Affiliate Link: On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics)
There are very few books that I give 1 star on Goodreads. This is one of them. If I could sum it up in 3 words it would be ‘First World Problems’. From what I remember of it a guy drives around North America whining but apparently there was more to it than that. It is heralded as a portrait of a generation that Kerouac himself called ‘beat’. I guess in a similar way to the generation after the First World War felt lost as to their purpose in life so must have Kerouac’s generation after the second.
All this is very good and well but I can’t get over the fact that this book is filed with awful characters. I didn’t like a single person in it. These terrible white men doss about doing nothing in particular and moaning about how terrible their life is. They seem to have no understanding of responsibility or the consequences of their actions and are so selfish I struggled to make it to the end.
As I try to give a synopsis I can’t even think of anything tangible that happens. They go on road trips a lot and treat women terribly.
I can’t even find anything to say about the writing it was just blah. It felt like Kerouac had just whacked it out in one sitting. In fact the manuscript was written on a continuous roll of paper so I reckon that isn’t too far from the truth. There are 5 parts but I can’t really understand way because they don’t seem to add to the structure of the book it just keeps on going. Perhaps this is to reflect Sal’s continuous journey over the continent. I don’t know either this book is all hype or I have missed something major.
I don’t want to say any more about it because I would just be whining. Please feel free to enlighten me as to why this book made it to no.90 on the list.
Would recommend to: don’t bother.