Wednesday, January 6, 2010

On The Road - Jack Kerouac

Everybody's probably familiar with this story by now? Criss-crossing America looking for the great American Dream?

I was all set to love it. It sounded exactly my cup of tea. I REALLY didn't expect to dislike it as much as I did. It was such a struggle to finish, I just got so bored with it. I didn't find any of the characters particularly likeable, and all in all I'm going to consider it a victory that I finished it.

(Apologies if this is your favourite book. If it is, I'd love to hear why, because I'm missing something.)


hifidel said...

I didn't enjoy the book as much as I expected to when I read it either (and had to lead a book discussion on it!). I didn't hate it, but it just wasn't what I had expected of it. I finally decided that my expectations were just too high. Must be my fault if I don't like a book everyone else seems to love, right? ;-)

Some of the language that was more towards the poetic did appeal to me, but not enough to make me really able to get into the book.

That said, I have to admit that it kind of sticks with me. I still think of some of the scenes of the book now, probably because the descriptions are pretty vivid. I suppose the book's ability to stay in the mind is some kind of testament to its value? It is, at least for me, not very forgettable.


Briony said...

There are definitely some memorable moments in there and he does an amazing job of describing events so that you feel like you're there, standing in the rain with Sal and realising you've started your journey in the wrong direction.

Maybe that was the problem - I expected it to blow my mind, and it didn't.

Jennie said...

Part of it is when you read it. It blew my mind when I first read it in high school. I haven't picked it back up as an adult because I know I won't like it at this point in my life.

Rick Dale, author of The Beat Handbook said...

I never recommend On The Road as one's first foray into Kerouac. Try The Dharma Bums.

Briony said...

Jennie - It's funny how timing plays such an important part in how much you like a book. There've been many books I've tried to read years ago that I'm only enjoying now (and vice versa)

Rick - I'll give it a try!