Each month the OverDrive team will be choosing a classic title to feature that we feel is a Must-Have for all collections. In our debut post, we’ve chosen Jack Kerouac’s influential novel On the Road.
Often called one of the most important English language novels of all time, On the Road is a semi-autobiographical tale of friendship, the beat generation and Jack Kerouac’s travels along America’s highways.
Sal Paradise is a struggling writer living with his Aunt when he becomes acquainted with an enigmatic nomad, Dean Moriarty, and attempts to echo Dean’s lifestyle. Paradise embarks upon several journeys across the country, as well as into Mexico, over the next several years. During this time he undertakes several odd jobs, discovers different cultures, falls in love with jazz and experiences the waves of disappointment that are so often intertwined with a false perception of freedom.
Though the concept of a young writer hitchhiking his way across the country has long since become unfeasible, the underlying sentiment reverberating in On the Road can be felt even today. There is an overwhelming sense that Kerouac, and his utopian-named self-image Paradise, are eternally seeking what they envision to be the promised land, only to realize that perhaps the “Paradise” is the journey; and that the beat marches on when this journey has ended.
On the Road is available in eBook and audiobook format. Visit Content Reserve to add your copy of “Paradise” today!
Jason Sockel is a Collection Development Associate at OverDrive.