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Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” Quotes (85 Quotes)


  • All around me were the noise of the crazy gold-coast city. And this was my Hollywood career - this was my last night in Hollywood, and I was spreading mustard on my lap in back of a parking-lot john.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • All he needed was a wheel in his hand and four on the road.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • And so we picked up our bags, he the trunk with his one good arm and I the rest, and staggered to the cable-car stop; in a moment rolled down the hill with our legs dangling to the sidewalk from the jiggling shelf, two broken-down heroes of the Western night.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • And though Remi was having worklife problems and bad lovelife with a sharp-tongued woman, he at least had learned to laugh almost better than anyone in the world, and I saw all the fun we were going to have in Frisco.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • As we rode in the bus in the weird phosphorescent void of the Lincoln Tunnel we leaned on each other with fingers waving and yelled and talked excitedly, and I was beginning to get the bug like Dean.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")


  • At night in this part of the West the stars, as I had seen them in Wyoming, were as big as Roman Candles and as lonely as the Prince who's lost his ancestral home and journeys across the spaces trying to find it again, and knows he never will.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Besides, all my New York friends were in the negative, nightmare position of putting down society and giving their tired bookish or political or psychoanalytical reasons, but Dean just raced in society, eager for bread and love.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Better to sleep in an uncomfortable bed free, than sleep in a comfortable bed unfree.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • But they need to worry and betray time with urgencies false and otherwise, purely anxious and whiny, their souls really won't be at peace unless they can latch to an established and proven worry and having once found it they assume facial expressions to fit and go with it, which is, you see, unhappiness, and all the time it all flies by them and they know it and that too worries them no end.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Dean and I both swayed to the rhythm and the IT of our final excited joy in talking and living to the blank traced end of all innumerable riotous angelic particulars that had been lurking in our souls all our lives.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Dean's California--wild, sweaty, important, the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds, and the land where everybody somehow looked like broken-down, handsome, decadent movie actors.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Every now and then a clear harmonic cry gave new suggestions of a tune that would someday be the only tune in the word and would raise mean's souls to joy.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • For the first time in my life the weather was not something that touched me, that caressed me, froze or sweated me, but became me.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • Go moan for man. It's the pathos of people that gets us down, all the lovers in this dream.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")

  • He has to blow across bridges and come back and do it with such infinite feeling soul-exploratory for the tune of the moment that everybody knows it's not the tune that counts but IT.
    (Jack Kerouac, "On the Road")


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