On The Road…to boredom!?

25 Feb


On The Road by Jack Kerouac was one of those books that has been on my to-read list for a very long time, and having heard and read so many great things about it, I was understandably excited when I finally got my copy! It wasn’t long before I was seriously disappointed!


The story moved at a good pace at first, but it slowly descended into madness and incomprehensible gibbering on the part of Dean Moriarty, one of the main protagonists. I understand that the story is about being on the road and being wild and crazy, but it got to the point where I would re-read sentences and still not understand what was going on! I found the language difficult to follow and downright annoying at times. I know that this book and its author are from another time, but I felt like i was going to scream if he described one more person as ‘that cat’ or told Sal (the other protagonist) how much he ‘digs’ various things. Some speeches from Dean were so broken and unbearable to read, such as;

                  ‘Ah-ah-you must listen to hear.’ We listened, all ears. But he forgot what he wanted to say. ‘Really listen-ahem. Look, dear Sal- sweet Laura- I’ve come- I’m gone- but wait- ah yes.’ And he stared with rocky sorrow into his hands. ‘Can’t talk no more- do you understand that it is- or might be- But listen!’

I mean seriously!!?? 


I almost feel sad that I seem to not understand the hype and success that this book has enjoyed! I wish I did get it. I felt like the story had no solid plot, and when I thought the story was finally going somewhere, it would take off again…along that god damn road! I also found parts of this book sad, with its drugs, prostitution, broken relationships, and abandoned children. Even with these sad themes, I found it hard to really care about the main characters, Sal and Dean, whom I felt brought much of their trouble on themselves. Their quest to ‘find themselves’ resulted in them becoming the most selfish and loutish characters.  

I’m sorry to all you die hard On The Road fans out there… but it just wasn’t for me. I’m hoping the recent film adaptation can shed a bit of light on what I’ve just read! I wouldn’t recommend this book to anyone who wants a nice easy read. Again sorry to all the fans…and sorry Mr Kerouac. 


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