On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac's years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, "a sideburned hero of the snowy West." As "Sal Paradise" and "Dean Moriarty", the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.
On the Road is truly an influential work. Overnight, it propelled Jack Kerouac from unknown status to "king of the beats" and then helped awaken a nation of youth who shook America out of the 1950s and ushered in the excitement of the 1960s. The novel continues to inspire and has picked up a new generation of followers in the 1980s and 1990s. On the Road follows Sal Paradise as he traverses the American continent in search of new people, ideas, and adventures. But it's the way Sal and his friends--primarily Dean Moriarty--look at the world with a mixture of sad-eyed naivete and wild-eyed abandon that causes the rumbling in the soul of so many who read it.