finish it because what you come to understand at the end is precious.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 29, 2004

    Worth the $19.95!

    Although, I am not usually a fan of listening to books on CD, I could not resist the chance to revisit a book that I have always loved. This unabridged version of On the Road is read by Matt Dillion, who manages to swagger through Kerouac's prose as if he wrote it himself.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 13, 2004

    On the Road

    Perfect novel for summertime. Reads like absolute poetry.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 3, 2004

    Wild Ride

    On The Road follows the lives of group of friend, who are caught up in the beatnik lifestyle of the time. The main characters are Sal Paradise, and Dean Moriarty, two young men traveling around the country doing what young men do best, partying. Keroac shows you America in a new light. He shows you the side of America that everyone wants to visit but not stay. Though On The Road is a little descriptive at times, Keroac's poetic style of writing will have you wanting more by the end. Whether it be the mountains in Colorado, or the bayou's in New Orleans, Keroac paints you the picture of the real America. This is a fun book that shows you a lifestyle you don't see anymore. If you have the time definitely give this one a shot.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2003

    Turned Out To Be An Okay book..........

    I began reading this book for a book project ,and when I saw the title of the book I knew that it would be a hard story to get into. I thought I would not be interestedin this book because I'm into books with drama or mystery. In the book ON THE ROAD, the story is more like an adventure type book rather than a drama. Sal, which is the narrator, travels on the road to catch up with old friends. Everytime Sal visits a friend he never stay too long because something always goes wrong. You would even think that Sal would own his own car with him being a writer and all , but in this case Sal travels by hitchhiking. So, if there is anybody out there who is into fun and adventurous stories, I highly recommend this book for you.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 30, 2003

    B.R. Student The 'Beat' goes on

    On the Road was a fun and exciting read that inspired many generations to this day to explore mind, body and soul. I really enjoyed reading about all the adventures and character's that Kerouac developed for the novel. The book is great for people who can't travel and people about to travel. Kerouac gives readers a journey within the pages without leaving the couch. I recommend this book to all and hope you get the enjoyment I have received. I loved all the human interactions and the need of the character's to find themselves in the great big North America.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2000

    'Traveling Man'

    As I was leaving to go on vacation I decided to take a book along.I grabbed 'On The Road' on my way out the door.I had bought it the previous winter but still had not read it.What a treat!Traveling,although not on the grand scale Kerouac and Cassidy (Paradise & Moriarty) were, made this book all the more enjoyable. Pure enrapture!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 26, 2000

    GREAT TO READ ON A LONESOME TRIP

    This novel keeps you going, although at times it may seem dull, keep reading, you'll enjoy it. It gives you a glimpse into the past and that was enough for me.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

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