On the Road by Jack Kerouac
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On the Road
By Jack Kerouac

On the Road

By (author) See other recent books by Jack Kerouac
Introduction by Ann Charters See other recent books by Ann Charters
Format: Paperback

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On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Book Awards

  • Runner-up for The BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.
  • Shortlisted for BBC Big Read Top 100 2003.

Book Description

Five decades after it was first published, Jack Kerouac's seminal Beat novel On the Road finally finds its way to the big screen, in a production from award-winning director Walter Salles (Motorcycle Diaries) starring Sam Riley (Control, Brighton Rock), Garret Hedlund (Friday Night Lights), Kristen Stewart (Twilight), Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams and Viggo Mortensen. Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), a young innocent, joins his hero Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund), 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. "The most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as "beat"." (The New York Times). "Pop writing at its best. It changed the way I saw the world, making me yearn for fresh experience." (Hanif Kureishi, Independent on Sunday). "On the Road sold a trillion Levis and a million espresso machines, and also sent countless kids on the road." (William Burroughs).

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780141182674
ISBN-10: 0141182679
Format: Paperback
(199mm x 133mm x 19mm)
Pages: 320
Imprint: Penguin Classics
Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
Publish Date: 24-Feb-2000
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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UK Kirkus Review » A memorable and influential rather than a great book. But teenagers love this novel of long roads, big cars, free jazz and loose women without reservation. Kerouac wrote the book in 12 days of 'continuous bop prosody' on an unbroken roll of wrapping paper - for writers, fame might be just a fortnight away. Sadly much of Kerouac's other work seems dated and simple-minded but On the Road is still of tremendous human and historical interest. (Kirkus UK)

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Author Biography - Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (1922 - 1969) was an American novelist, poet, artist and part of the Beat Generation. Most of his life was spent in the vast landscapes of America or living with his mother, with whom he spent most of his life. Kerouac's best known works are On the Road and The Dharma Bums. Ann Charters, professor of English at the University of Connecticut, has been interested in Beat writers since 1956, when as an undergraduate English major she attended the repeat performance of the Six Gallery poetry reading in Berkeley where Allen Ginsberg gave his sencond public reading of Howl. After his death she wrote the first Kerouac biography and edited his posthumous collection, Scattered Poems. She was the general editor of the two-volume encyclopaedia The Beats: Literary Bohemians In Postwar America and has published a collection of her photographic portraits of well-known writers in the book Beats & Company.

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