On the Road chronicles Jack Kerouac's years traveling the North American continent with his friend Neal Cassady, "a sideburned hero of the snowy West." As "Sal Paradise" and "Dean Moriarty," the two roam the country in a quest for self-knowledge and experience. Kerouac's love of America, his compassion for humanity, and his sense of language as jazz combine to make On the Road an inspirational work of lasting importance.
Kerouac's classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be "Beat" and has inspired every generation since its initial publication more than forty years ago.
First published in 1957
Series: Duluoz Legend
ISBN: 0140185216 (ISBN13: 9780140185218)
This book was suggested by someone very close to me, who knows me well and knows the types of literature that I like. I was a little bit skeptic at first and the book stood on a shelf for months waiting for me to decide to pick it up and read it.
The first paragraphs hooked me. The way it's written is simple. I know some people don't like the way Kerouac writes but for me it felt like he was sitting with me on a table and telling me the story in person.
I have to be honest and say that there were moments I had to try really hard to keep reading. I don't like all the ideas, ideals and thoughts that we read about. However, there were other paragraphs that I found inspirational, like the all-night conversations and the way it appeals to your sense of adventure.
It's important to remember that the book was first published in the 50's, a different time from now. You read about a little bit of the America in the years between 1947 and 1950. Kerouac decides to just go out on the road. We read about Kerouac's many encounters, the achievements, the moments of despair, the emotions, the life with Dean Moriarty. Dean Moriarty is mentioned in the beginning and his presence is almost constant. He is not the most pleasant person in the world, specially towards women. But you also learn about his childhood and what he had to take; that made him the man we read about.
I can say that my feelings about this book are still a bit confusing. I usually have a very defined opinion; this time I don't. I wish I could say I loved it, but I didn't, but I also didn't dislike it. Overall, I think it's a good book. It shows the life of a group of people in a different time and to whom some may still identify, at least in some points.
My rating (more like 3 and a half):
Labels: Books, Review