Title and Author(s): Jack Kerouac and Matt Dillon’s On the Road
Release Date: 2000
Source: Harris County Public Library
* 1001 Books Book
Reasons for Reading: I read this book a few years ago since it’s hailed as the book of the Beat Generation. Fortunately, I listened to the the version that actor Matt Dillon read. When On the Road won in the Revisited Challenge, I happily checked out the Matt Dillon version for the second time.
Summary: (This autobiographical narrative uses pseudonyms per publisher’s demands.) Salvatore “Sal” Paradise (Kerouac) tells the narrative of adventures had in the late 1940s and early 1950s “on the road” with his new found, free-spirited friend Dean Moriarty (Neal Cassady). Through these treks, Dean and Sal use many drugs, drink many boos, and “sleep” with numerous partners. Sometimes, they stay with different Beats (Carlo Marx/Allen Ginsburg and Old Bull Lee/William S. Burroughs), and other times Beats join them on their trips. Also at play are the tensions between Dean’s partners Marylou (Luanne Henderson) and Camille (Carolyn Cassaday).
One Thing I Learned from this book: Previously, I’d thought the Beats were just the 1950s predecessors to the Hippies of the 1960s. Now, I see the differences along with the similarities between the two groups.
What I Liked: I really am glad I heard Matt Dillon read this book. Also, Kerouac’s prose clearly expresses the events.
What I Disliked: However, I didn’t care much for the characters. They’re lazy and wasteful; lowlifes. Lastly, I didn’t like the way women were treated in this book.
Rainbow Rating: Orange – Restricted from those under age 17
You might also like:
- J.D. Salinger’s Franny and Zooey
- Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises
- F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby
- Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
- Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha
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