On The Road by Jack Kerouac
Blurb: Sal Paradise, young and innocent joins the slightly crazed Dean Moriarty on a breathless, exuberant ride back and forth across the United States. their hedonistic search for release or fulfilment through drink, sex, drugs and jazz becomes an exploration of personal freedom, a test of the limits of the American dream.
I am one of those people who if I am recommended a book I’ll probably read it (I did however draw the lines at Fifty Shades of Grey) but I was looking along the “other customers also bought” section on Amazon and I spotted “On The Road” and remembered the film was being released, so I thought what the hell and bought a copy second-hand.
I admittedly am one of those people who prefer books that were written in a different era to my own. I have an affliction to care more for those that I do modern literature which I am sure I have mentioned on more than one occasion. I am not naive to think that my book taste is to everyone’s liking but for me this book made me feel something I can’t quite put to words. I can’t say I feel the need to drop my life, become a bohemian and hitchhike across the UK (as that is where I live) as it would seemingly have no purpose to travel to Scotland; but then I suppose that is the point. That is not to say that I do not understand the reason behind the need for freedom of conformity. I have to fully admit I would love to go on a road trip while reading this book (perhaps I’ll put in on my rather lacking bucket list, as I have no desire to jump out of a plane).
I think On the Road is one of those books that you have to actively want to read, if you are assigned it for school you will more than likely resent it. Confessing that it is by far my favourite books, Dean Moriarty’s character often made me want to hit myself with the book on several occasions although Sal’s character I liked, we are similar in some ways which I suppose is why I liked him. I can’t say I know little if anything of the Beat generation so that may have hindered my ability to understand some of the reasonings behind the actions. The word ‘dig’ may have been used to many times in one book for my liking but saying I dislikes the novel would be lying. On the Road is one of those books that takes a few chapters to get into, I started it thinking it was probably a bad idea to bring this book on holiday but I got into it and read it within 3 days. I would recommend reading at least the first part if you still don’t like it after that you probably won’t like it at all.
Verdict 3.5 out of 5