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Paradise Road: Jack Kerouac's Lost Highway and My Search for America written by Jay Atkinson


Paradise Road: Jack Kerouac's Lost Highway and My Search for America written by Jay Atkinson



praise for jay atkinson

"The bard of New England toughness."
—Men's Health

For Legends of Winter Hill: Cops, Con Men, and Joe McCain, the Last Real Detective:

"A page-turner. Legends of Winter Hill, which had me cringing one minute and laughing the next, broadened my street education . . . I guarantee it will do the same for you."
—Boston Sunday Globe

"Collaring the reader from the start, Legends of Winter Hill pushes hard and fast, propelling larger-than-life characters across the page, neverloosening its grip."
—Boston Herald

For Ice Time: A Tale of Fathers, Sons, and Hometown Heroes:

"A memorable journey, part reportage, part memoir, all heart."
—Bill Reynolds, The Providence Journal

"[Atkinson] seamlessly weaves his past with current events, detailing the team's fortunes while lovingly recalling his own at that time of life."
—The Virginian-Pilot

"A bona fide masterstroke."
—Publishers Weekly

"Far more than just a chronicle of a high school hockey season, Jay Atkinson's book is an evocative, bittersweet, poetic journey of a grown man trying, as we all try, not to recapture youth but to remember the splendor of it."
—H. G. Bissinger, author of the bestselling Friday Night Lights

For Caveman Politics:

"Atkinson keeps his plot moving at a good pace, offering enough twists to keep the reader's attention, but it is the humor and insight of his characters that make the novel work."
—The New York Times Book Review


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 and My Search for America

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