Why Kerouac Matters by John Leland
The Lessons of On the Road (They're Not What You Think)

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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.


About John Leland

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John Leland is a reporter for the New York Times and former editor in chief of Details, and he was an original columnist at SPIN magazine. Robert Christgau of the Village Voice called him "the best American postmod critic (the best new American rock critic period)," and Chuck D of Public Enemy said the nasty parts of the song "Bring the Noise" were written about him. He lives in Manhattan's East Village with his wife, Risa, and son, Jordan.
Published August 16, 2007 by Penguin Books. 236 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

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A pop-culture trifle that tries too hard to make its already accessible subject au courant among the 20-somethings.

May 20 2010 | Read Full Review of Why Kerouac Matters: The Less...

The New York Times

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Many readers miss the real themes of “On the Road.”

Aug 19 2007 | Read Full Review of Why Kerouac Matters: The Less...

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