Jun 05, 07
Read in May, 2007
A good read, although I did find it to be a bit pretentious and hypocritical, at least on the part of the main character (whom I can only assume is an extension of the author). While I do appreciate the struggle towards enlightenment, I feel that there are two problems with the book.
Firstly, the main character's attitude towards Christianity is the same attitude he receives from others about his Buddhism, yet he does not see the parallel, and does not see his own closed-minded nature reflected in others. The other problem with the book is that it ends right before it can really get going, right before the interesting bit. So he feels he has achieved some truth, some higher plane. Now what? His sojourn in the mountains will end, and he will return to normal society. How does this light he touched carry with him back into society? Or is he no better than any of us for whom enlightenment is just a weekend retreat?
Overall a good read, but not the best of what I've read from him. It meanders a bit and gets slow at parts, but Kerouac has a sharp writing style which never fails to please.