Christina asked:

Initially, I was excited to start reading On the Road but after I read the intro by Ann Charters which was basically a mini-bio of Kerouac, I was severely turned off. Does it get better than the intro?

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Kris If you are into the beat movement in the USA in the 50's, it's an interesting read. What I took from it was sentences that lasted half a page, a lot of jumping back and forth and just general annoyance over some of the characters. The book does however portray very well how the Beat movement during that time impacted the people involved, but the endless rambling on and on and repeating himself, associating with horrible people etc. was just too annoying for me.

That being said - I read it because I took a class in Beat art and literature, so I learned a lot from the book too. It has it good parts and its bad, and it also involves a severely narcissistic character which was interesting to read about. But several of my peers have tried to read it and after 30% shelved it for good - but seeing as the book basically is based off Jack Kerouacs notes during his travels it's a challenging read, as the writing style is about the stream of consciousness, wich can be hard to follow. I had to go back several pages whenever I picked it up again just to remember the context.
Aomame* Ehm...what do you mean with does it get better than the intro?
You may like Kerouac's bio or not, but you may want to read what he has to say in his own words.
The intro is written by someone else, it doesn't add anything to the book, it's not On the Road.
What kind of question is that? Intro - one thing; Book, another.
Obvious? Maybe not.
Geneva Pardell
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Walle, A. I thought it was happening, exciting, and reminds those of us who didn't get out enough when we were younger all the fun we missed out on by answering the door with nothing but a saxophone.
LobsterQuadrille In my opinion, no.
Balázs That intro is easily the best part of the book
Kristina Don't ever judge a book by its intro. If the intro is annoying you after 10 lines, skip it.
Kayleigh I had the absolute opposite reaction to the intro. I had no idea what this book was going to be about and so the intro for me was really informative and interesting, I had no idea what the beat generation was and the litterary movement that sprung from it, I'm now really looking forward to reading the book
Llaovell This book addresses the United States classic "James Dean" stereotype of a disturbed young man obviously mentally ill. Spiraling out of control it is a genuine coming of age story before help or symptoms of destructive behaviors were given a thought by society.
FLJimmy It's like drinking pineapple juice. Fun and different then not as fun but when you stop you miss the flavor and want more. Read it through and you will be glad you did
EllieGoneMad Yes and no, sometimes worse. I didn't read the intro though (I never do anymore because they ruin the book). Read those after!!!

I found the book very, very difficult to get into (it took me almost 5-10 years) precisely because of the misogyny (is that what turned you off?). He has a shitty, dismissive attitude towards women and it made me want to kick the shit out of him but to appreciate this book you have to take yourself out of it and focus on the relationship between himself and Dean which is a character in itself, the actual travel and the spirit they are trying to keep alive. If you do this you can enjoy it. The relationship between the two is touching and they are each other's worst enemy at times but it's the only way to appreciate the book.
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