I am slagging off another classic – Jack Kerouac – On the Road

This has been on my list of must reads for a long time now despite my boyfriend telling me it was boring, it turns out he was right.

Here is my summary of the novel so you don’t have to waste your time;

Man gets bored so hitches around America,makes horrible friends who are horrible to women, drinks a lot, steals a bit, has some sex, repeats constantly until the end.

In fact nothing much really happens and it is impossible to read this book without skimming.  The Beat Generation – bohemian hedonists or just people who were so  stoned that their books just ramble on about nothing?  If anyone wants to enlighten me about why this book is good, feel free.

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5 responses to “I am slagging off another classic – Jack Kerouac – On the Road

  1. “repeats constantly until end.”
    I think a more accurate review of On the Road has never existed. Personally, I have never enjoyed Kerouac. But then again, I’m not entirely sure you’re supposed to…

  2. Thank you very much for the compliment! I am yet to find someone who enjoyed this book but I will keep searching.

  3. Give the novel another try. “On the Road” was inspired by bebop Jazz like Charlie Parker & Miles Davis. Similar to jazz, the elements need time to ferment in your soul. The book is all about rhythm. “On the Road” is not in time with today’s speed rhythms and short attention spans. You need to taste the words, not simply read them. It’s kind of like meditation. It doesn’t come easy, but when you “connect” the experience is worth it. Trust me…if you’re able to tune yourself in to Kerouac’s syncopated energy, it will be like tasting the greatest wine ever poured.

  4. You really have to be ready to read it. I don’t know if that’ll make sense…I avoided reading it for many years because it had been built up to me by too many people. I had read several books by Burroughs, and while I somewhat enjoyed “Junkie” and “Queer,” “Naked Lunch” just annoyed me. That was 20 or so years ago. I decided, for some odd reason about a month ago, to pick up “Naked Lunch” again…and unlike the first read, I laughed through much of the book. Yes, the humor was (and is) extremely dark…extremely dry. When I read it the first time, I don’t recall laughing. I don’t recall recognizing that there was so much humor, I don’t know that I even recognized the jokes were there…much less why they were funny. So…I decided -after 20 years of deliberate avoidance- to pick up “On the Road.”

    It’s more than a simple autobiographical about a man’s travels criss-crossing the country. It’s one person’s search for meaning and belonging…chasing a dream through a *very* selfish and narcissistic friend. It is a criticism of the conformity of the era that manifested itself through various realms of the arts, postmodernism before that became a term, such as free form improvisational jazz and abstract paintings. It’s really the frames of reference one must grasp of the history involved, as well as the real people involved in the story, before one can actually enjoy the book. If you re-read it with those lenses in mind, I cannot promise you that you will enjoy it, or that you will find it any less boring…but those things in mind might offer you a greater appreciation for its relevance, and why it is considered an important piece of 20th century literature.

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