Why Kerouac Matters

The Lessons of On the Road (They're Not What You Think)

John Leland - Author

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ISBN 9781101202654 | 224 pages | 16 Aug 2007 | Penguin | 18 - AND UP
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Legions of youthful Americans have taken On the Road as a manifesto for rebellion and an inspiration to hit the road. But there is much more to the book than that. In Why Kerouac Matters, John Leland embarks on a wry, insightful, and playful discussion of the novel, arguing that it still matters because it lays out an alternative road map to growing up. Along the way, Leland overturns many misconceptions about On the Road as he examines the lessons that Kerouac’s alter ego, Sal Paradise, absorbs and dispenses on his novelistic journey to manhood, and how those lessons—about work and money, love and sex, art and holiness— still reverberate today.

“No one has written better and more intelligently about Kerouac.”
—David Gates, Newsweek

“ An entertaining and insightful book . . . over and over Leland showed me something new, and just as important, something fun.”
The American Book Review

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