I loved the character development. Granted, it took a while before I became attached to the characters, but once the plot began to thicken, I suddenly found myself looking forward to my commute so that I could hear what happened next, and knowing the background of all the people involved made what was going on in the story so much more meaningful.
When the letter was read that tied everything together.
In the last half of the book, every scene was my favorite. The early chapters were a bit slow going (I think it was Chapter 9 that hooked me), but toward the end I couldn't stop listening. The ending was everything that it should be.
No laughing or crying, but many "heart-swelling" moments.
I liked this book much better than I remember liking Great Expectations, which I read in 9th grade. This book had a good story and had me rooting for the characters, and it reached it's destination in a fantastic climax.
I am not typically one to complain about feminist concerns, but women are nothing but sex objects to the men in this story. The main characters are around thirty, and yet they seem to particularly enjoy sleeping with young teenage girls. These men also take a very idealistic and stereotypical view of the plight of impoverished minorities.
I don't know that it would be possible for me to enjoy this book, as it seems that Kerouac's ideas about life were fundamentally different from mine. He and his friends were "experience junkies," drawn to anything that gave them an energy high, no matter who they hurt along the way.
I gave this audiobook three stars overall. I would have given the book itself two stars, the fact that it is an important cultural reference point being the only thing keeping it from getting just one star. My third star is purely because the narrator's performance is wonderful. He perfectly conveys the personality of every single character, and he is especially good at portraying various regional accents.
It is a movie, and in fact seeing the trailer for the movie is what made me decide to finally read the book. After reading it, though, I have no interest in seeing the movie.
I can see why this book appeals to the type of people who live for the moment, who seek out new experiences and refuse to accept societal norms. And I do find merit in those ideas...to a certain extent. But there comes a point where you have to realize that the "thing" you're looking for (the "it" that Dean Moriarty seeks relentlessly in this novel) will never be found in some new place or exciting experience. It can only be found in yourself, and in learning to be content and at peace with yourself regardless of your circumstances. That is something the characters in this book (and I would guess the author as well) never learned; it's something that the generation defined by this book still hasn't learned, and it's the reason I did not enjoy the book.
I love everything about Emerson except how difficult it is to read Emerson. This author has done a wonderful job of sorting through Emerson's journals and letters, reducing them to their most important ideas, and conveying them in a coherent and meaningful way.
For some reason the tone of the writing reminds me a bit of C.S. Lewis - conversational, yet sophisticated.
I really enjoyed the part about how language and words should be connected to ideas and reality, and how the words lose their meaning when they no longer maintain that tangible connection.
I was particularly comforted, as a writer, by the realization that Emerson spent literally years just reading and journaling before he ever wrote anything he considered publishable. Also, I enjoyed the description of Emerson as a reader, and was delighted to discover that he skimmed many books and read only the parts he found valuable.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading Emerson or other transcendentalist authors. It is well-written and full of good advice for writers.
Relevant, engrossing, informative
I enjoyed "witnessing" the adaptations of the community of characters from a life of modern conveniences to resourcefulness and frugal use of natural resources.
Probably the doctor
Not in an emotional way. The book was more moving intellectually--causing me to think and ponder.
It's easy to imagine several scenarios in our current political climate that could lead to our having to adjust to a post-apocalyptic world like the characters in Alas, Babylon. This book does a good job of immersing you into that world and showing you several possible outcomes. While the characters aren't really the main point of the book, I did find them to be real and relatable enough that I stayed engaged throughout the story. As a side note, I never felt that the book was dark, dismal, or depressing and remained hopeful in the midst of social upheaval.
I wish there was more dialogue instead of it mainly just being vocabulary lists read aloud.
I was hoping that the music would be used to teach phrases to a catchy or familiar tune. Instead, lists of vocabulary words were read (followed by their translation) in time to cheesy synthesizer beats.
Both narrators were quite good and easy to understand. The brief dialogues between them that mixed Spanish and English to introduce the vocabulary lists were the most useful part.
Since it was just a little over an hour, I didn't feel like it was too much of a waste of time, and it really was probably a good way to brush up on vocabulary words that I already know.
I recommend this as a way to brush up on Spanish vocabulary that you already know, but it is not a good way to learn new vocabulary.
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