How to Take a Road Trip

“I was surprised, as always, by how easy the act of leaving was, and how good it felt. The world was suddenly rich with possibility.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

On the Road is a novel by American author Jack Kerouac, it’s based on the road trips of Kerouac and his friends across America. The novel was published in 1957 and it is  Roman à clef (novel about real life) featuring many key figures of the Beat movement: William S. Burroughs (Old Bull Lee), Allen Ginsberg (Carlo Marx) and Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty) represented by characters in the book, including Kerouac himself as the narrator Sal Paradise.

“A pain stabbed my heart, as it did every time I saw a girl I loved who was going the opposite direction in this too-big world.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

I saw ‘On the Road’ audiobook in the library and having never listened to audio book before I thought it was about time I did. Listening to ‘On the Road’ took only about two hours and I listened to it while I was riding a bus home. I think it was more enjoyable than listening to music. I liked the voice of Carradine and it was sort of interesting experience, however, I didn’t really get the point of this novel. I’m not sure if it had one. I get the title but somehow I expected this to have more self-discovery, self-knowledge, more lessons learned, more of something else than what this was. And I guess it’s freedom and fun to drive across the states like that but I like to have at least some kind of plans. Moreover, I didn’t quite like the way this was written even when I was only listening to this. Sentences are all broken, endless stream of thoughts and again where was the point of the whole road trip. Sometimes it works for me, with this it didn’t. What I did like was the American culture & road trip culture and there were some funny moments like when Sal Paradise who hadn’t eaten for days hitchhiked with a man who purposefully was starving himself.

“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

2/5 stars

Tips

1. If you want to read this but can’t bring yourself to read the actual book, audiobook read by Carradine is a good option for you. And it only takes about 2 hours to listen to it :D
2.
I think this book is more suitable for male readers for those of you who like road trips. If you don’t like unplanned road trips, I’m sure you won’t like this.
3. If you want to learn more about the Beat Movement, literature that explored and influenced American culture in the post-World War II era., this is the book for you. And I guess if you like authors like: William S. Burroughs or Allen Ginsberg. Otherwise stay away.

                                         Buy On the Road audiobook on Amazon

“I think of Dean Moriarty, I even think of Old Dean Moriarty the father we never found, I think of Dean Moriarty.”
― Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Have you read On the Road? Do you like audio books?

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3 thoughts on “How to Take a Road Trip

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