I hated Jack Kerouac’s On The Road when I read it in my early teens. I expected a carefree romp that would glamorize and endorse antinomian adventures such as I hoped to have. Instead I found a disorienting and melancholy book—all hangover and no high.

In ” The End of the Road ” (October 2008) our features editor, R.R. Reno, suggests that it is precisely this note of melancholy that reveals the greatness of the book. I’d tell you more about his intriguing line of thought, but I’d rather you read for yourself.