Beloved Books becoming Films // On the Road

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In great anticipation for the film's release in theaters (no official dates have been announced yet) I am grubbing the chance to read this incredible book again. It's been several years since I read it for the first time, while studying for my postgraduate degree. I am sure that reading it 10 years later will look and sound totally different to me. My life has changed 180 degrees since then, so I think it will be a whole new experience!

On the Road is a novel by American writer Jack Kerouac, written in April 1951, and published by Viking Press in 1957. It is a largely autobiographical work that was based on the spontaneous road trips of Kerouac and his friends across mid-century America. It is often considered a defining work of the postwar Beat Generation that was inspired by jazz, poetry, and drug experiences. While many of the names and details of Kerouac's experiences are changed for the novel, hundreds of references in On the Road have real-world counterparts. (source: wikipedia)

Jack Kerouac himself was the one that introduced the phrase "Beat Generation" in 1948 to characterize a perceived underground, anti-conformist youth movement in New York. Central elements of "Beat" culture included experimentation with drugs, alternative forms of sexuality, an interest in Eastern religion, a rejection of materialism, and the idealizing of exuberant, unexpurgated means of expression and being. The members of the Beat Generation developed a reputation as new bohemian hedonists, who celebrated non-conformity and spontaneous creativity.

Book Synopsis: On The Road features a series of trips made by Kerouac and his Beat Generation friends across America in the years after the Second World War. Through the eyes of narrator Sal Paradise (Kerouac himself) the reader is transported from New York to Denver to San Francisco and LA. Along the way there’s jazz, poetry and drugs. And there’s Dean Moriarty, whose incredible thirst for life (and women) gives the book its extraordinary momentum. “The only people in life for me are the mad ones... the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles,” says Sal of his explosive travelling companion. And with those words, a thousand trips were launched... (source: The Telegraph)

some of the book's most popular covers* (images edited by barefoot duchess)
And here comes the movie based on Jack Kerouac's novel, directed by Walter Salles, the man behind the best road movie I have ever seen, The Motorcycle Diaries (2004), and starring a huge cast not only of young and up-coming actors, such as Sam Riley (Control), Garrett Hedlund (TRON: Legacy), Kristen Stewart (Twilight Saga, The Runaways), Tom Sturridge (Pirate Radio), Elisabeth Moss (MAD Men), but also A-list actors such as Viggo Mortensen, Amy Adams, Steve Buscemi and Kirsten Dunst among many others.

Watch the official trailer that was released recently:

*book cover images via:,,,,,, and

Thanks for reading,