Jacob's Reviews > On the Road

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
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I read On The Road when I was 16. When I was 16, I was so depressed. I went to a high school that had a moat around it and a seige mentality. On The Road made me not depressed. In fact ... it made me want to hitchhike, hop freight trains, and more importantly to write. If I were still 16 I would give On The Road 5 stars. I would say, go! Go! Read this book and be mad for life, delirious, exploding outward into the big uncovered road! Consume vanilla ice cream and apple pie. Drink black coffee. Fuck a million times on a small bed and smoke cigarettes all night for a thousand years! Go!

When I was 21 I re-read On The Road. At this point in my life, I smoked so much pot that I can't really remember the exact effect it had on me, other than the fact that I was very impressed with the glowing red eyes of Chicago and the book in general left a sort of a rumbling phantasmagoric wake in my fuzzy brain. If I were still 21, I would forget to give On The Road a rating. I would say, hey, borrow this book, you'll like it. And then you would borrow it but you would never bring it back or you would read it but trash the copy on accident on a fishing boat, luckily, in this instance, you not only would have read the book but you also would have enjoyed it very much. You would tell me that later.

When I was 26 I re-read On The Road again. It was not the same book. I found it naive, verbose in a really bloated and unconvincing way, sappy, and really not that good. I would give it two stars. I would not actually finish reading the book.
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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
December 21, 2007 – Shelved

Comments Showing 1-13 of 13 (13 new)

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caroline thanks for reminding me of how i came across this book, jacob :) a nice lil' trip down memory lane for me. i loved it too--at 17. would probably want to throw it at the wall if i tried rereading it now. i was in love with the HS teacher who gave me my copy though so i'm glad i haven't burned my copy.

message 2: by Kristina (new) - added it

Kristina Too funny!

message 3: by Percy (last edited Nov 13, 2010 06:46AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Percy You hit the nail on the head! It's all about perspective and the age at which the experience is had. I've read this book once and only once, because I suppose now, looking back, I knew in my soul that what I was reading at the time wasn't good writing -- it was true writing. It was a read that I, now pushing 40, can point back to and say with confidence, that reading it today would be a waste of time. It was a mile marker in my life. One that I am happy/proud I passed and took some time to experience. I will also add that "On the Road" will never, ever be recommended by any teacher or professor, yet it is a read that all the best persons in those respected professions that I have ever encountered have ALL READ. For the right, young person it can be one of those reads that you just discover and consume. Then when you're looking at your fellow students and the teacher tasked with supervising that worthless hour,study hall, you just know that you have that little something, that bit in the puzzle, the edge in living, the one that you know they don't and will probably never discover. You then settle back into your chair and mutter, "You poor bastard; I hope you enjoy your existence, that cubicle, or if your lucky -- that tie, the noose that will be the rest of your life." ;)

message 4: by Sopo (new)

Sopo Chaava you write well. So, thanks to Kerouac, right?

Asheley My sentiments exactly!

Lorenzo Servile I totally agree with you, Jackob!

Amadeus I AM THE FIRST PARAGRAPH. that is my life story

message 8: by Celine (new)

Celine this is the best review ever

Ciara That first paragraph is literally me right now. Great review

message 10: by S7 (new) - rated it 1 star

S7 Yes! Nice perspective

Eiran Bones Yes, yes, yes, it's utterly about perspective and having to be critical of a book like this

Sarah Hunt Best review yet.

message 13: by Doug (new) - rated it 3 stars

Doug Thompson Great review!

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