On The Road by Jack Kerouac


The back of the book says:

‘On the Road swings to the rhythms of 1950s underground America, jazz, sex, generosity, chill dawns and drugs, with Sal Paradise and his hero Dean Moriarty, traveller and mystic, the living epitome of Beat. Now recognized as a modern classic, its American Dream is nearer that of Walt Whitman than Scott Fitzgerald, and it goes racing towards the sunset with unforgettable exuberance, poignancy and autobiographical passion.’

My thoughts:

As this book has been on my pile of books to be read for quite some time it is nice to add it to the pile of books that I have finished. Personally the beginning was a bit of a non starter but that would most likely be because it is not the type of book that I usually read and did not know what to expect. As with most books that do not keep my interest it took me longer than usual to read this as there was no problem putting it down and not coming back to it. At one point the book spent a whole week in my bag without being opened. For want of having nothing better to do it was read on the train to and from work and if I could be bothered before bed. My expectations for this book were high as I had read many great things about it and after all it was written by the ‘great Jack Kerouac’ but overrated is definitely a word that may be used when describing this book.

The descriptions in the book of how Kerouac’s fictional alter ego Sal Paradise makes his way across America on just $50 at a time are somewhat unrealistic however very emotive. Personally I feel that if I had read this when I was younger and far more impressionable it may have left more a stamp on me. It is understandable how when you it could spark a travel bug as living rogue is considered somewhat fashionable when you are going through the motions of young adulthood.

The beat generation could be summed up using a multitude of phrases such as innovation of style, rebellion of social standards, spontaneously creative.

Overall I did enjoy the read but would not rush to re-read.

From: Penguin Books UK

Pages: 281

Buy From: Waterstones, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, The Book Depository



Mediocre Beans


4 thoughts on “On The Road by Jack Kerouac

  1. I feel exactly the same way. It’s viewed as a classic by many people, and I suppose it’s a very important piece of literature, especially of the Beat generation, but I’m just not that excited to read it although I feel like I should.


    • Personally I would read it and get it out the way to leave you more times for other books. Don’t get me wrong it was good in some aspects and as S.L. previously said an influential piece for the beat generation. Otherwise – meh!


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