On the Road (1957) by Jack Kerouac


Critical Assessment "What matters about 'On the Road' is the book's raw energy yoked to its sense of promise in 'all that raw land,' the shove it offers to get out of one's own chair and see what lies over the horizon. . . . The book is a hymn to purposelessness, an antidote to what John Fowles once decried as our modern 'addiction to finding a reason, a function, a quantifiable yield' in everything we do. "Above all, 'On the Road' matters for its music: its plaintive, restless hum. In it, Kerouac perfected a melancholy optimism and a yearning for [...]