On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (18 August — 23 August)

Mary has been bugging me to read this approximately since the day I met her four and a half years ago. I have finally read it. Stop bugging me, Mary. 😛

Um. Hanyway. On the Road is this weird little autobiographical novel written by Jack Kerouac about being young and free and awesome and travelling across the country with as few cares as possible. It’s definitely not the kind of book I would normally read, as it is really very plot-less, but I did appreciate Kerouac’s ability to set a scene.

The book is essentially this: Kerouac, in the form of Sal Paradise, travels from New York to Denver to San Francisco and back many times via bus and car and hitchhiking, and with next to no money, and meets some rather interesting people along the way. His big inspiration is Dean Moriarty, who does the “without a care” part of his roadtripping by ignoring the cares he should have (a wife, a kid, another wife, some more kids…) and doing generally whatever he wants.

I found Dean to be kind of a putz, but I can definitely see why Sal would want to follow him around the country; he’s just got this crazy spirit that begs to be observed.

And reading the book made me want to do a wild and crazy roadtrip of my own, but of course with less hitchhiking and having no money and having to pick up odd jobs just to get back where I came from. Because I am not one of these “beat” kids. So maybe it would be just a regular roadtrip, without the wild or the crazy but definitely with the fun?

Rating: 7/10
(Critical Monkey Challenge)

See also:
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Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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5 thoughts on “On the Road, by Jack Kerouac (18 August — 23 August)

  1. Mary says:

    I'm glad it rated a 7 🙂 And your feelings about Dean are really interesting. If you ever feel like dipping back into the Kerouac legend (since I know you love series, and Kerouac viewed this as a series), there are other books where he talks about Neal Cassady very differently and kind of explains more of why he pretty much worshiped him. But really, I think you should just be glad I gave you a recommendation for a book that was about life instead of death 😉

  2. raidergirl3 says:

    I found your blog through your Countdown challenge wrap up and I like the books you read/are reading.

    Except for this one! ugh. You are much kinder to Dean and Sal than I was and it's one of the few books I haven't finished.

    I'm off to comment on some books that I've liked!

  3. Alison says:

    I guess I'm being kind, yeah, but I certainly am not saying I'd like to be friends with these guys! They would drive me crazy in five seconds, for sure. But if you look at them through an anthropologist's lens, they become very interesting. 🙂

  4. Anonymous says:

    Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!

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