This book made me want to throw on a denim jacket, steal a packet of cigarettes and hitchhike across America to wind up in a damp basement in New York City to crank out pages of leaky ink poetry on a typewriter. On the Road invokes a sense of nostalgia for the way America used to be, when the roads were full of strangers promising money at their brother’s house in California, and the good life was hauling groceries up a hill outside San Francisco, and everyone was mad, mad about their loneliness or their art or the American Dream or their girl or their drugs. Or all of it at once. Kerouac takes the hitchhiking words of the English language and throws all the vagabonds, the orphaned teenagers, the Midwestern farm boys together to make lines of beautiful metaphors and descriptions. This book is the essence of spontaneity and trying to create the purest form of art out of the whimsy of the human mind. It’s gritty, dark, and hopeful all at once, and definitely one of my favorite books.