Vincent's Reviews > The Subterraneans

The Subterraneans by Jack Kerouac
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's review
Mar 03, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: fiction
Read in March, 2008

If it weren't for the legend that is Jack Kerouac I don't know that I would have finished the book. I hated it past the first provocative line: "Once I was young and had so much more orientation and could talk with nervous intelligences about everything..." It rambled and babbled on and on in "beat speak" a language he assumed I would know. I wonder what he would like of Hip Hop. How similar it is to bop?

I struggled to the center of the book where the spine is its weakest encouraged by an appealing phrase here and there, acclimating to his bop style, his beat style, and attracted to the sincerity of his voice. The latter half of the book was the better half (or maybe I had just got used to his stream of consciousness).

This is my first book by Kerouac. Somehow I missed reading On the Road in high school and college. I chose the shortest possible book and Desolation Angels because I liked the title. I have never been a fan of Kerouac but when I heard a recording of his reading from his books, I couldn't shake the desire to read one of his books. Right near the midway point of the book I started hearing his voice in my head.

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