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Should I read this?

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Eric Hudson Don't touch it! Read Faulkner or better yet Cormic McCarthy for the stream of consciousness literary style. This has zero character development probably because he wrote it while tripping on acid.
Its a total waste of time
Bruce Yes you should! Simply put-my favorite novel of all time! Life-changing, as many will say and I say with supreme confidence even though I read it when I was 16. As Time eloquently put it: "the book that launched a thousand road trips..."
What to say to those critics who feel there isn't serious character development, too much sexism and disorder?
Sal Paradise does in fact grow, from his existential crisis in the beginning to the novel's subtle but powerful ending.
Is it sexist? To some extent the titular characters do use women for purely sexual gain(this is the late 40's, early 50's) however Kerouac also celebrates the wonder and joy of raw sexuality (including homosexuality) which was pretty cutting edge in 1957 when it was first published.
As for the plot being all over the place-well that's the nature of the journey Sal and Dean embark on, mirroring, dare I say it-life itself. So please, do yourself a favor and read one of the most optimistic and entertaining tales ever written-a book that makes you believe you can find happiness in America!
Lauren If you enjoy spending time with assholes--not even clever assholes who are funny and amusing, but the kind who think they are really great because they use everyone around them, then spend some time with this book! In other words, no.
Alekzander Read this if you're interested in the "Beat Generation" Otherwise it's not very interesting or engaging. The characters are one dimensional, not much is going on aside form sex, drugs, weed and alcohol. It's pretty boring if you're not interested in any of those things. "Classics" don't have to be synonymous with "Boring"
Max I loved it. Can't see why Eric complained so much about it.
Dmitry No. There are better books you could spend a piece of your life on.
Chris He did not write it while tripping on acid! That's BS. Yes, you should read it. Totally worth your time. The prose is beautifully written and it captures the essence of the Beat Generation of the 1940's and 50's perfectly.
Faulkner is unreadable as far as I'm concerned. Overrated and extremely boring. But Kerouac lights up each page with his exciting, poetic style. On the Road is sort of a modern day Don Quixote.
Carla Seravalli Honestly, it makes sense why some of y'all are hating on this book because it's sexist etc but that's not to say that it doesn't have considerable literary merit. Kerouac was a baller poet and I thought this book was the best book ever when I first read it when I was dumb and sixteen, but it's because it's a fun, enjoyable read for someone who isn't into Faulkner or McCarthy yet. So, if you don't have a stick up your butt, yes, but if you're looking for a more recent and non-sexist version of this, check out the zine Off the Map.
Tony Sims I read this recently and found it enjoyable even though it is very dated .The world has changed so much since 1947 ,but the sense of adventure and the spirit of a great friendship can be found in this book .Feminists will be appalled at the treatment of women at that time in history in US society .This is honestly depicted in the book .
Emmanuel Costenoble Man up, read it and make your own mind and you'll know better for sure. Reading a book is a personal experience, you're into or not, external comments are useless so my useless comment is READ IT, it's very good :)
Stephen It is amazing, whether you like it or not. *cough cough* Eric *cough cough*
Abdelali Elghanjawi Shame on you Eric to pose as someone who knows when you haven't an inkling about that book. kEROUAC in essence belongs to a trend which is Post-modernism. post-modern authors announce their break with all that's modern, whether in terms of the narative used or the aestithic approach to the novel as a genre. postmodern authors such as T.Pynchon will give the reader hard time in keeping up with them, and it is mainly due to the extended paragraphs, and the overuse of quotation, semi-colons. will you please do yourself a favour and attend some philosophy course on Post-modernism, and by the end of the course you'll be seeing Kerouac in another light. Kind Regards.
Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) Ignore Eric's response. Now if you're interested in the writings of someone who was actually on acid (which Kerouac was not, it hadn't been invented yet) you might investigate Timothy Leary.

Disliking a book doesn't make it necessarily "terrible" just as liking a book does not make it by definition the best book ever. Opinion is subjective and variable. In the words of Emmanuel Kant, "A wise man is capable of changing his mind; a fool is not."
Tim Burns Yes. It's one of the greatest American novels of the 20th century. It's a true manual for growing up. Should be required reading for all high-school students.
Mattias Johnsson This book gives me a big headache.
Mark Absitively! It's classic - The Classic American Novel
Timothy P This book was part of the English curriculum in 1st year college. My peers were all excited about it. The teacher too. It was the de facto guide to coolsville. Well, it made me throw up. It reads like a watered down Hardy Boys novel. He was a wannabe hipster, writing beat lit. for cast-out geeks, and dorks, and hungry wannabe hipsters. A writer who's schizoid personality produced a disjointed, screwhead yarn. A fake, in fact, hooked on bennies and beer. It must have been an outlandishly hip life in those days, to be a one of Kerouac's disciples. Read 'Fear and Loathing' instead. It won't necessarily make you hip, but it will make you laugh.
Nimesh Have you ever felt empty? Totally dry of ideas or lacking energy to go where to go. I am what they call a nomadic worker and I have this period. Everytime I go through it I have a shot of On the Road and it jolts me back to life - it simply reassures how beautiful this life is.

Do not expect a novel or "character development" out of this. This is not a novel. It is a fluid, vivid flow of writing that is most likely to influence you in whatever you do.

and I would never take people who outrightly tell you not to read without knowing your tastes seriously.
Annie 🦊 you definitely should!!!
Jakub Zahumensky If you are not under 20-25 and don't have a particular interest in the beat generation, chances are you won't like it much.

Not sure if this is still relevant, seeing you asked the question 3 years ago, but there you go :)
Monty Ibadi I haven't read this yet, if so you did can you please put a response about your thoughts on his literary?
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