The Sideshow

Hit the road, just like Jack Kerouac

New free e-book gives aspiring beatniks step-by-step directions

The Sideshow

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Jack Kerouac (Tom Palumbo, Wikimedia Commons

Seeking a great adventure across the United States? Want to drive the same route Jack Kerouac took on the trip that inspired his iconic novel/memoir "On the Road"?

Of course you do. And now, thanks to German college student Gregor Weichbrodt, you can do it via turn-by-turn directions.

We first learned of Weichbrodt's great endeavor at openculture.com. The student apparently went through Kerouac's book and noted all the landmarks and geographic stops mentioned in the text. He then put those stops into Google Maps and created an e-book with incredibly specific directions.

The book's few dozen pages don't make for scintillating reading (unless you happen to find that sentences like "Turn left onto Grant St. Slight left onto River Dr." inspire copious page-turning), but the e-book is another stellar example of people giving classic works of art a fresh take with a little help from the ol' Interwebs. Also, it's free.

Of course, the directions do leave some guesswork. And the roads have changed since Kerouac's day. And one could argue that following directions (of any kind, man) is a poor way to honor Kerouac.

But for those who worship at the altar of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, it's as close as you're gonna get to riding shotgun.

Follow Mike Krumboltz on Twitter (@mikekrumboltz).

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