On the Wagon
by Lennox Nicholson
On the Wagon is a young recovering alcoholic’s quest to find the true meaning of freedom by following the route of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, one of the most abiding expressions of freedom in popular culture.
Setting off from Australia with little more than faith in the contacts he’ll likely make at Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) meetings, Lennox Nicholson finds out what it’s like to follow in the footsteps of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty – but sober. Along the way, he discusses ideas and interpretations of freedom with everyone he meets, from a man on the bus who’s just got out of jail in Jersey to an Indigenous Australian who wows a crowd of 50,000 people at a global AA conference in Atlanta. Nicholson compares his own experiences of excess, indulgence and freedom to that celebrated by the Beat writers, and explores what the chalk-and-cheese forces of Beat and AA might possibly have to learn from one another.