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Ladder to Nirvana

On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Reviewed by Phoebe Lou Adams
The Atlantic Monthly

[Ed. Note. This review first ran in the Atlantic Monthly, October 1957.]

"Jack Kerouac's second novel, On the Road, concerns the adventures of the narrator, Sal Paradise, a war veteran who is studying on the G.I. bill and writing a book between drinks, and his younger friend, Dean Moriarty late of reform school. Neither of these boys can sit still. They race back and forth from New York to San Francisco, they charge from one party to another, they tour jazz joints, and Dean complicates the pattern by continually getting married. At odd moments they devote a little thought to finding Dean's father, a confirmed drunk who is presumably bumming around somewhere west of the Mississippi...." Read the entire Atlantic Monthly review.

3 Responses to "Ladder to Nirvana"

    Mariana November 7th, 2006 at 1:24 am

    Thanks for this review, I appreciated its sobriety and conciseness.

    Michael Riggs November 7th, 2006 at 4:16 am

    This has to be not only the worst review of On the Road I have read in about twenty years, but one of the most critically uninformed. Does the writer really not know of this book's critical reception over 30+ years, not know that the basic plan of the book is musical, and not know that Dean Moriarty is not representative of anything except a sort of generational ideal? The reviewer is right about one thing... there is great deal of repetition.
    M. Riggs

    Georgie, November 7th, 2006 at 10:43 am

    Oh dear — I administer the review a day program, and I messed up. My absolute apologies to all who read with bemusement this review when they received it in their email. It did not include the disclaimer that in fact this was the original review from the Atlantic Monthly, written in 1957. Mr. Riggs, this might put the review in perspective for you. Sorry to all who were confused.

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