On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Originally published in 1957.
Audible Studios audiobook edition published in January 2006.
Where to buy this book:
Buy the audiobook download from Audible via Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
Buy the paperback from Waterstones
How I got this book:
Purchased from Audible
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
'Sal Paradise, a young innocent, joins his hero Dean Moriarty, a traveller and mystic, the living epitome of beat, on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. Their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American dream. A brilliant blend of fiction and autobiography, Jack Kerouac's exhilarating novel swings to the rhythms of 1950s underground America, racing towards the sunset with unforgettable exuberance, poignancy and autobiographical passion. One of the most influential and important novels of the 20th century, On the Road is the book that launched the beat generation and remains the bible of that literary movement.'
It took me a while to get into On The Road. I had the audiobook version read by Matt Dillon who did a great job and, I thought, had the perfect voice for Kerouac's writing style. I found the characters all basically unlikeable to begin with and it wasn't until around the middle of the story that this started to change and I began to understand and empathise with their journey and motivations. Even then, it was the wildly dysfunctional Dean that I thought was most sympathetic and I never really pinned down Sal. The descriptions of America and Mexico throughout are detailed and, purely as a portrait of a time and place, this is a fascinating book.
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