Discussion Forums - Biographies & Memoirs

Topic: On the Road - Jack Kerouac

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: On the Road - Jack Kerouac
Date Posted: 4/1/2009 1:59 PM ET
Member Since: 11/28/2007
Posts: 5,585
Back To Top

This book was on my TBR list forever.....and I'm sad to say it may remain there.  I've managed to get about 1/3 of the way through it, and it's been a challenge--maybe even a chore.  I don't think I'll be finishing it.  Am I alone in not loving this book?  It's supposed to be a classic, I thought.  But I'm finding it ponderous and tedius, very wordy, really quite dull in its story.  Anybody else out there have an opinion about On the Road

Date Posted: 4/10/2009 7:14 PM ET
Member Since: 5/30/2008
Posts: 146
Back To Top

Got it from the library and couldnt get past 20 pages and took it back. Couldnt figure out what all the hype was about.

Date Posted: 4/12/2009 12:12 AM ET
Member Since: 6/29/2008
Posts: 26,635
Back To Top

I'm sorry to hear that.  I have On the Road on my list too, because I'm trying to get through books 50 through 100 on this list:

http://rjscafe.wordpress.com/book-buzz/centurys-top-100-critic-vs-reader/  as part of my 2009 reading challenge.  I think my library has

it on audio. Maybe that would be better?

Date Posted: 5/4/2009 4:41 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,071
Back To Top

I have On The Road also I 've tried to read it many times but just can't finish it. But then again Moby Dick a classic and I hated it same with Siddartha I'm came to the conculsion Classsic doesn't always mean Good!!

Date Posted: 6/12/2009 11:30 AM ET
Member Since: 3/28/2009
Posts: 55
Back To Top

I was just talking a little in another thread about tastes changing as you get older.  On the Road is great, when you are 17...  It loses something the older you get.  For me anyway.  I wouldn't get into now, but when I was a teenager it fit in my with mindset.

Same thing with Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar...

Date Posted: 6/12/2009 11:29 PM ET
Member Since: 4/4/2009
Posts: 9,550
Back To Top

Observations on previous posts:

All responders, all critial, all women. Hmmm...True, Kerouac's women are not treated "favorably." Then, who does he treat "favorably/" Only what could perhaps be termed true existentialists: Free spirits who will also manipulate and take whatever aids themselves.

When he is doing what he does well -- maybe a third of the time and I don't think he had any idea what he was doing or cared -- what comes out is impressionist prose at its best. He rolls out a series of impressions of people and places that sometimes creates an amazingly coherent portrait of these people and places. It certainly isn't my favorite style, bass-ackwards from Hemingway who would appear to be doing much the same thing, but highly condensed with the impressions highly condensed and every word edited many times. But when done well, it can have power -- and last.

Classics? Based on what I can infer from the various forums, this word has no meaning in PBS forums. If the list of 100 refers to one I saw posted, about all I can say is, they must kidding. 

Date Posted: 10/15/2009 2:51 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,071
Back To Top

It had nothing to do with the way he treats women Please!!!! Critical? I call Opinion. Classic means something diffrent to everyone!

Date Posted: 10/19/2009 8:06 AM ET
Member Since: 12/22/2008
Posts: 533
Back To Top

This discussion brings to mind my experience with Catcher in the Rye, by Salinger.  As a teenager, I loved it.  Now, over 50 yrs old, I cannot imagine enjoying it.  It would probably be a wallbanger.

Date Posted: 10/25/2009 11:39 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,071
Back To Top

I do think age plays a large role in these books , I find that true of Catcher In The Rye. I think On The Road captures the imagination of younger people who have little in life, love ,and travel experince yet?As well  with Catcher In the Rye younger readers feel drawn to Holden's personality . . But they both have merit as good books( over hyped a bit) and I'm sure will continued to be read for many years to come and I guess that is what counts!

Subject: On the road
Date Posted: 12/2/2009 1:23 PM ET
Member Since: 12/2/2009
Posts: 2
Back To Top

I've always ment to read that book, but never did. I suspected what your comments  confirmed, sounds like read it when you're young or forget it.

Date Posted: 12/5/2009 11:34 AM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2007
Posts: 1,932
Back To Top

On The Road had a huge impact on me when I first read it at 18. I've reread it several times (I'm 43 now) and it kept that magic for me at different stages in my life. I even moved to Denver at 30!!

My mother is 77 and is reading Catcher In The Rye and Animal Farm for the first time because obviously they weren't written when she was young and she wants to read them now. She's enjoying them.

I don't think it matters. You should be able to place yourself in a timeframe if you like the styling of the author. If you don't, that's another thing all together. I know plenty of adults who enjoy the Harry Potter and Twilight series books.

Subject: I loved On the Road
Date Posted: 12/14/2010 8:33 PM ET
Member Since: 10/30/2010
Posts: 495
Back To Top

On the Road is one of my favorite books. I did read it many years ago so I don't know what it would be like right now.

Also, Siddhartha was a life changer for me.

My favorite book of all time is Lonesome Dove.


Date Posted: 12/26/2010 10:12 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,071
Back To Top

Strange you mention Siddhartha ,I read it again a month or so ago and I still enjoyed it but it didn;t effect me the same way this time I think I have become a bit Jaded with age.I plan on reading Bahgdah Vita again to see how I feel about it now,lol

Date Posted: 1/24/2011 5:31 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,071
Back To Top

My son he is 19 and started college when he was home at Christmas he found my copy of On The Road and he started reading it he took it with him when he left and said he loved it. So I guesss the age thing is a bit of a factor.

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 9:39 PM ET
Member Since: 2/24/2011
Posts: 5
Back To Top

I bought the original scroll version from a used book store a couple of months ago, but still haven't gotten around to reading it.  I let my boyfriend borrow the book and he said it took everything in him to finish reading to the end.  Eventually, I'll take a shot at reading it, but I can tell it's going to be a long read (as the scroll version is practically one gigantic paragraph).

Date Posted: 3/15/2011 11:01 PM ET
Member Since: 4/27/2006
Posts: 11,071
Back To Top

Good luck with it. I do have to say it has merit but when ur older it seems a bit much I don;t know like I said my son loved it but he plans to travel and I think the wunderlust of the book appealed to him.

Date Posted: 8/13/2011 7:30 PM ET
Member Since: 7/17/2009
Posts: 14
Back To Top

I started but never finished it.  You have to be in a certain mindset to read it, and I just haven't found that groove yet.  I can't say I didn't like it because I never got through very  much of it, but it was hard to start.