Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review of "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac

On the Road (Penguin 20th Century Classics)On the Road by Jack Kerouac
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I remember very clearly reading this book while living in South Carolina, dreaming of a different life. I was 22, working as a bartender, and already pushing the limits of what was acceptable at the time. I sat in some crappy Hardees or Lizard's Thicket eating by myself obsessed with the prose. The zooming enthusiastic embrace of the everyday and the possibility that you don't know what the next day will bring. Through the lens of the book, I saw my crappy surroundings as an adventure.

I'm afraid to re-read it. It's a book for the young and the confused. It's a book to inspire you to find beauty in a place like Hardees. In 2005, when I was 38, I went to the famous La Cucaracha in Mexico with a woman I met at my guest house there. She loved Jack Kerouac. We talked to 18 year old punk american kids fleeing the law, toothless drunk guitar players with heroin problems, and horny Mexican waiters trying to pick up gringas. I didn't enjoy it. I wanted to go someplace nicer with better service and more sophisticated people. I had grown too old for Jack Kerouac.

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