Kylie's Reviews > The Town and the City

The Town and the City by Jack Kerouac
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's review
Jan 11, 14

bookshelves: read-2007, reviewed, acquired-2006
Recommended for: Fans of epic family stories
Read from October 19 to November 14, 2007, read count: 1

I thoroughly enjoyed this epic story of the Martin's lives over the decades. I don't think I've ever read a book that has so inspired in me the will to jump on the next plane to America so I can have these experiences myself. It truly is the Great American Novel. The descriptions of characters and places are vividly portrayed and the story has all you could hope for in a great novel: it's moving, irritating, amusing, heart-breaking.[return][return]I had a little trouble identifying with any of the characters. Kerouac spends a large part of the beginning of the novel describing all of the characters in detail - so much detail that the personality traits he describes in his characters start becoming contradictory. And despite there being three daughters and a mother in the story, comparatively little time was spent discussing them and their lives compared to the father and sons. This irked me a little ('typical 1950s sexism', I thought), until I realised that this is largely an autobiographical account of Kerouac's early life. Kerouac has, in effect, split his own self into three of the sons: Peter, Jim and Francis. Maybe this is why I had trouble identifying with them.[return][return]This was Kerouac's first novel, and as such is written in a much more conventional manner than his later works. However, you can start to see his own unique style coming out in this book. It's very interesting to see. Very highly recommended.

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