Tim O'Hearn's Reviews > On the Road

On the Road by Jack Kerouac
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American classic adventure story and defining work of the Beat movement. There are more characters than you could fit on a school bus and all of them are based on real people. Most notable is Dean Moriarty, an avatar of Neal Cassady who would later be featured as the bus driver in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, published 15 years after On the Road.

This is a book of many original concepts that can be iterated upon but not supplanted. One fringe theory is that Neal Cassady was the inspiration behind Michael Richards' portrayal of Kramer in the hit show Seinfeld. Stash a video of Neal Cassady and show it to your friends next time you drop acid.

The tinge of hatred I feel toward this work is due to its similarities to Kafka's The Castle. I also hold the opinion that the books have nothing in common. I only say this in the first place because there is an amount of opaqueness surrounding the ingestion of amphetamines that reminds me of the same futility and lack of comprehensive understanding that the reader feels while following K.'s adventure.

The depth of the novel frustrates me. On the surface, the book is comprised of a lot of road trips, fun U.S. (pop culture) history incidentals, and themes synonymous with freedom and counterculturalism. The big question, though, is whether they were running away, running toward, or were ultimately directionless. Is the story a metaphor for how life actually plays out on the individual level, societal level, or ~spiritual~ level? And how did they get along in a world where acquaintances were driving across the country and showing up on each others' doorsteps unannounced?
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Reading Progress

May 28, 2017 – Shelved
May 28, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
April 19, 2019 – Started Reading
April 28, 2019 – Finished Reading

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message 1: by Rhett (new)

Rhett Reisman Effective use of the ~ ~'s


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