Jesse's Reviews > On the Road

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
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's review
Feb 22, 2008

really liked it
Read in November, 2004

I really think this is a 9/10 or 4.5 stars, but this rating system doesn't allow for that. And even though this novel has come to stand for a whole social movement, and cultural identity, I still think that it is a great novel: well-written, complex characters, a winding, stange plot that mimics the characters motivations and desires. But more than this, I think that this novel has a purpose and a meaning. Most novels, even literary ones, are just written to tell a good story - you read the novel, enjoy the story and then promptly forget it. But this novel did so much more: it espoused a philosphy about life and how to live it. Thousands of kids read this novel and took it to heart, because it had a point and a meaning. And really this is the mark of great literature: does it inspire people to look at life in a fuller manner? and more importantly does it motivate them to embrace life, and live in a bigger way? On both these counts "On The Road" succeeds. So all you cynics, imagine being a sixteen-year-old kid and reading this incendiary call to life and having the gall to take it on full speed ahead, in train or car, all in an attempt to find meaning where we all know there is none.
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