It's not so much that I despised this book - and I did. It's not totally that the characters were unworthy of taking time to think about them - and they were. And it's not so much that the writing style was outdated before it ever appeared with limited vocabulary and overuse of the same-old-adjectives - and it was-was-was. It's more that after finishing it, while praying for Dean's demise in a fiery car crash starting on page 104, I knew my time had been wasted by a con. The book is not even an elaborate con. It's a lazy con about people who like to get drunk and drive around. I thought if I heard the word 'mad' or 'gone' or any of the other stylish and meaningless so-called descriptives one more time I'd get in the car and drive to, oh wherever, drinking and stealing on the way like our heroes. Sadly, I can understand how this became a classic, and a lifestyle. What I can't understand is why I wasted my time.
It's not that I disliked the book, it's that I foudn Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty totally unsympathetic. This book is a great window into the Beat Generation, which one definition says was marked by "visceral experiences and search for illumination." The two main characters throw themselves headlong into searching for and experiencing every sensation. They are hungry for experience, and they consume people, food, and miles voraciously. What they don't do is reflect. What they don't do is think about how their actions affect others. The pair is continually searching for "it," without defining what "it" is. When the two reach a place, they don't stay...they simply start moving again.
This book changed my life. The story of Jack Keuroac and Neal Cassady's journey across america. I cried when the book ended, wanting more. An insight ito the lives of both Jack, Neal and those who were close to them.