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Dies ist das literarische Statement einer Jugend, die inmitten der «schlechtesten der Welten» ein leidenschaftliches Bekenntnis zum «glückseligen Leben» ablegte. Tempo, Jazz, Marihuana, Sex und Freiheit waren die Zauberwörter der Beat Generation, die ständig auf der Suche nach einem intensiven, rauscherfüllten Dasein war. Ihre Trampfahrten durch die ungeheuren Weiten des L Dies ist das literarische Statement einer Jugend, die inmitten der «schlechtesten der Welten» ein leidenschaftliches Bekenntnis zum «glückseligen Leben» ablegte. Tempo, Jazz, Marihuana, Sex und Freiheit waren die Zauberwörter der Beat Generation, die ständig auf der Suche nach einem intensiven, rauscherfüllten Dasein war. Ihre Trampfahrten durch die ungeheuren Weiten des Landes ließen sie ein Amerika entdecken, das die bürgerliche Erfolgsmoral nicht kannte.


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Dies ist das literarische Statement einer Jugend, die inmitten der «schlechtesten der Welten» ein leidenschaftliches Bekenntnis zum «glückseligen Leben» ablegte. Tempo, Jazz, Marihuana, Sex und Freiheit waren die Zauberwörter der Beat Generation, die ständig auf der Suche nach einem intensiven, rauscherfüllten Dasein war. Ihre Trampfahrten durch die ungeheuren Weiten des L Dies ist das literarische Statement einer Jugend, die inmitten der «schlechtesten der Welten» ein leidenschaftliches Bekenntnis zum «glückseligen Leben» ablegte. Tempo, Jazz, Marihuana, Sex und Freiheit waren die Zauberwörter der Beat Generation, die ständig auf der Suche nach einem intensiven, rauscherfüllten Dasein war. Ihre Trampfahrten durch die ungeheuren Weiten des Landes ließen sie ein Amerika entdecken, das die bürgerliche Erfolgsmoral nicht kannte.

30 review for Unterwegs

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    This is probably the worst book I have ever finished, and I'm forever indebted to the deeply personality-disordered college professor who assigned it, because if it hadn't been for that class I never would've gotten through, and I gotta tell you, this is the book I love to hate. I deeply cherish but don't know that I fully agree with Truman Capote's assessment: that _On the Road_ "is not writing at all -- it's typing." Lovely, Turman, but let's be clear: typing by itself is fairly innocuous -- thi This is probably the worst book I have ever finished, and I'm forever indebted to the deeply personality-disordered college professor who assigned it, because if it hadn't been for that class I never would've gotten through, and I gotta tell you, this is the book I love to hate. I deeply cherish but don't know that I fully agree with Truman Capote's assessment: that _On the Road_ "is not writing at all -- it's typing." Lovely, Turman, but let's be clear: typing by itself is fairly innocuous -- this book is so awful it's actually offensive, and even incredibly damaging. I'd be lying if I said there aren't parts of this book that're so bad they're good -- good as in morbidly fascinating, in the manner of advanced-stage syphilis slides from seventh-grade health class. Keroac's ode to the sad-eyed Negro is actually an incredible, incredible example of.... something I'm glad has been typed. For the record. So we can all see it clearly, and KNOW. Please don't get me wrong! My disproportionately massive loathing for Jack Kerouac has zero to do with his unenlightened racial views. I mean, it was written in the fifties, and anyway, it's great that he was able to articulate these ideas so honestly. No, the real reason I hate this book so much is that it established a deeply retarded model of European-American male coolness that continues to plague our culture today. I could go into a lot more depth on this topic, but it's come to my attention that I've been using my horrible addiction to Bookster to avoid the many obligations and responsiblities of my daily life, to which I should now return. So, in closing: this book SUCKS. This book is UNBELIEVABLY TERRIBLE. And for that very reason, especially considering its serious and detrimental impact on western civilization, I definitely recommend that you read it, if you have not suffered that grave misfortune already.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Adam

    I'm supposed to like On the Road, right? Well, I don't. I hate it and I always have. There are a lot of reasons why I hate it. I find Kerouac's attitude toward the world pathetically limited and paternalistic. In On the Road he actually muses about how much he wishes that he could have been born "a Negro in the antebellum South," living a simple life free from worry, and does so seemingly without any sense of irony. On every page, the book is about how Kerouac (a young, white, middle-class, so I'm supposed to like On the Road, right? Well, I don't. I hate it and I always have. There are a lot of reasons why I hate it. I find Kerouac's attitude toward the world pathetically limited and paternalistic. In On the Road he actually muses about how much he wishes that he could have been born "a Negro in the antebellum South," living a simple life free from worry, and does so seemingly without any sense of irony. On every page, the book is about how Kerouac (a young, white, middle-class, solipsistic alcoholic) feels, and nothing more. But that's only one reason I hate this book. The main reason I hate it is because, for me, reading Kerouac's prose is almost physically painful. I love the ramblings of self-centered drunks when they're self-deprecating, ironic, and/or funny, but Kerouac was none of these things. He was a pretentious, self-important bore who produced some of the most painfully bad and inconsequential prose of the 20th century. Or any century.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Ian "Marvin" Graye

    A View from the Couch OTR has received some negative reviews lately, so I thought I would try to explain my rating. This novel deserves to lounge around in a five star hotel rather than languish in a lone star saloon. Disclaimer Please forgive my review. It is early morning and I have just woken up with a sore head, an empty bed and a full bladder. Confesssion Let me begin with a confession that dearly wants to become an assertion. I probably read this book before most of you were born. So there! Wouldn' A View from the Couch OTR has received some negative reviews lately, so I thought I would try to explain my rating. This novel deserves to lounge around in a five star hotel rather than languish in a lone star saloon. Disclaimer Please forgive my review. It is early morning and I have just woken up with a sore head, an empty bed and a full bladder. Confesssion Let me begin with a confession that dearly wants to become an assertion. I probably read this book before most of you were born. So there! Wouldn't you love to say that! If only I had the courage of my convictions. Instead, I have only convictions, and they are many and varied. However, I am sure that by the end of my (this) sentence, I shall be released. Elevated to the Bar I read OTR in my teens, which were spread all over the end of the 60's and the beginning of the 70's. My life was dominated by Scouting for Boys. I mean the book, not the activity. My mantra was "be prepared", although at the time I didn't realise that this actually meant "be prepared for war". After reading OTR, my new mantra was "be inebriated". Mind you, I had no idea what alcohol tasted like, but it sounded good. Gone were two boys in a tent and three men in a boat. OTR was about trying to get four beats in a bar, no matter how far you'd travelled that day. Typing or Writing Forget whether it was just typing rather than writing. That was just Truman Capote trying to dot one of Dorothy Parker's eyes. This is like focusing on the mince instead of the sausage. All Drums and Symbols You have to appreciate what OTR symbolised for people like me. It was "On the Road", not "In the House" or "In the Burbs". It was about dynamism, not passivity. It wasn't about a stream of consciousness, it was about a river of activity. It was about "white light, white heat", not "white picket fences". Savouring the Sausage OK, your impressions are probably more recent than mine. Mine are memories that have been influenced by years of indulgence. (I do maintain that alcohol kills the unhealthy brain cells first, so it is actually purifying your brain.) I simply ask that you overlook the mince and savour the sausage. Beyond Ephemerality I would like to make one last parting metaphor. I have misappropriated it from the musician, Dave Graney. He talks about "feeling ephemeral, but looking eternal". Dave comes from the Church of the Latter Day Hipsters. He is way cooler than me, he even looks great in leather pants, in a spivvy kinda way. However, I think the point he was making (if not, then the point I am making) is that most of life is ephemeral. It just happens and it's gone forever. However, in Dave's case, the way he looks, the way he feels, he turns it into something eternal. It's his art, his music, our pleasure, our memories (at least until we die). Footnotes on Cool Creativity and style are our last chance attempt to defy ephemerality and mortality and become eternal. Yes, all that stuff between the bookends of OTR might be typing, it might be preserving ephemerality that wasn't worthy or deserving. However, the point is the attempt to be your own personal version of cool. Heck, no way am I cool like the Beats or James Dean or Marlon Brando or Jack Nicholson or Clint Eastwood or Keith Richards or Camille Paglia. However, I am trying to live life beyond the ephemeral. That's what OTR means to me. If it doesn't mean that to you, hey, that's alright. I'm OK, you're OK. It's cool. Original posted: March 01, 2011

  4. 4 out of 5

    Samadrita

    This is the book which has given me anxiety attacks on sleepless nights. This is the book which has glared at me from its high pedestal of classical importance in an effort to browbeat me into finally finishing it. And this is that book which has shamed me into feigning an air of ignorance every time I browsed any of the countless 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die lists. Yes Jack Kerouac, you have tormented me for the past 3 years and every day I couldn't summon the strength to open another page o This is the book which has given me anxiety attacks on sleepless nights. This is the book which has glared at me from its high pedestal of classical importance in an effort to browbeat me into finally finishing it. And this is that book which has shamed me into feigning an air of ignorance every time I browsed any of the countless 1001-books-to-read-before-you-die lists. Yes Jack Kerouac, you have tormented me for the past 3 years and every day I couldn't summon the strength to open another page of 'On the Road' and subject my brain to the all-too-familiar torture of Sal's sleep-inducing, infuriatingly monotonous narration. Finally, I conquer you after nearly 3 years of dithering. I am the victorious one in the battle in which you have relentlessly assaulted my finer senses with your crassness and innate insipidity and dared me to plod on. I can finally beat my chest in triumph (ugh pardon the Tarzan-ish metaphor but a 1-star review deserves no better) and announce to the world that I have finished reading 'On the Road'. Oh what an achievement! And what a monumental waste of my time. Dear Beat Generation classic, I can finally state without any fear of being called out on my ignorance that I absolutely hated reading you. Every moment of it. Alternatively, this book can be named White Heterosexual Man's Misadventures and Chauvinistic Musings. And even that makes it sound much more interesting and less offensive than it actually is. In terms of geographical sweep, the narrative covers nearly the whole of America in the 50s weaving its way in and out of Los Angeles and New York and San Francisco and many other major American cities. Through the eyes of Salvatore 'Sal' Paradise, a professional bum, we are given an extended peek into the lives of a band of merry have-nots, their hapless trysts with women, booze, drugs, homelessness, destitution, jazz as they hitchhike and motor their way through the heart of America. Sounds fascinating right? (Ayn Rand will vehemently disagree though). But no, it's anything but that. Instead this one just shoves Jack Kerouac's internalized white superiority, sexism and homophobia right in the reader's face in the form of some truly bad writing. This book might as well come with a caption warning any potential reader who isn't White or male or straight. I understand that this was written way before it became politically incorrect to portray women in such a poor light or wistfully contemplate living a "Negro's life" in the antebellum South. But there's an obvious limit to the amount of his vile ruminations I can tolerate. "There was an old Negro couple in the field with us. They picked cotton with the same God-blessed patience their grandfathers had practiced in ante-bellum Alabama." Seriously? God-blessed patience? Every female character in this one is a vague silhouette or a caricature of a proper human being. Marylou, Camille, Terry, Galatea are all frighteningly one-dimensional - they never come alive for the reader through Sal's myopic vision. They are merely there as inanimate props reduced to the status of languishing in the background and occasionally allowed to be in the limelight when the men begin referring to them as if they were objects. Either they are 'whores' for being as sexually liberated as the men are or they are screaming wives who throw their husbands out of the house for being jobless, cheating drunks or they are opportunistic and evil simply because they do not find Sal or Dean or Remy or Ed or any of the men in their lives to be deserving of their trust and respect, which they truly aren't. And sometimes, they are only worthy of only a one or two-line description like the following:- "...I had been attending school and romancing around with a girl called Lucille, a beautiful Italian honey-haired darling that I actually wanted to marry" Look at Sal talking about a woman as if she were a breed of cat he wanted to rescue from the animal shelter. "Finally he came out with it: he wanted me to work Marylou." Is Marylou a wrench or a machine of some kind? And this is not to mention the countless instances of 'get you a girl', 'get girls', 'Let's get a girl' and other minor variations of the same strewn throughout the length of the book and some of Sal's thoughts about 'queers' which are equally revolting. Maybe I am too much of a non-American with no ties to a real person who sees the Beat era through the lenses of pure nostalgia or maybe I am simply incapable of appreciating the themes of youthful wanderlust and living life with a perverse aimlessness or maybe it's the flat writing and appalling representation of women. Whatever the real reason(s) maybe, I can state with conviction that this is the only American classic which I tried to the best of my abilities to appreciate but failed.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Jahn Sood

    I've been thinking about this book a lot lately, so I figured that I'd go back and write something about it. When I first read this book, I loved it as a piece of art, but its effect on me was different than I expected. So many people hail Kerouac as the artist who made them quit their jobs and go to the road, become a hippie or a beat and give up the rest. When I read it though, I had been completely obsessed with hippie culture for a long time, and it caused me to steer away from it for a whil I've been thinking about this book a lot lately, so I figured that I'd go back and write something about it. When I first read this book, I loved it as a piece of art, but its effect on me was different than I expected. So many people hail Kerouac as the artist who made them quit their jobs and go to the road, become a hippie or a beat and give up the rest. When I read it though, I had been completely obsessed with hippie culture for a long time, and it caused me to steer away from it for a while. While I thought that it would be a rollicking tale of freedom and glory, I found that all of Dean's conquests were tainted by the fact that he had to take advantage of other people every step of the way. He was a hugely entertaining character, but would have been a terrible friend, lover, or even acquaintance. From the women he married to gas station attendents, right down to Sal Paradise himself, Dean drained everything that he was right out of other people, and it eventually ruined him. It left him beat...not heart beating exhilarated, but beat up, dead beat and alone. Once I stepped back a little from the awe at Dean's greatness, this book was really sad, and it caused me to put away that romanticism for a while. Now, 2 years later, though, On the Road is coming back to me full on. I didn't escape the total wonder at the Beats and the road. I have been on the road myself for the last 2 months and have a long way to go before I get back home, and I am constantly aware that the the way was paved by Kerouac and the rest of the crazy geniuses of his generation. The road is every bit as romantic as Sal Paradise made it out to be, and its glory far out weighs the short comings of Dean as a friend. I mean, the road is a lot like Dean, it takes a lot out of you, but you get addicted to it and obsessed with it and can't let it go, and I don't think there's any other way about it. I am in love with America for the first time. Now that I've seen it, driven across and up and down, around and over America, I find it sublime and incredible. I think that Kerouac and his friends might've been the first to see that. Maybe not. Maybe they are just part of all of American history...they translated the world of Western expansion and canvas covered wagons into the way of the modern world. America is something to dream about. It is worthy every exuberant and formerly offensive "I'm proud" sticker that's plastered on the back of a pick up truck. And Kerouac saw that first hand. So, it seems, that there is a certain tragedy in this book, but that it is less important than the unavoidable glory that you come to associate with the road and freedom after following these guys on their crazy adventure. I think this book should be read by everyone who wants to know about America.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jacob

    I read On The Road when I was 16. When I was 16, I was so depressed. I went to a high school that had a moat around it and a seige mentality. On The Road made me not depressed. In fact ... it made me want to hitchhike, hop freight trains, and more importantly to write. If I were still 16 I would give On The Road 5 stars. I would say, go! Go! Read this book and be mad for life, delirious, exploding outward into the big uncovered road! Consume vanilla ice cream and apple pie. Drink black coffee. F I read On The Road when I was 16. When I was 16, I was so depressed. I went to a high school that had a moat around it and a seige mentality. On The Road made me not depressed. In fact ... it made me want to hitchhike, hop freight trains, and more importantly to write. If I were still 16 I would give On The Road 5 stars. I would say, go! Go! Read this book and be mad for life, delirious, exploding outward into the big uncovered road! Consume vanilla ice cream and apple pie. Drink black coffee. Fuck a million times on a small bed and smoke cigarettes all night for a thousand years! Go! When I was 21 I re-read On The Road. At this point in my life, I smoked so much pot that I can't really remember the exact effect it had on me, other than the fact that I was very impressed with the glowing red eyes of Chicago and the book in general left a sort of a rumbling phantasmagoric wake in my fuzzy brain. If I were still 21, I would forget to give On The Road a rating. I would say, hey, borrow this book, you'll like it. And then you would borrow it but you would never bring it back or you would read it but trash the copy on accident on a fishing boat, luckily, in this instance, you not only would have read the book but you also would have enjoyed it very much. You would tell me that later. When I was 26 I re-read On The Road again. It was not the same book. I found it naive, verbose in a really bloated and unconvincing way, sappy, and really not that good. I would give it two stars. I would not actually finish reading the book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    Kerouac's masterpiece breathes youth and vigor for the duration and created the American bohemian "beat" lifestyle which has been the subject of innumerable subsequent books, songs, and movies. I have read this at least two or three times and always feel a bit breathless and invigorated because of the restlessness of the text and the vibrance of the characters. There was an extraordinary exhibit at the Pompidou Center earlier this year where the original draft in Kerouac's handwriting was laid o Kerouac's masterpiece breathes youth and vigor for the duration and created the American bohemian "beat" lifestyle which has been the subject of innumerable subsequent books, songs, and movies. I have read this at least two or three times and always feel a bit breathless and invigorated because of the restlessness of the text and the vibrance of the characters. There was an extraordinary exhibit at the Pompidou Center earlier this year where the original draft in Kerouac's handwriting was laid out end to end in a glass case. It was like seeing the original copy of Don Quixote in the royal palace in Madrid - very moving. In any case, there is no excuse not to read this wonderful high point of mid-20th century American literature. Re-read and found both beauty and sadness in this work. The sadness stems from the sexism, racism, and homophobia expressed throughout the book. Sign of the times, I know, but it is still painful to see that these Beat visionaries - for all their open-mindedness towards other religions and sex and drugs - still expressed such backwards views and attitudes sometimes As for the beauty, the story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty crossing the US again and again with a last trip down to Mexico City is epic. "I pictured myself in a Denver bar that night, with all the gang, and in their eyes I would be strange and ragged and like the Prophet who has walked across the land to bring the dark Word, and the only Word I had was "Wow!" (P. 37) I have driven from Florida to San Francisco by myself and back again when I was in college and felt that Kerouac captured the enthusiasm that the memory still evokes in me: "I thought, and looked every, as I had looked everywhere in the little world below. And before me was the great raw bulge and bulk of my American continent" (P. 79) The descriptions of bebop jazz are absolutely astounding throughout as they listen to Prez, Bird, Dizzy... "The pianist was only pounding the keys with spread-eagled fingers, chords, or at intervals when the great tenorman was drawing breath for another blast--Chinese chords, shuddering the piano in every timber, chink, and wire, boing!" (P. 197) The writing makes you feel the musics energy pulsating and driving - that is one of my favorite aspects of On the Road: "Holy flowers floating in the air, were all these tired forms in the dawn of Jazz America." (P. 204) Other moments are surreal and yet moments I have known many times: "Just about that time a strange thing began to haunt me. It was this: I had forgotten something. There was a decision that I was about to make before Dean showed up, and now it was driven clear out of my mind but still hung on the tip of my mind's tongue." (P. 124) Or the feeling of mystery: "This was a manuscript of the night that we couldn't read." (P. 158) and those that do not share their trip on the road "they stand uncertainly underneath immense skies, and everything about them is drowned." (P. 167) I perhaps just ignored it in my previous readings, but this time I was struck by the heroin references. Old Bill was off in the bathroom tying up and yet taking care of his kids (alarming!) Perhaps the predominant mood and attitude of the book and Kerouac's view of the period is summarized on Sal's 3rd trip to San Francisco: "I realized that I had died and been reborn numberless times but just didn't remember especially because the transitions from life to death and back to life are so ghostly easy, a magical action for naught, like falling asleep and waking up again a million times, the utter casualness and deep ignorance of it. I realized it was only because of the stability of the intrinsic Mind that these ripples of birth and death took place, like the action of wind on a sheet of pure, serene, mirror-like water. I felt a sweet, swinging bliss like a big shot of heroin in the mainline vein; like a gulp of wine late in the afternoon and it makes you shudder; my feet tingled." (P. 173) Kerouac captured the spirit of the Beats who would later become the hippies of the 60's (but without the Vietnam War) in both its glory and its squalor. The book is both beautiful and uplifting and desperate and depressing. Regardless of how one reacts to it, it is truly one of the great works of the expression of the American spirit in the post-WWII period.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    Although the ideas hold a certain appeal, this book is ultimately just a half-assed justification of some pretty stupid, self-destructive, irresponsible, and juvenile tendencies and attitudes, the end result of which is a validation of being a deadbeat loser, a perpetual child. This validation is dressed up as a celebration of freedom etc. As literary art, stylistically, the book is pretty bad. The analogies to bebop or even free jazz are misguided. That improvisation was by talented musicians, Although the ideas hold a certain appeal, this book is ultimately just a half-assed justification of some pretty stupid, self-destructive, irresponsible, and juvenile tendencies and attitudes, the end result of which is a validation of being a deadbeat loser, a perpetual child. This validation is dressed up as a celebration of freedom etc. As literary art, stylistically, the book is pretty bad. The analogies to bebop or even free jazz are misguided. That improvisation was by talented musicians, or at least musicians who understood music, had a remarkable ear. Kerouac is just rambling and he thinks that qualifies as the literary equivalent of jazz improv. It doesn't. It's just tiresome. DeLillo's prose is an example of prose that more accurately can be described as analogous to bebop. I'm not going to hold it against anyone that they like this book. I know that it influenced some important and serious artists, who were many times Kerouac's superiors. I understand its appeal, and even its historical importance. But reading it today, and not being 16 anymore, it really is a bit of a joke. Its importance in itself, too, has faded. The Beats live on as myth that surpasses, for the most part, their actual output in both resonance and quality. Moreover, their myth has been adapted, especially in popular music, so well that it has rendered a lot of their actual work trivial, especially the lesser Beats (in terms of talent), eg. Kerouac. Nobody needs to read On the Road anymore, and all it's going to do is perpetuate some pretty idiotic notions we already have enough of, and lead to a lot of ripoffs of ripoffs of Whitman thinking their poetry is important and crowding bars I don't want to have to see them at. Just look at contemporary literature, the voices we have, the stuff that's selling well on the literary market. A lot of that stuff is just workshop fiction that isn't going to last long in particular well-regard, but a lot of it is brilliant stuff, and far more literate, intelligent, and interesting than what this guy had to offer. This book's time is up. Aside from youth clinging to a false nostalgia for a nonexistent time and place and crowd, its appeal is pretty much done too.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    484 - On the Road, Jack Kerouac Based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the United States. عنوانها: در جاده؛ در راه؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روزبیست و یکم ماه نوامبر سال 2015 میلادی عنوان: در راه؛ نویسنده: جک کرواک؛ مترجم: احسان نوروزی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1394؛ در 388 ص؛ شابک: 9789643625245؛ چاپ دوم 1395؛ موضوع: زندگینامه و سرگذشتنامه - سده 20 م عنوان: در جاده؛ نویسنده: جک کرواک؛ مترجم: یاشین آزادبیگی؛ تهران، کوله پشتی، 1394؛ در 540 ص؛ شابک: 9786008211242؛ کتاب، در سال 1957 میلادی، برای نخ 484 - On the Road, Jack Kerouac Based on the travels of Kerouac and his friends across the United States. عنوانها: در جاده؛ در راه؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: روزبیست و یکم ماه نوامبر سال 2015 میلادی عنوان: در راه؛ نویسنده: جک کرواک؛ مترجم: احسان نوروزی؛ تهران، نشر چشمه، 1394؛ در 388 ص؛ شابک: 9789643625245؛ چاپ دوم 1395؛ موضوع: زندگینامه و سرگذشتنامه - سده 20 م عنوان: در جاده؛ نویسنده: جک کرواک؛ مترجم: یاشین آزادبیگی؛ تهران، کوله پشتی، 1394؛ در 540 ص؛ شابک: 9786008211242؛ کتاب، در سال 1957 میلادی، برای نخستین بار، توسط وایکینگ پرس منتشر شد. عنوانش، جزو صد کتاب قرن بیستم میلادی، به انتخاب بسیاری از روزنامه ها بوده است، خودزندگی‌نامه‌ نوشت است، و حاصل تجربیات کرواک، در ملاقات با مردمِ سرتاسر آمریکا ست. روایت سفر اودیسه­ وار جوانی به نام سالواتوره پارادایز (سل، سلی) است، نویسنده ­ای که پس از جدایی از همسرش، سرخورده، و افسرده، بر آن می­شود، تا دلش را به دست جاده­ های آمریکا بسپارد، و می­کوشد از آن راه، مفهومی برای زندگی پوچ خویش، بیابد. در راه، با جوانی کوچکتر از خویش، به نام «دین موریارتی» آشنا می­شود، و تحت تاثیر دیوانه­ بازی­ها، و مرام آشوب­گرانه ی­ او، قرار می­گیرد. دین موریارتی نیز، در لابلای آن همه هیاهو، هدفی مهم­تر دارد، و آن، یافتنِ پدر گمشده ی خویش است، که با نام دین موریارتیِ پیر، از او یاد می­شود. ا. شربیانی

  10. 4 out of 5

    Fabian

    Herein lies that gnarly root of the all-American Sense of Entitlement. Coupling this with "Huck Finn" as THE quintessential American Novel is One Enormous mistake: Twain at least entertains, at least follows through with his intention, with his American take on the Quixotean legend; Kerouac might just be the biggest literary quack of the 20th century! The book is awkward, structured not as ONE single trip, but composed of a few coast-to-coast coastings, all having to do with this (now) overused Herein lies that gnarly root of the all-American Sense of Entitlement. Coupling this with "Huck Finn" as THE quintessential American Novel is One Enormous mistake: Twain at least entertains, at least follows through with his intention, with his American take on the Quixotean legend; Kerouac might just be the biggest literary quack of the 20th century! The book is awkward, structured not as ONE single trip, but composed of a few coast-to-coast coastings, all having to do with this (now) overused motif. I despise it. (Living in Denver, Kerouacville, makes me hate him more!) A tale of a closeted individual who really has nothing to say. He has glorified a ruffian (DEAN DEAN DEANDEAN...!) whose selfishness sits well with him. What Sal does say, however, ever so dully, is just how Cool those around him are, how his only addition to this incomprehensible BEAT movement is as lame as those of a newspaper photographer: he sees and reports, jots idle musings down. What he fails to understand (the main guy is not even YOUNG... [he is old & stupid, desperate & pathetic]!!!!) is how entirely false this sense of freedom can be: Can a sheep really outwit the shepherd? Here is a supreme example of the blind leading... I sternly refuse to follow such idiotic drivel. This is a book for followers written by a Conformist, for one can always be some selfproclaimed comfortable conformist of nonconformism. Nothing sticks. Everything "On the Road" is transitory, & although this works fine in the everyday, in Literature its seen as nothing more than a burden: a plotless restlessness to achieve permanence without that crucial element: mainly, the artist's virtue of Talent.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Katerina

    “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” I am not really into classics. I always preferred the fantasy genre, due to an innate escapism, a vivid imagination and a constant longing for magic. But as you may tell, I didn't cast spells while reading On the Road. I didn't climb the dark wizard's tower, nor heard prophecies whispered in the dark. I set my sword aside for a while, and hushed my heart's desire to experience passionate romances. After a dear friend's rav “Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” I am not really into classics. I always preferred the fantasy genre, due to an innate escapism, a vivid imagination and a constant longing for magic. But as you may tell, I didn't cast spells while reading On the Road. I didn't climb the dark wizard's tower, nor heard prophecies whispered in the dark. I set my sword aside for a while, and hushed my heart's desire to experience passionate romances. After a dear friend's raving about Jack Kerouac, I succumbed to peer pressure. And I am rather glad that I did. “I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.” If you must know one thing about On the Road, is that it doesn't stand out because of its mind-blowing plot. In fact, it is not a plot-driven novel at all. You follow Jack Kerouac's travels throughout America and Mexico, and that's it. What captivates you is his writing style, a writing style the likes of which I had never encountered. You'll notice a plethora of contradictions: it can be lyrical and so beautiful it makes you hold your breath, and want to absorb every detail, every smell and sound and feeling, and then you'll come across so many traces of oral speech, that you're certain you're listening to a conversation full of curse words and half-finished sentences right next to you; you can sense Kerouac's admiration towards his country and at the same time his bitterness and disappointment; you can feel his loneliness to your marrow, and then the camaraderie that keeps him going. You will find your lips curling into a smile, but then a heaviness will settle on your chest, a near sadness because you see those people searching for something, anything, and when they find it, it slips from their fingers. You contemplate your own morality and mortality, question the meaning of ideals when life is too short and full of misery. When the road lies ahead full of possibilities, and you're lost and bound and torn. “Because he had no place he could stay in without getting tired of it and because there was nowhere to go but everywhere, keep rolling under the stars...” When you read On the Road, at first you're a little judgmental towards the characters. But as the story progresses, you are envious of their carelessness, their crazy and wild abandon, their desire to live even when they don't know what they live for. You don't read it for the plot, but you read it for its moments, its vigorous, bright and mesmerising moments, mornings eating apple-pie with ice-cream, dirty streets in an alcohol frenzy, a young man on the top of a mountain with the world at his feet, a mexican brothel shaking by the sounds of mambo, cold nights drinking scotch under a crystal clear sky. In the end, it all comes to one thing: we are the sum of the people we meet. Some of them are destined to change us, draw us to them like moths to the flame. Other pass by like fleeting stars, or constitute a constant and reassuring presence. But all of them, without exception, are pieces of the puzzle of our existence. “The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes “Awww!” And this is On the Road.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Meredith Holley

    The other day I was talking to someone and he said, “Well, I’m no pie expert . . . Wait! No! I am a pie expert. I am an expert at pie!” Another person asked, “How did you become a pie expert?” “One time I ate only pie for an entire week. I was driving across the country with my buddies, and we decided to eat only pie.” “Like Jack Kerouac in On the Road!” I said. “Yes! Exactly! That’s exactly what we were doing. We were reading On the Road, and we decided he was so smart when he realized pie is the The other day I was talking to someone and he said, “Well, I’m no pie expert . . . Wait! No! I am a pie expert. I am an expert at pie!” Another person asked, “How did you become a pie expert?” “One time I ate only pie for an entire week. I was driving across the country with my buddies, and we decided to eat only pie.” “Like Jack Kerouac in On the Road!” I said. “Yes! Exactly! That’s exactly what we were doing. We were reading On the Road, and we decided he was so smart when he realized pie is the best solution when you’re traveling and have no money.” “He ‘knew it was nutritious, and of course delicious.’” “Yes! It has all of the food groups - especially if you have it with ice cream." He paused. "Except pie isn’t as filling as you would think it would be, so we had to drink a lot of beer to make up for that. And we ate a lot of multi-vitamins because we felt terrible. We would stop and camp out by the road, eating pie and drinking beer with multi-vitamins. “We got to my girlfriend’s house, and we looked like shit. We hadn’t shaved and we had the pie sweats. But, it made me an expert at pie.” “mmmm, pie.” Other than his advice about pie, I find Jack Kerouac to be one of those useless, narcissistic, cult-leader types. He’s pretty hot, though, and he does have correct opinions about pie.

  13. 4 out of 5

    karen

    in september, this book will turn sixty years old! while i do not care for it personally, and the celebration of a couple of self-satisfied pseudo-intellectual doofuses and their buffet-style spirituality traveling across the country, leaving a number of pregnancies in their wake and exploiting underage mexican prostitutes makes me wonder why this book endures, endure it does. so i have made a road trip booklist with less ickiness and more cannibalism. enjoy! https://www.rifflebooks.com/list/2374 in september, this book will turn sixty years old! while i do not care for it personally, and the celebration of a couple of self-satisfied pseudo-intellectual doofuses and their buffet-style spirituality traveling across the country, leaving a number of pregnancies in their wake and exploiting underage mexican prostitutes makes me wonder why this book endures, endure it does. so i have made a road trip booklist with less ickiness and more cannibalism. enjoy! https://www.rifflebooks.com/list/237494

  14. 5 out of 5

    Mike Puma

    I tried; I really tried. Everything was telling me—I was telling me—this is one I’m going to like. Instead, I got Pablum for the Young Rebel Soul. I suspect I approached this novel with the same myopic nostalgia that, occasionally, contributes to the delusion that young people who are just getting their driver’s licenses and I are ‘roughly’ the same age. More random thoughts to follow. So you want to write a novel, huh? But, dammit, you just don’t know how to start? No problem, man; it’s cool, da I tried; I really tried. Everything was telling me—I was telling me—this is one I’m going to like. Instead, I got Pablum for the Young Rebel Soul. I suspect I approached this novel with the same myopic nostalgia that, occasionally, contributes to the delusion that young people who are just getting their driver’s licenses and I are ‘roughly’ the same age. More random thoughts to follow. So you want to write a novel, huh? But, dammit, you just don’t know how to start? No problem, man; it’s cool, daddy-o. Just get writing, use your friends, maybe call it autobiographical? Like it so far? Nice, man, yes, yes, yes. Now, throw in a group of sexist and homophobic racists who party to their own demise, plop ‘em in the story. Still with me, brother? Tell the story any way you want. Tedious prose? Don’t worryaboutit. If you’re smart, you’ll throw in a musical theme; give it a beat, a beat, a beat; hell, dude, the musicians (and their groupies and fans will be lining up). Promote your tale as one that captures “the voice of an era” and …AND be sure to mention that the protagonists are “rebels” then just stand back and wait; a certain portion of the ‘disaffiliated’ and ‘disaffected’ youth population will beat a path to your door (or your bookstore) ready to snatch up a copies like anxious toot-heads panting to get their faces to the coke lines laid-out on a mirror. Oh, and whatever you do, don’t forget to send your heroes across the country, hell, send ‘em back and forth, repeatedly, then do it again. Still with me, brutha? Well, if that’s not a recipe for a contemporary ‘classic’ then it’s a sure-fire recipe for a lawsuit brought by Penguin Books and the estate of Jack Kerouac. (Just between you and me, that was fun.) It’s not surprising that so many people admire this book—the ones who “get it”—the young, the hopeful, the dreamers. Combine a ‘quest’ with a Bohemian narrator, and voilà , instant relevance to the inexperienced. But they should know that older readers often do ‘get it’ because we’ve already ‘got it’—‘got it’ and moved on. The lure of the quest—the trek—whether across the country or to the city or back to nature, has already occurred for many of us, and for many of us, that trek was merely a first step. Those who ‘get it’ should realize they’re not the first to ‘get it’ and they won’t be the last; in time, other readers—younger readers—will ‘get it’ in ways that no longer seem as important to those who are ‘getting it’ now. I admire the confidence of the reader who ‘gets it’ but I’m also aware that one person’s confidence is another person’s arrogance (I prefer to stick with the less judgmental confidence). Quest stories often appeal to optimistic youth; they’re tailor-made for the searchers. It’s not surprising, then, to find younger readers responding positively to On the Road, or The Hobbit and its derivative sequels, or The Catcher in the Rye. It’s also not surprising that many older readers find Kerouac self-indulgent and narcissistic, Tolkien tedious (why am I hearing Judy Garland and Ray Bolger singing “goblins, and Golem, and orcs, oh my!?”) and Salinger quite literate by comparison—there are great quest stories to be had, think Salinger, Cervantes, Cormac McCarthty, etc. If it sounds like I’m dumping on the young, I apologize, it’s not my intent. Consider what Kerouac says: “Teenagers, drunk, disheveled, excited—they ruined our party” (Chapter 9, Part I). It makes me wonder if he’d want to know his current crop of fans. For some of us, whether we regret the life of the partier or are merely nostalgic when we remember that time of life, boozing and drugs no longer shine with the quite the same bright light. Thankfully, some of us no longer endure the hangovers; some of us no longer feel the buzz as it begins and wonder “WTF did I just take?” (even if we continue to enjoy our moments of ‘appetite enhancement’ we’re well-past thinking those moments matter of themselves or that that ‘feeling’ matters more than the moment it’s a part of). There’s a problem inherent with autobiographical novels; if they’re bad, you’re stuck knowing that the author/narrator isn’t going to die at the end of it. Harsh? Maybe, but only if the narrator’s own deathwish, or his hero’s, haven’t already predominated the novel. I kept finding myself eagerly moving toward the end of chapters—chapters that might only have a half or a third of a page of text. Blank pages between Parts—priceless! I started writing this review, such as it is, when I was barely 25 pages into Kerouac’s autobiographical novel, so if my thoughts seem a little jumpy or disorganized, chalk it up to that, besides if you’ve just read OtR, you should be used to it. It had become such a plod early on that I needed to get some of my thoughts down so I could set them aside and finish this thing. BTW, since OtR has become such an effort already, I’m kicking myself for not doing Infinite Jest instead and thinking “maybe next time I actually can finish Ulysses." I found this quote on Goodreads, "The cruellest thing you can do to Kerouac is reread him at thirty-eight." — Hanif Kureishi (The Buddha of Suburbia) To that I’d add, or 48, or 58… Final thoughts and wish: Good reading to you, young idealist; good luck, fellow geezer.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Matthew

    This was a 4 star book based on what it represents, the history of the genre, and my enjoyment of travel. From the get go, this is a stream of consciousness romp through North America. It seems like almost every city in the United States is mentioned at least once as Sal Paradise tells of his travels, the people he meets, those who join him, and his wild vagabond companion Dean Moriarity. I don't feel like the style of this book will appeal to everyone and I can easily see many losing interest p This was a 4 star book based on what it represents, the history of the genre, and my enjoyment of travel. From the get go, this is a stream of consciousness romp through North America. It seems like almost every city in the United States is mentioned at least once as Sal Paradise tells of his travels, the people he meets, those who join him, and his wild vagabond companion Dean Moriarity. I don't feel like the style of this book will appeal to everyone and I can easily see many losing interest part way in. But, if you are a fan of travelling in America, a scholar of literary genres, a hipster, and/or grew up in the 50s travelling the great American highways before interstates, you will find something in here for you. There is also a lot of jazz influence in the writing. Several times the writing comes to a stop for an onomatopoedic side trip to a jazz club. This was especially interesting as I was listening to the audio. Dean Moriarity - if nothing else, this book is worth it for Dean. The fact that Dean was based on a real person (Kerouac's friend Neal Cassady) makes his hijinks and destructive personality even more interesting. I am sure that he is a character that is idolized by some who read this, which is a bit scary! (Reminds me of those who idolize Alexander Supertramp from Into the Wild) An interesting thing that happened while listening to this is twice I thought "this is reminding me of Hemingway" and less than a minute later, Hemingway is mentioned. It really reminded me of The Sun Also Rises and Wkipedia mentions that Kerouac did intentionally use the style of that book for On The Road. Finally, as mentioned above, Kerouac based this on his life While listed as fiction, up until the final draft, the main characters had real names. The draft the Kerouac used was on long scroll without formatting or paragraph breaks. I mentioned the jazz influence and Kerouac apparently used the scroll in this way to mimic improvisational jazz. Sometimes the scroll can be seen on display - see photo below: All in all a very interesting book with very interesting characters and a very interesting history.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lostinanovel

    I personally can't stand the characters. They cover up irresponsibility and real hurt to people in the guise of being artists. However, I do think there is more to this story. Sure, they are jerks and they are bums and they are full of a lot of BS but as the book progresses, it becomes clear that they know it. These guys are also WW2 vets, and very dissimilar to the hippies who follow them, they do not have any anti-American or anti-establishment feelings. Also, they show a deep remorse and guilt I personally can't stand the characters. They cover up irresponsibility and real hurt to people in the guise of being artists. However, I do think there is more to this story. Sure, they are jerks and they are bums and they are full of a lot of BS but as the book progresses, it becomes clear that they know it. These guys are also WW2 vets, and very dissimilar to the hippies who follow them, they do not have any anti-American or anti-establishment feelings. Also, they show a deep remorse and guilt over their actions. There is a shame, because they recognize what jerks they are. After several weeks of living with the mexican girl and her son, the narrator deserts her and he knows that he'll never live up to his promise to come back. He hates himself for this but it doesn't stop him. While he so desperately seeks to squeeze the wonder out of life, he lets everything really beautiful-such as love with a woman or any real human relationships slip from his careless grasp. The narrator as more of a terribly sad man, not just a happy-go-lucky thrill seker. I do wonder about the real life Dean Moriarty. Did you realize that he was the bus driver in Wolfe's Electric Kool-aid Acid Test as well as mentioned in several Grateful Dead songs? Something about that guy really insprired the artisits around him. As for the writing, it is beautiful and I think some of the best writing ever done about America. Googgle "On the Road Quotes" and reread a few of those. Its beautiful stuff.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Vit Babenco

    A rolling stone gathers no moss… Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road. Roads weave into a tapestry of life… Roads interlace into a labyrinth… There is no end to them… One can’t reach a finish… One can only stop… Or to be stopped. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted… There is a time to sow wild oats and a time to reap what was sown… …there was nothing behind me any more, all my bridges were gone and I didn’ A rolling stone gathers no moss… Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road. Roads weave into a tapestry of life… Roads interlace into a labyrinth… There is no end to them… One can’t reach a finish… One can only stop… Or to be stopped. A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted… There is a time to sow wild oats and a time to reap what was sown… …there was nothing behind me any more, all my bridges were gone and I didn’t give a damn about anything at all. Every young generation has their own locus of romance and high hopes. And every young generation has its own roads to travel.

  18. 5 out of 5

    J-sin

    Pardon me while I write a scathing review for this book in the style of Kerouac, the Rambler. I really don't understand why this book is considered a classic. I think of it as nothing more than a diary written by a man who was soused all of the time and whose brain could not understand structure and the unwritten rules of writing. It's incoherent, rambles on for days, and the "style" is distracting and annoying enough that reading even a page makes me yearn to kick somebody's puppy. And I like pu Pardon me while I write a scathing review for this book in the style of Kerouac, the Rambler. I really don't understand why this book is considered a classic. I think of it as nothing more than a diary written by a man who was soused all of the time and whose brain could not understand structure and the unwritten rules of writing. It's incoherent, rambles on for days, and the "style" is distracting and annoying enough that reading even a page makes me yearn to kick somebody's puppy. And I like puppies. But I don't like Kerouac at all and my dislike of his work makes me want to strike infant canines with the toe of my size 13 Nikes. Maybe I'll write an entire book with no formatting and make it equally as boring. Yes, that's what I'll do. I'll write a book about nothing really. It will be one giant meandering paragraph with more pages than a David Foster Wallace novel about lots of Jest. Just thoughts about things like peanut butter, soap (liquid and bar), peacocks (pretty bird, you cannot fly), Darwinism, toilet paper (2 and 3 ply), Jesus, telephones, french fries, 25 pound paper, paperweights, weightlifters, jeans (only blue), Kerouac fans (as if they exist. I think it's become fashionable to claim to be a Kerouac fan even though the fans' faux-understanding is nothing more than an absurdity). Yeah, I said it - this book sucks. A lot. More than you could possibly fathom.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Anuradha

    EDIT: 26/03/2018 I just learnt that Sam and Dean from Supernatural were named after Sal and Dean, and I don't know what to believe in anymore. -- ORIGINAL REVIEW: ALTERNATE TITLE: White People Problems ALTERNATE ALTERNATE TITLE: How Many Girls is Too Many Girls? ALTERNATE ALTERNATE ALTERNATE TITLE: Do I Sound Smart Yet? Why do people love this book? No seriously, I read it for the second time because I thought I was too young to have understood it when I read it the first time. Well, turns out the EDIT: 26/03/2018 I just learnt that Sam and Dean from Supernatural were named after Sal and Dean, and I don't know what to believe in anymore. -- ORIGINAL REVIEW: ALTERNATE TITLE: White People Problems ALTERNATE ALTERNATE TITLE: How Many Girls is Too Many Girls? ALTERNATE ALTERNATE ALTERNATE TITLE: Do I Sound Smart Yet? Why do people love this book? No seriously, I read it for the second time because I thought I was too young to have understood it when I read it the first time. Well, turns out the book is still trash and Jack Kerouac is still an asshole. For the past three days, I've been opening this edit box and closing it. Because honestly, I couldn't bear the thought of going through my notes, my notes filled with Kerouac's insipid, yet simultaneously aggravating thoughts. I mean, I did read this twice! Two whole times. That's a lot of hours I'll never get back. Ugh. But nevertheless, I stopped procrastinating, and decided that like ripping a band aid, it's best I get done with this as quickly as possible. Because after this, I'm never touching this book again. Fuck this book. There are books that I dislike because of the language. There are books that I dislike because they're too cheesy. Then there are books like this that I dislike, because seriously, what the fuck was the writer thinking? It is nothing more than an ode to his smarts, his friends' smarts, and their collective "intellectual and sexual prowess". I really don't like stereotypes. I try consciously to not stereotype. But this book could only and only have been written by a White, heterosexual male. Actually, make that American, White, heterosexual male. I mean, anyone who says that the millennial generation is self-obsessed should be asked to read this book. Never have I read a book so complacent, so self-centered. Honestly, no one thinks Sal (Jack) and his friends are the pinnacle of intellectual evolution more than Sal and his friends. What makes it worse is Sal's constant undermining of his own intelligence, which very plainly looks like he's trying to talk about how smart he is without sounding like a, pardon my French, cunt. Emphasis on "trying", because man alive, does he fail miserably at it. It could've been funny, maybe even a little charming. But Kerouac all spends his time trying to build up this aura of intellect, only for it collapse on itself inelegantly. How anyone could idolise Dean Moriarty is beyond me. He is nothing more than a self-serving egomaniac (and nymphomaniac) who would probably pimp out his mother for a bottle of whiskey and a pack of smokes. The problem is, I've actually met people who're as bad, and the end result is nowhere as pretty as it is in this book. Fuck this book. Don't even get me started on the portrayal of the female characters in this book. Because there is no "portrayal". Despite his claims of having been with more women than I can count on my fingers, Sal's understanding of women is painfully pedestrian. On reading the description of the women in this book, I can only conclude that these characters were written by an alien ghost-writer who had a very vague idea of what women actually were. They are reduced to caricatures of what someone else must have described as "women" to the writer. They're either whores or prudes. Easy or difficult. Hot or fat. In Sal, and in fact, his friends' eyes, women exist to satisfy their sexual needs. Worse still, women are okay with being reduced to mere sexual objects. Never have I seen a man so tone-deaf about what women are since... well, never have I seen a man so tone-deaf to what women are. Period. Fuck this book. I say in many books that it is me, and not the book. Here, it is the book. The combination of smug intellectual superiority, and utter and total disregard for anyone who isn't White, heterosexual, or male make this book truly one of the worst I've read. There is the unnecessary glorification of criminal acts, of ruffians, of drugs, of addiction, of sex; gratuitous idolisation of people one really shouldn't be idolsing. Kerouac perhaps pulled off perhaps the world's greatest literary scam in getting this book published. It isn't great in any way. I don't even think it is truly representative of the Beat Culture. Kerouac should've just stuck to naming that generation the Beat Generation and left the writing to his friends. That is truly a better contribution to literature than this awful book. Considering this book a Great American Novel would be trivialising the contribution of America to the world of literature. FUCK. THIS. BOOK.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    You couldn't pay me enough to re-read this baby now. Well, okay, I'd probably do it for £200. Alright, £100. Cash. Kerouac took over from Steinbeck as the guy I had to read everything by when I was a young person. Steinbeck himself took over from Ray Bradbury. All three American males with a sentimental streak as wide as the Rio Grande. Whole thing nearly turned me into a weepy hitchhiker who plays saxophone while he waits for a ride, then gets abducted by aliens who are these very kind blue glo You couldn't pay me enough to re-read this baby now. Well, okay, I'd probably do it for £200. Alright, £100. Cash. Kerouac took over from Steinbeck as the guy I had to read everything by when I was a young person. Steinbeck himself took over from Ray Bradbury. All three American males with a sentimental streak as wide as the Rio Grande. Whole thing nearly turned me into a weepy hitchhiker who plays saxophone while he waits for a ride, then gets abducted by aliens who are these very kind blue globes, I know it sounds crazy, blue globes, right, & who take him back to 1922 where he persuades the boss of the local fruit farm syndicate to double the workers' wages and build a school.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    They're just good ol' boys never meaning no harm, making their way the only way they know how, but that's just a bit more than the law will allow... The characters of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's On the Road are 20th Century equivalents of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer: boys having joyous American adventures. Sal and Dean trip (in more ways than one) back and forth from the east coast to the west, and down south even as far as Mexico, always looking to get their kicks. It's a free- They're just good ol' boys never meaning no harm, making their way the only way they know how, but that's just a bit more than the law will allow... The characters of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty in Jack Kerouac's On the Road are 20th Century equivalents of Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer: boys having joyous American adventures. Sal and Dean trip (in more ways than one) back and forth from the east coast to the west, and down south even as far as Mexico, always looking to get their kicks. It's a free-flowing good time perfectly delivered in Kerouac's jazzy beat style. Most of the book follows their ultimate liberation, psycho-philosophical, free-wheeling adventures bumming rides, seeing the country, scoring weed and drink, making it with real gone girls, and getting meaningless jobs along the way to further their desire to go farther, always farther. Only problem is, Sal and Dean are based on real boys. Oh sure, On the Road is called a fiction, but it is absolutely based on real occurrences and people, so much so that Kerouac had to be dissuaded by his publisher to print their real names. Sal is Kerouac himself and Dean is his friend Neal Cassady, an essentially motherless delinquent "raised" by an alcoholic and mostly absent father. Dean/Neal, a hyper lover of life, seemed to be a manic prophet, the words and ways of which Sal/Jack was happy to follow. So when these boys steal all manner of things (including cars) or shack up and knock up women only to inevitably leave them time and again for the road, one can't help but marvel at their unconscionable irresponsibility. It smacks heavily of nothing more that having fun at the expense of others. There's only so much hedonism you can take before you have to step back and ask, what's the point?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shovelmonkey1

    I decided to re-read this recently, having originally read it too long ago as a 15 year old with a head full of clouds, fluffy ideas and idealism. Happy to report that the clouds and other fluff were replaced with an iron clad lump of cynicism which grows daily. This time round (more than fifteen years on)I enjoyed it more for the colourful style of writing and use of language which marked it as a book that defined a generation. I also realised that despite his skill as a writer, Kerouac and chu I decided to re-read this recently, having originally read it too long ago as a 15 year old with a head full of clouds, fluffy ideas and idealism. Happy to report that the clouds and other fluff were replaced with an iron clad lump of cynicism which grows daily. This time round (more than fifteen years on)I enjoyed it more for the colourful style of writing and use of language which marked it as a book that defined a generation. I also realised that despite his skill as a writer, Kerouac and chums were lazy self-centred free-loading moochers rather than the inspirational live for the moment travellers I originally took them for. They pioneered the sofa surfing econo-chic movement which is having a moment right now. Ultimately running away is fine and fun for a time too. On the Road is about a group of men on the run. From their families, respectability, employment, responsibility and a sedentary conventional life. Clearly they're never going to outrun themselves though, so what is the end game? In this case it is worth it if you're going to get a world class book out of it and be touted as some sort of inter-generational seer for years to come but the chances of that happening are fairly limited. Eventually the time comes when we have to stand still while the world turns around us for a moment make a decision about who we are and where we're going (and that doesn't mean just going back to Denver!).

  23. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    The author William Kirn, in a piece for Slate magazine debating the merits of On The Road, wrote, "It's hard for me to summon any more 'critical distance' toward On the Road than I can toward the shape of my own face or the smell of my own sweat." I feel much the same way. For me, On the Road is inextricable from the time and place that I read it. I was, literally, on the road, looking at colleges in New England during my junior year of high school. I'd borrowed the book from my brand-new-girlfr The author William Kirn, in a piece for Slate magazine debating the merits of On The Road, wrote, "It's hard for me to summon any more 'critical distance' toward On the Road than I can toward the shape of my own face or the smell of my own sweat." I feel much the same way. For me, On the Road is inextricable from the time and place that I read it. I was, literally, on the road, looking at colleges in New England during my junior year of high school. I'd borrowed the book from my brand-new-girlfriend Dina upon her insistence that it was nothing short of amazing. This was also the first time I'd heard Neil Young's Harvest in its entirety. I'd prefer not to downplay any of this in terms of shaping who I became over the next few years, and for that matter, who I am now. All of this ancillary detail and admitted nostalgia probably shouldn't have anything to do with my assessment of the book. I did, after all, read it at the absolute "perfect" time: away from home, "discovering myself," blah blah blah. But you know what? I don't care how trite it was, and maybe still is. This book knocked it out of the fucking park for me. And so what if millions of kids the same age with the same sort of background enjoyed the same sort of "spiritual" experience with the book? I didn't know that at the time. All I knew of Jack Kerouac was his picture on the cover of the book. How much did On the Road have to do with deciding not to go to school in New England but rather staying in Pittsburgh and going to a "city school"? How much did it have to do with writing becoming my immediate, absolute focus? How much did it have to do with that girl who lent it to me, who I am still in love with today? I don't know. What I do know is that it's all part of that same package, and I couldn't remove it if I tried. And why would I want to? To portray some ill-advised disaffected post-college stance that the book just ain't that good? I don't have time for that. If this seems defensive, or even off topic, it's because I've had to defend this book so many times. What's the point in discussing narrative structure or character development when my reaction to this book was so much more than a mere academic appreciation, when it was downright visceral? To wit, Kerouac was the wild west gunslinger staring down a group of bad guys, his finger lightly tapping his pistol; I was the little boy at home, watching him on TV with a plastic cowboy hat on my head. Do you think I'm going to waste time talking about the cinematography? That's not to say I think the book is without substance or can't be appreciated academically. In fact, it would make for an even longer review trying to describe these. My point is that they seem too after-the-fact. It's a wonderful novel, brimming with brilliance, and deserving of the hype.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jon(athan) Nakapalau

    This book takes me back to that once in a lifetime summer when you sit with your friends and say "we should just hit the road and let it take us anywhere." Over the years you look back and wonder - can you say that you took the road... "I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." But that difference is already faded; the road is covered over with the autumnal leafs of memory - and it is lost. Jack took that road; and I traveled with him in the spirit of that summer lo This book takes me back to that once in a lifetime summer when you sit with your friends and say "we should just hit the road and let it take us anywhere." Over the years you look back and wonder - can you say that you took the road... "I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference." But that difference is already faded; the road is covered over with the autumnal leafs of memory - and it is lost. Jack took that road; and I traveled with him in the spirit of that summer long ago.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Emer

    Wow... Can I request a lobotomy please? Something to chase this utter mess of a novel from my brain, rid my memory of this painful reading experience. I mean I should have known better than to read this after reading Anu's fabulous review but well.... I'm one of those people that will read any book that is on any of those 100 books to read before you die type lists so I don't regret reading this because I can always say I have read Kerouac now. BTW click here to read Anu's brilliant review which Wow... Can I request a lobotomy please? Something to chase this utter mess of a novel from my brain, rid my memory of this painful reading experience. I mean I should have known better than to read this after reading Anu's fabulous review but well.... I'm one of those people that will read any book that is on any of those 100 books to read before you die type lists so I don't regret reading this because I can always say I have read Kerouac now. BTW click here to read Anu's brilliant review which inspired me to read this at last. I'm trying very hard to look at this book in a dispassionate manner. Because it is oh so very easy to have a knee jerk (and pretty violent) reaction to the saints and sluts portrayal of women. To not respond negatively to the feckless behaviours of the characters, Dean especially. So if I set aside the casual racism, homophobia, utter misogyny and paedophilic tendencies that is rife within the pages of this book then what positive things can I say about it? Well developed characters with interesting story arcs? Nope. A plot that keeps ticking over nicely maintaining your interest? Also nope. This is basically the wet dream of every white misogynistic, homophobic, racist male who dreams of being a rebel in only the way that someone with white privilege can. Normally for a book to work for me it has to have either one of two things; a strong storyline or detailed, well rounded characters. For me this had neither. I can excuse the lack of plot because the whole point of this was the transitory nature of these characters. How they had to keep moving, meandering their way through existence without ever actually doing anything. So then I look to characters. How did they feel to me? They were all caricature and no soul. The women especially. But if I ignore the misogynistic way that women were portrayed and the double standards to which they were held, and look at the male characters as pure, unadulterated jerks then how well-developed do those jerks feel to me.... And I gotta say that they are almost as painfully flat and one-dimensional. The leading male characters of Sal the narrator and his most frequent travelling companion Dean didn't work as anti-heroes either. The relationship between Sal and Dean was the main relationship of the book. And for me Sal's continued idolisation of Dean clouded the story too much. Basically Sal's head was shoved so far up Dean's arse that he couldn't see all the other people around him; it prevented Sal's narration from exploring the intricacies and personalities of the supporting characters. And Dean himself was just idolised so much that he was essentially Sal's manic dream pixie boy that existed on a plain separate to everyone else. And hilariously enough, for two such homophobic characters their relationship really was almost quasi romantic in its existence. So at the end of the day I feel that there was nothing in this reading experience to reward my patience with the read. It was just a painfully messy word splurge. Like it's taken pretty much as fact that Kerouac was writing about real people here. And just gave them all aliases. Kerouac himself is Sal, Neal Cassady is Dean etc etc. And I do wonder if this is a huge flaw of the book. Because in many respects Kerouac was blinded to writing something more truthful or at least well rounded because he was all about portraying this 'style' over substance. He wants so much to show us how rebellious these characters are that he forgot that they are still human beings and never fully fleshed them out. Or he was just too freaking off his head and utterly wasted to write a coherent plot. one star

  26. 5 out of 5

    Nikos Tsentemeidis

    Μερικά βιβλία τα εκτιμάς στην κατάλληλη ηλικία και αυτό είναι το πιο χαρακτηριστικό. Νομίζω πως αν το είχα διαβάσει στα 18 μου, θα το έβρισκα υπέροχο. Τώρα το βρήκα απλά καλό και μετά από ένα σημείο βαρετό. Το πιο θετικό ήταν ότι μου μπήκε η ιδέα - στόχος ζωής, ένα roadtrip στις Η.Π.Α.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Maclain Rigdon

    I was in school at the Merchant Marine Academy. I was nineteen years old; a Georgia boy. I had no business being there. The deal at the academy is that you do six months of your Sophomore year and six months of your Junior years at sea. At least that’s how it used to be. I hear they are on trimesters now. Who knows? Anyway, it was this sea year that attracted me to the school in the first place. So I’m nineteen, heavy boozer, balls to the walls so to speak. I was coming unhinged having to deal wi I was in school at the Merchant Marine Academy. I was nineteen years old; a Georgia boy. I had no business being there. The deal at the academy is that you do six months of your Sophomore year and six months of your Junior years at sea. At least that’s how it used to be. I hear they are on trimesters now. Who knows? Anyway, it was this sea year that attracted me to the school in the first place. So I’m nineteen, heavy boozer, balls to the walls so to speak. I was coming unhinged having to deal with the life of being me all hemmed up in Navy uniform and creating little or no art. I didn’t realize the importance of the art thing until later in life. I was just running a muck really, with no balance whatsoever. It was time for me to leave for sea. Shiny black FBI shoes walking down military barrack hallway. Hair tucked under garrison cover, hands full, I walked passed Devon Ryan’s room. His room was like a diorama. You would walk by, and what was going on inside went on totally and completely without any regards to the rules outside. It was as if it were a neat and tidy exhibit of some other time and place. He and his roommate Greg Harper were a perfect match. Greg’s favorite workout included one hour of hard weight lifting followed by a shot of scotch. Run three miles whilst smoking one cigarette per mile, without stopping mind you, and then back to his room for a quick one two alone in his room just before Devon got back from machine shop. All this toped off with scotch of course, and all the while smoking non filtered cigarettes, all the while smiling under curly brown locks, leaning back and making off handed remarks about how Harper is a black name. Greg was the kind of guy I always wanted to learn to be. He seemed bulletproof to the ill effects of society or labels or whatever. Greg always seemed wise beyond his years to me. Then there was Devon. He was Irish. Long Island Irish, which if you ask me is a different kind of Irish altogether, meaning that there is a culture of Irish people living on Long Island and it is their separation from Ireland that binds them together over here. When I first moved up to New York from Georgia, people would ask, “Where are you from?” and I would respond “Georgia.” “No, I mean what are you?” “I don’t know, a RedNeck maybe.” What they were looking for was Welsh, I am welsh, but then again, my being welsh isn’t nearly as important to me as Devon’s being Irish is important to him. He was Irish, and you could tell just by looking at him. Right down to Cheshire grin on round face, Devon was as Irish as any guy I have ever met. Devon stopped me as I walked past with bags in my hands. “Hey man,” he nodded me over. Smoke filled the room. Greg and Devon each smoked unfiltered cigarettes and just ashed on the floor. They weren’t dirty, in fact their room was as consistently clean a room as you would ever see. They just smoked, ashed, and swept it up. Greg sat in his khaki uniform pants, imitation leather shoes with white socks, and white tee-shirt, smoking a butt and whittleing two dogs fucking out of a piece of balsa or something. Devon, clad in full sweats, and smoking a butt as well, brought me over to his desk. He opened the top drawer, and as usual there was little more than a single pencil and a couple pieces of paper, but this time there was also a book. Oh what a book. He picked it up and studied it for a second. He absorbed it, as if he had to say goodbye. Put his cigarette in his mouth and handed it right over. “Here, this is a book you gotta read. But you have to promise me something, you have to give it to someone else when your done. This is one book that needs to keep moving and touch as many lives as possible.” He made me promise, and he was serious about it. I took him seriously. I didn’t read it until I was on my second ship. The S/S “Louise” Lykes. I read it during the ocean crossing; I read it three times in a row. It was as much a revelation for me as it was for anyone else in orbit around the philosophy it represents. It didn’t bring me balance though. Oh no, in fact I would say that it threw me more off balance than I already was at that time in my life. Oh well. I didn’t like Devon asked and gave the book to someone else, never reading a word past the three times I read it crossing the Atlantic. I wanted to be Dean. Who wouldn’t? Dean Moriarty. No limits, no curfew. Bullet proof and on the run, Dean was that guy who was always aware of what went on late at night after I had already cashed in my chips, and somehow by virtue of that had a handle on everything all the time. He’s always cool, no reason not to be when the bases are loaded and Dean’s at bat. We all know he’s gonna knock it out of the park, and don’t bother hitting on the prettiest girl cause he’s gonna knock that out of the park as well. I didn’t have a good idea of what Neal Cassidy looked like at the time, so to me Dean looked like Greg Harper; rough, but with an inner beauty that outshines his scars and imperfections. Years later, about eleven years, I was working on this pre-positioning ship parked near Ascension Island. For those who are unaware, a pre-positioning ship is one that sits with military cargo loaded and ready to go to wherever it might be needed. I had been used to working on ships on the move, so getting used to the sedentary lifestyle aboard a “pre-po” took some getting used to. I had a habit of going up and talking to the third mate Brett Smith while he was on watch. I sent my emails up on the bridge at the same time every day, and so after a short time I became friends with him and the AB who was on watch with him. They were both good guys, and as luck would have it we each had similar music tastes. Eventually we got into books we liked. Of course I had to talk all about Salinger. I probably went on and on about Hemmingway, Kurt Vonnegut, Hunter Thompson, and so on and so forth in that fashion. Bret was right there with me though. See, I don’t just go on like that when I feel like the person I’m talking to has no clue what I am saying. When I meet someone like him who has read many of the same books like that though, it’s like a burst of conversation, because I mainly enjoy and appreciate these books alone. Finally it came up, “On the Road, there’s a book I need to read. I haven’t read that in so many years.” I don’t think we even talked that much about it. Brett just looked at me and knew my dilemma. Brett went home not long after that. A week later a package showed up at my door. He had sent me two books. One I wanted to read, and one he wanted me to read. The other book was “Confederacy of Dunces” and I liked it. The other book a vintage paperback copy of “On the Road.” It was Yellow. It smelled like old book. On the cover is a guy making out with a girl on top of an old Chevy with a flat tire and a jug of wine. I was afraid of it at first. I had been on a Tom Robbins kick and just kept avoiding it. Finally I read it. Again. It was entirely different this time. This time I saw something different. This time I knew that I was different. I’ve since been working my way through the Legend of Duluoz.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I discovered Kerouac in tenth grade, right when all the kicks seem most dazzling, and I thought yes! This is the crazy bohemian life! And I spent the next ten years trying to be a Beatnik. I hitchhiked from Atlanta to Philadelphia just because according to this book that's the sort of thing one does. No one really hitchhiked, already, in those days; old hippies would pick me up looking bewildered. Well, and racist truckers, too, so some things never change. I would have given my left nut for som I discovered Kerouac in tenth grade, right when all the kicks seem most dazzling, and I thought yes! This is the crazy bohemian life! And I spent the next ten years trying to be a Beatnik. I hitchhiked from Atlanta to Philadelphia just because according to this book that's the sort of thing one does. No one really hitchhiked, already, in those days; old hippies would pick me up looking bewildered. Well, and racist truckers, too, so some things never change. I would have given my left nut for some benzedrine, or barring that for someone at least to explain to me what the fuck it was. (Just as well that I failed on this front, because it turns out that it is meth.) I even replayed Dean Moriarty's shoplifting scene note-for-note. That's how seriously I took this book. So you can understand that, as a pushing-40 guy who says things like "Man, it's 11, I'm beat," and means "tired," I was not at all keen to revisit this. It's a young man's book. Oh God, getting drunk and talking about the snake of the world...remember when that felt dangerous? But it's not totally silly, actually - I mean, it is, but not all silly things are pointless and there's nothing wrong with a snake of the world, intrinsically. I see it now as a warning. Kerouac was hitting 30 when he wrote it, and you sense a desperation: "Where is my story?" You sense some manipulation, too. Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady) is a mentally unstable man, and I think the Beats used him for stories. I was inspired by him when I was young; now I feel bad for him. I see that filthy bandaged thumb. Neither Kerouac nor Cassady lived to 50. (Although Cassady, astonishingly, had one more story in him.) I had a good time when I was young; I'm glad I've graduated to different kinds of good times now. But this is a young man's book. All you beatniks, go out and hitchhike and be broke and desperate on the snake of the world. It's a kick.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    There are people, I’m quite prepared to admit, that I am more than happy to spend time with – even an entire week if needs be - as long, that is, as they agree to remain within proper and predictable boundaries. And often those boundaries are pretty well fixed by the covers of the book that I find them in. Look, I don’t mind if you don’t wash or you get so drunk or stoned or both that you find yourself fast asleep hanging onto a toilet to make sure you don’t fall off the world. I don’t care if y There are people, I’m quite prepared to admit, that I am more than happy to spend time with – even an entire week if needs be - as long, that is, as they agree to remain within proper and predictable boundaries. And often those boundaries are pretty well fixed by the covers of the book that I find them in. Look, I don’t mind if you don’t wash or you get so drunk or stoned or both that you find yourself fast asleep hanging onto a toilet to make sure you don’t fall off the world. I don’t care if you wake up in the morning after your head has slid down the side of the toilet and you find yourself covered in proof that US sailors aren’t as accurate shots as they make themselves out to be. I don’t care if you turn up your jazz records so loud that it wakes every single bloody kid down the street so that they bawl out at the full stretch of their lungs from midnight right through to 6 am - just as long as all of those kids and everyone else living in that street who’s bleary eyed and up half the night shut the hell up as soon as I close the covers of the book. Ah yes… I’m not proud, I’ll admit it, I’m infinitely too straight to ever spend any real quality time with Mr Kerouac and his assorted friends. If I was there with them you’d have no trouble finding me. I’d be the guy in the back seat of their car with his eyes tight shut trying to pretend to be asleep, even if I would be listening, listening intently. Just the same, I already know that the bad driving would force my eyelids open just as surely as if matchsticks had been propped in there under the lashes. Yes, yes, I would find the driving the most difficult thing to deal with. I’ve never taken any sorts of objective measurements or done the comparisons that would need to be done, but I just don’t think my penis is small enough to make me need to risk death by car accident so as to prove my manhood. Shit no. Still, this novel rings out and over and through a million imitations. It might well be a sad-but-true fact I’m telling you here, but my bet is that outright plagiarists have made ten gazillion times more than Kerouac ever did out of his beats. They’ve copied him in film and in book and in song. And I’m prepared to say here that there is no question that some of those imitations are nearly as good as Pepsi and some, well, some are more like home-brand Cola, but there have always been others that are not just the real thing, but they’ve even had a splash of whisky added – all pure and inspired. Those imitators taste like originals, either that or they have had their ears whispered into as if by the devil himself (so that it’s just like walking down the middle of a street where all lampposts have their streetlights smashed, but you’re okay and you’re going to be okay because right beside you is Tom Waits himself, and it’s Waits with a saxophone moaning low from an open window of a tenement building here-abouts – like he did that night on track nine from Nighthawks at the Diner). This is a book affected by the rhythms of Jazz and it shows in virtually every sentence. He even mentions one of my all time favourite songs as he’s heading down the road somewhere on a particularly good night – Billie Holiday’s version of Lover Man sticks in his head (and can you really imagine a better song to have stuck there?) It is hard to read this book without a soundtrack of Dizzy Gillespie or Thelonious Monk or maybe even the Lady herself humming in your head, though maybe not singing, maybe just vamping one-handed on some just out-of-tune upright piano while the bass man taps his stings half-heartedly, half-heartedly and no more. Come here and find me a blindman for this piano. Still, there’s always music here, lots of music. And I don’t mean just in reference, but in the beat of the words as they hit the page. Christ, maybe even as residue sound from the keystrokes tapping against the paper scrunched up in an old manual typewriter. Ah yes, ah yes… Like I said, I’m just too straight for the madness of all this. The crazed brothel scene near the end with the young Latin American girls plastered and passed out and violated in expectation of little more than enough money to buy a pack of cigarettes – even if, perhaps, they received much more than that, you know, in the end, even if no one seemed to know how much was actually spent. It was clear from the beginning how much would be taken from all of these all-too-young little angels. Yes, that was all too much for my all too dull and far too prudish categorical imperatives. I struggled and I felt for those young girls and for what was being taken from them for a fist full of paper worth virtually nothing. There was lots of that – lots of the sorts of things that good sons and good employees and good fathers struggle up against and fight up against and find just all too confronting. And I won’t hear any of your half-baked psychological bullshit about repressed desires. I’m not in the least trying to run away from what I want the most. I’m just warning you, that’s all; especially since while reading this book you’ll be brought up smack face-to-face close and right up far on the inside of this guy's head – and some of the places he has plans to take you, well, they aren’t on any Women’s Weekly package plane and bus tour itinerary. I mean that for sure. And your passport, well, that not going to do you any good either, not where he’s taking you. It is best you know right now that if someone asks you for your passport along this road then it’s just as likely that they’re planning to steal it from you. Like I said, I’m warning you, that’s all. Listen to that. That trilling on the piano. That isn’t just there to show off the virtuosity of the guy with his fingers a blur over the keys; no, it’s not that. That’s there to remind you that round about midnight you’re going need to skip and step and jump onto a fright-train and to not forget that you’ve only got one shot and that’s when she slows up just a little bit on the bend. The trill is to remind you that every drink you have between now and then is going to cost you double as you run for that open door, the one with the hand sticking out of the dark and with someone you think you know calling out your name. But think nothing of it now, my friend, put it right out of your mind. Although, if it was me I would recommend you remember – for there’s not a single person here who doesn’t love you, who isn’t your brother; just as there’s not a single person here who won’t leave you for dead out in the freezing cold of the night or abandon you in a strange city with your head stuck down a toilet bowl because the ice cream they recommended you eat this morning, the ice cream they said was a health food, really didn’t agree with the whisky they passed you this afternoon just as they nudged you in the ribs and pointed out that pretty little 15 year old Mexican girl sitting all alone and lonely and lost somewhere deep down in almond brown of her own eyes. The same brown eyes she used to furtively check you over with – what? Has that been for the third time now? Remember, there’s not one of them that won’t leave you to fend for yourself even as they drive off in their fifteen cent taxi with a quick glance back over their shoulder to see you walking stark naked and crying down the street because the Mexican dream girl you'd been talking to finally did get on her Greyhound Bus after she turned away from you spilling your guts into the gutter all almond coloured from the vanilla icecream and whisky you'd mixed together for their health giving properties. And damn it if you weren’t certain, as certain as you’ve ever been, that you had finally and for the first time in your life fallen in love and this time, this time it was for sure. For sure. You’ll either love this book or hate it – cos that's the way this book is. Do you understand what I saying to you? You don’t have to love it just because it’s seminal – if you’re going to love it the fact it is seminal won’t add anything to the pleasure, just as if you are going to hate it the fact it spawned other works of art isn’t going to help in any way either. Ah, I say, ah yes, that’s got to be me now, yes…

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan Ashleigh

    This was an interesting description of a lifestyle but it was not a story. Because I live in Denver, the book has many aspects that hit close to home and I still could not care less.

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