From the European Romantics of the 18th century avant-garde to the pre-WWI Bohemians, the world’s been struck by many a powerful counter-cultural movement. The one that’s closest to our hearts, though, spanned the mid-twentieth century, and was rooted in the USA: from the post-War 1940s right though to the early days of the 1970s, America was bombarded with hippies, flower-power, drop-outs, squatters, pacifist campaigners and (not least) feminists, each of them battling against the status-quo and the staid, conservative middle-classes. And what helped to stir this revolutionary stew?
A tattered old map, a flask of strong coffee, a set of wheels and a cassette of hardcore power ballads (ahem) – oh, how we love a road-trip! And as for company, whether we’re camped on the roadside or boarded up in a seedy motel, there’s nothing better than a good book. Happily, in the last fifty years or so, many of our literary heroes have taken to the highways. Here’s a quick look at just a few of our favourite novels written in homage to adventures, both good and bad.