Paradise Road: Jack Kerouac's Lost Highway and My Search for America

Atkinson, Jay

Published by Wiley 2010-03-01, 2010
ISBN 10: 0470237694 / ISBN 13: 9780470237694
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Synopsis: Noted writer Jay Atkinson recreates Jack Kerouac's legendary On the Road journeys in contemporary North America

Jack Kerouac's iconic 1950s novel On the Road is a Beat Generation classic, chronicling the adventures and misadventures of Kerouac's travels crisscrossing North America with   Neal Cassady, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and other colorful companions. Now gifted writer Jay Atkinson hits the road to retrace Kerouac's legendary journey today. The author's experiences offer fascinating insights on American culture and society then and now and illuminate his own quest for self-understanding and discovery.

  • Contrasts the life and landscape of Kerouac's 1940s and 1950s America with the realities today
  • Filled with unexpected adventures and strangers encountered on Atkinson's trips to New York, New Orleans, Chicago, Denver, Mexico City, and the California coast
  • Reveals Atkinson's engaging reflections on the search for personal identity and self
  • Other titles by Jay Atkinson: Ice Time (a Publishers Weekly Notable Book of the Year) and Legends of Winter Hill (a Boston Globe bestseller) as well as the novels City in Amber and Caveman Politics

Absorbing and beautifully written, Paradise Road is essential reading for Kerouac fans as well as lovers of engaging travel memoirs and anyone interested in American life and culture.

From the Inside Flap: More than fifty years after its publication, Jack Kerouac's iconic novel On the Road remains one of the most important books of the twentieth century. Chronicling Kerouac's adventures as he traveled across North America with his companions Neal Cassady, William Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and other members of the Beat Generation, On the Road takes a unique look at a lost postwar America. In Paradise Road, Jay Atkinson sets out to re-create Kerouac's journeys of the late 1940s, depicting the travels of the author and his longtime friends as they retrace the five major trips Jack Kerouac took with his pals. Writing with a novelist's eye and ear, Atkinson creates a compelling portrait of North America: its roaring blues bars and nightclubs, empty country roads, and remote prairie towns and byways as well as the enduring warmth and humor of its citizens.

Jay Atkinson grew up in Methuen, Massachusetts, a few miles from Jack Kerouac's hometown of Lowell. In this book, Atkinson compares his experiences with those of his former "neighbor," detailing how the country has changed since Kerouac's time. But perhaps the most intriguing aspect of this book is the various ways in which the small towns of America have remained the same. Bringing to mind the writing of Kerouac, Walt Whitman, Henry David Thoreau, and Jack London, Atkinson's narrative is a celebration of ordinary American towns and the extraordinary people who reside there.

Like Kerouac, Atkinson finds his journey interrupted, changed, and enriched by people he meets along the way?—a barmaid who struggles to quit drinking on the job, a wizened bus driver laboring to fix his car and drive his wife to her cancer treatment, and the former college basketball star who still lives with his ex-girlfriend because neither of them can afford to live alone.

Paradise Road takes you on a fascinating, complex, and revealing American journey.

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Title: Paradise Road: Jack Kerouac's Lost Highway ...
Publisher: Wiley 2010-03-01
Publication Date: 2010
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: New

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