Friday, August 31, 2007

Favorite road books: John Leland

John Leland, a reporter for the New York Times, is the author of Hip: The History and the new book, Why Kerouac Matters.

He contributed "The List" -- of his all-time favorite road books -- to The Week magazine this week.

One title on Leland's list:
Journey to the End of the Night by Louis-Ferdinand CĂ©line

The road to Nowheresville. Bardamu, the semi-autobiographical narrator, begins at the bottom and goes straight down, never losing his fatalism or his love of cheap bodily pleasures. Duped into World War I, he is sold into slavery in Africa, runs off to Detroit, and ultimately sinks into corrupt poverty in France. Virtue is absent from this picaresque, but mendacity, revulsion, and acid humor drip from the pages.
Read more about Leland's list.

--Marshal Zeringue