On the Road

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On the Road Strand 80

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Product Description

First published in 1957, 'On the Road' memorializes Kerouac's adventures with Neal Cassady on the way to inventing what would come to be known as the 'Beat generation'. 310p.

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  • This is the Path That Never Ends

    4 out of 5

    Written by , Posted on at 10:56:51 AM

    I read this book as a young woman. Hardly an impressionable adolescent by any means, this book had a profound effect on me. I do not use the word “influence” for that would suggest that it changed my life or altered a path I had heretofore laid out for myself. What happened was that I was infected by the spirit of the road, much like Rat was when he encountered a wild rat in “The Wind in the Willows”. I was seized with the urge to travel, to pack as much I could travel in a dufflebag and simply GO. I wished to leap into a car, place my foot on the accelerator and see where the wind would take me. It was like I was seized with a fever, like a violent itch over my skin, one that no amount of mere scratching would assuage. Only three things stopped me: not having a car, not owning a driver’s license, not being able to drive. What a narrow squeak. If pressed for it, I could not have recited a single passage from the book nor explained precisely why it produced this delirium. It was like being in love with a thoroughly unsuitable person. You sense there is the risk that the flame will die, that the creature will abandon you in some godforsaken town leaving you to wend your way homeward poorer than when you started or that one of you will be filled with such rage you will murder your partner. You care not. You are caught in the grip of an inexorable compulsion and you must follow it to the bitter end or suffer. It was very like that for me. It took me months to recover my equilibrium. If you wish to risk having this taint laid on your spirit, then by all means read this American classic. If not, choose something easier and calmer—like one of the Lemony Snicket adventures.

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