Puffopadrino, July 7, 2008 (view all comments by Puffopadrino)
First of, it wasn't too poetically written. It read like a diary of a nineteen year old. Secondly, this shouldn't be the go to encomium to American non-conformity that it has become. Real non-conformity and free spiritedness involve following your own belief system and being able to see the larger picture outside of the mores of your current time or place(Read "Self Reliance" by Emerson). The praised "hero" of this novel steals cars and knocks up women. How is that anything but criminal and irresponsible? Thirdly, I understand that this book and the Beat movement(along with rock'n'roll) were instrumental in removing the giant stick out of the 1950's ass. However, just because it had cultural significance doesn't mean that the work itself is automatically good. If it were possible to do a contemporary blind test of "On The Road", I think there would be more responses like my own. You gather a large group of educated and artistically leaning 20 year olds who never read the book or were familiar with it's premise. Group A reads the book as published with author and title intact. Group B reads the book with with no title, no author and name changes to the characters. I think you know how I guess Group B would rate the book.
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kaleidoscope, July 2, 2007 (view all comments by kaleidoscope)
Reading this book is like listening to great jazz. The ups, downs, and twists in the language within the stream of consiousness style makes the trips of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty fascinating and beautiful. This book is a classic for a reason; it is fantastic. Pivotal to the Beat movement, and to many counter-cultures that followed, this is part of American history. There are many who say it is over-rated, but it is necessary to decide for yourself, because if you are one of those people who this book gets to, then you will be in love forever.
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"Review A Day"
by Phoebe Lou Adams, The Atlantic Monthly,
"[T]he novel contains a great deal of excellent writing. Mr. Kerouac has a distinctive style, part severe simplicity, part hep-cat jargon, part baroque fireworks. He uses each of these elements with a sure touch, works innumerable combinations and contrasts with them, and never slackens the speed of his narrative, which proceeds, like Dean at the wheel, at a steady hundred and ten miles an hour." (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
by The New York Times,
"The most beautifully executed, the clearest and the most important utterance yet made by the generation Kerouac himself named years ago as 'beat.'"
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.
Kerouacs classic novel of freedom and longing defined what it meant to be Beat” and has inspired every generation since its initial publication more than fifty years ago.
The novel that defined the Beat generation, this exuberant tale of two men traversing America is as fresh and fantastic as ever.
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