I would only recommend it to friends who are open minded.
I loved getting a snapshot of the late 40's early 50's in America. Not the "Leave it to Beaver" b.s. but reality.
Writer of Songs, Musician, Photographer & Artist. Reader of History, Non-Fiction, Music, Science & Cosmology.
Will Patton is a fantastic narrator. I felt as if he were living Jack Keroauc. The beat generation was what I looked up to as a Pre-teen. I loved listening to the stories as if I was the protagonist. I have wanted to read On the Road Again for decades. I'm glad to have finally listened to the book by one of the best narrators I have heard to date.
The two things that might have made this read more enjoyable would have been to have read it 40 years ago, or to have been a male, coming of age, with a sense of adventure but zero life experience.
Something light, with a sense of humor.
The performance was just fine, but the story is no longer relevant.
As a San Francisco resident I found the historical descriptions of the area fascinating.
As many of the writings of this time, On the Road is trivializes females on a level that is insulting today.
No idea -- not even close to a worthwhile investment of time.
I have heard about this book for years and as a lark figured what the heck - all that vibe -- it must have been pretty good. No way. Just a continuous feed of meaningless dribble which was supposed to have been a mind opening exploration of self and country. It was more like a stream of unconsciousness.
Great reader, stellar use of the English language. Helps me understand what was wrong with the Hippie movement. The idealism was drowned by a confusion of freedom with self-centered self-indulgence
Yes - I don't like those people very much
He did a great job with the reading, but I can't say that any reader can put words in my head better than reading something for myself.
When one of Sal and Neal's friends girlfriend had the money to finance their trip, and she wouldn't go unless the friend married her, so he did. Then at the first opportunity they dump her with some relatives and continue merrily along with none of them expressing an iota or remorse or concern for her feeling or her welfare. I was "moved". I wondered how many people admired those "mad ones" whose madness is based solely on self-gratification without giving a damn about anyone else, least of all the women (and incidental children) in their lives.
If it weren't for Kerouac's command of the language it would be an unbearable bromance of a couple of creeps. How much of the Hippie exodus to San Francisco was inspired by this book? I have always identified as a leftist, but reading this book helped me understand what conservatives disliked about Beats and Hippies. I was too young in the 60's to fully understand what was going on.
I was excited to read this book but found it rambled on & on & never really had a storyline I could follow. I felt like it was a waste of my time.
An academic who listens to novels on runs and commutes to campus.
Along with Ginsberg's length poem, Howl, On the Road defines the literature of the Beat Generation. Discussing this book with my friends, we came to realize that our relative appreciation for the book depended on when we first encountered it. Those who came to the book at a younger age were more enthusiastic than those who came later to the book. The qualities of Kerouac's writing are well-known, but I think that the crazed aspect of Beat literature overlooks some beautiful prose that describes the American landscape. In particular, as a native New Orleanian who grew up in Algiers, I found the description of Algiers and New Orleans as some of the more beautiful writing of the 20th century. But all of the beautiful descriptions get overwhelmed by Dean Moriarity, haunting the text with his incessant "Yeah" and "Dig that."
My interests run to psychology, popular science, history, world literature, and occasionally something fun like Jasper Fforde. It seems like the only free time I have for reading these days is when I'm in the car so I am extremely grateful for audio books. I started off reading just the contemporary stuff that I was determined not to clutter up my already stuffed bookcases with. And now audio is probably 90% of my "reading" matter.
It's taken me a long time to get around to this book. I expected it to deal with alienation and the origins of the counterculture. I didn't expect the lives of the characters to be so remarkably empty. I think I'd gotten the impression that the Beats had somehow managed to find fulfilling internal lives even as they embraced the existential meaninglessness of life. But what I found instead was pretty much the exact opposite: characters skating along in subsistence lifestyles while avoiding any internal growth or even reflection. Is this the way other people have experienced this book? My sense is that Kerouac intended this, and that Dean Moriarty is supposed to represent the failure of these people to bridge the gap between what they aspired to and what they were able to achieve.
Ok, I've heard about this book for years and always wanted to read it. There was even a "Quantum Leap" episode about this book that I loved. So can you imagine how disappointed I was to discover that the book was about a bunch of sick, self-centered, narcissistic freeloaders, who not only didn’t give a damn about the law, but treated everyone they met like garbage. These hoodlums roar around in their own self-indulgence, stealing whatever they can, and taking advantage of anyone stupid enough to get near them. They father children and abandon them, marry women and treat them like dirt, and laugh while other people suffer in order to get their “kicks.” It boggles my mind that so many people find “inspiration” in this book. I’m certainly no prude, and I grew up as a “hippie” but even the lowest rats that I knew cared more about their fellow men that the douche-bags in this book.
Having missed On The Road and other "significant" books in my earlier years when I was busy with college, marriage, raising my children, working, I finally decided to listen to it at the ripe old age of 63. I have to admit that while parts of it were more interesting than others, on the whole it wasn't the among the best books I ever read, and it's a good thing I didn't read it because I would never have finished it. Thank goodness for Will Patton's narration. He was perfect! He actually made the book come to life. It was so much more interesting for me. I enjoyed his interpretations of the different characters, especially Dean Moriarity, of course. Don't read this book. Listen to this version instead! It's the best way to appreciate it.