I hate writing about the books I've read. For some reason once I close a book after that final page I am done with it and ready for the next thing. Bu...moreI hate writing about the books I've read. For some reason once I close a book after that final page I am done with it and ready for the next thing. But I think it is important to reflect so here it goes... It has been a few weeks so my first experience with Kerouac is not quite as fresh as it was. Reading this book was an experience - constantly present, little concern for the past or future, a great contrast to my own inner life. This struck me because I tend to be everywhere but now. It was refreshing. It was easy to be present while reading, I could just enjoy the paragraph, sentence, word I was on without dwelling on what happened or wondering what was ahead. I just joined the journey. But when I put the book down I could not help but think and face my misgivings. I was surprised by the misogyny. I do not know why I expected different but the thread of 'women are lesser' seemed woven throughout. Along the same lines the anti-homosexuality (there must be a better word) popped out. Though I'm wondering if I misinterpreted this after watching the recent movie, or if they just took some liberties. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. It fed my stir-craziness and restlessness and desire to travel and sparked my new-found interest in jazz which has been wonderful so far. It inspired me to pick up my sax again after 15 or so years. The passion for living life and the language of being "mad" "gone" "beat" has stirred a lot of thought. It has left me appreciating people in new ways. Dean's descent into true madness was interesting, sad and confronting. We see this individual mental illness in Dean, and as we read the craziness of the collective traditional American life stands out in contrast. Especially as America is revered by Kerouac in the landscape and the outcasts of society. It has left me appreciating this country in new ways. I will certainly need to read this book again and take the time to look a little deeper into the real life inspiration.
"I've been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"
Some interesting stuff. I don't necessarily disagree with a lot that he writes though I don't think he builds a strong case. Experience jumps out as t...moreSome interesting stuff. I don't necessarily disagree with a lot that he writes though I don't think he builds a strong case. Experience jumps out as the biggest influence and he really seems to be reading his message into the Bible rather than vice versa. He also overplays the "edgy" card. I might recommend this book but I would be selective about to whom.(less)
A clear piece of WWII propaganda yet not cliche and with a depth I would not expect for a novel written with such a purpose. Two themes stand out - hu...moreA clear piece of WWII propaganda yet not cliche and with a depth I would not expect for a novel written with such a purpose. Two themes stand out - humanizing the enemy and the power of exercising freedom even in apparent defeat.(less)