Opting Out explores the theme of deviance as a form of protest in famous cult novels that have left an indelible mark on contemporary American culture – from Jack Kerouac's On the Road to Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. Adopting a generational lens, it centers on the deviant heroes and literary spokesmen of two major cohorts: the Baby Boomers and Generation X. Here for the first time the cult texts that defined these generations are submitted to a critical analysis that allows them to enter into a dialogue – or rather a heated debate – with each other. This opens new perspectives on the generation gap in America since 1945, offering a dynamic look at the role of youth as agents of social change and cultural innovation. The volume is of interest to students and researchers in contemporary American literature and culture, as well as to fans of cult fiction in general. The interdisciplinary approach to the themes of generational conflict and deviant behaviour also makes a significant contribution to the fields of sociology, contemporary history and cultural studies.