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."
I like Kerouac. I like On the Road. I love audiobooks. And I was very disappointed with this one. The narration, for me, is way too "acted", especially the main character/narrator, who is performed throughout the book in a sort of amazed half-whisper. When Kerouac writes for example "Dean lived in a shack with his wife", it sounds like "Dean lived in a _shack_ with _his_wife_!". Now read an entire book like this and you'll see what I mean. It is bearable, but just barely. To make sure I wasn't missing anything, I watched an old video of Kerouac himself reading from the book and he didn't sound like that.
Obviously, this is a matter of personal taste. But I wish I had bought the other version available here.
The positive and uplifting perspective of the narrator.
I don't think there is any book in the world I'd listen to in one sitting over 150 pages.
More of a plot. The book is about hippies that drive around the US and bum money off of people. The characters goals are to go to parties, do drugs, and have sex. They have no interests or hobbies. I thought this book was about adventures and discoveries. Nothing about experiencing the different parts of the US. Nothing about the food, culture, personalities, or ways of life in different cities. The guys just hook up with women, have children, and abandon them. Then they hook up with their friends girlfriends and are so stifled when it hits the fan. I can't relate to the characters for a second.
The main character keeps mentioning throughout the book that he doesn't have a drivers license. He can't do this or that because he doesn't have a license. Well get a license, man!
Sort of drawly and monotone, every character sounded the same
With its many existential observations and rhythmic descriptions, it holds as a relevant work for the seeker or those bemused by life in general. Though it's dated, it held my attention and sucked me in util the last page. Also, the performance by Will Patton was spot on.
Will Patton doing Kerouac is perfect!!
The other Kerouac books though wonderful lack the guttural feel that Patton's performance brings. Awesome!!
My favorite audiobook so far!
Sal's ride on the flat bed truck.
Patton's performance as fast talking Dean Moriarty brings more life to the story.
When Sal said all he has to offer anybody is his own confusion.
Will Patton brought my favorite book to life. His narration was inspirational. He brought the same excitement I had during my first read of On The Road.