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On the Road at Fifty September 5, 2007

Posted by bookgoddess in Reading.
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Are you digging it?  Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of On the Road by Jack Kerouac.  

I don’t know how many of you have read the book, but I’m pretty sure you’ve all heard of it, and have ideas about it.  I had never read it until a few years ago when I listened to the excellent audiobook from Recorded Books.

The cool part was that I got to listen to On the Road while “on the road.”   Though I’d have to admit that the Florida Turnpike does not compare to the much wilder roads that Kerouac traveled.

Of course, this is not your family road trip, either.  Kerouac and various male friends travel back and forth across this country and Mexico.  There is a great deal of drinking and risky behavior of all kinds.

And let’s just say that Kerouac does not display a very enlightened attitude towards women, whose role in this narrative is peripheral at best.  It was a different time.

It’s also interesting to think that this was published in the midst of the fifties – quite a contrast to the dominance of suburbia and middle class respectability.

On the Road conveys a great love for adventure, for the wide open spaces, for jazz, and for friendship.  It’s a real piece of Americana.  (Has there ever been such a nation of road travelers as us?)

I can’t really encourage you to go out and squander fossil fuels, but I predict that after a few chapters of this book, you’re going to want to gas up the car and feel the wind in your hair….

Happy traveling!

Tina Maura Albee

The Book Goddess


1. Marc Charles - September 5, 2007

This book is one of my favorite “Great American Road Trip” books. I think it is only bested by one other road trip book, “Travels with Charlie.”

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