I’ve had this book lingering around to read for quite a while and finally bit the bullet. I’ve never read any of Kerouac’s stuff before, but had always wanted to and this one seemed to be where everyone told me to start. Well, I can’t say I’ll read any more of his work based on On The Road.
I mean, I probably will, but I won’t go in with such high expectations. This felt like it would be a book about someone in the mid-century throwing themselves into life and traveling across the States in search of new experiences and revelations. It’s considered a classic, a ‘must-read’ for journalists too, according to people at University. And, sure, it has a lot of that, from the ridiculous highs of living life without concern to the depressing lows when reality gives you a swift kick in the balls, but it ultimately dragged out.
Some comments proved interesting, whether it was flippant racial comments to weird responses to homosexuality (I’m not imagining he pointed a gun at any who spoke to him in bars in Part One, am I?), because of the time. Back then this was, I guess, more the way and in that sense it was interesting to see the difference in times.
But that’s about where the line is drawn. I still feel like there was something there for me to really enjoy but I just never really found it. I hear that Kerouac was searching for something greater, something from above – I never got that. I got the idea of searching for something new, but not something… greater. I also hear he’s ultimately a sad man – that much is obvious.