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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Grass Is Always Greener . . . Someplace Else
My rating of this book is based on the quality of the writing. If I were to rate the book instead for the appropriateness of what is described, I would rate it as a "zero." Before going further, let me mention that this book describes more immorality, lack of consideration, and disgusting behavior than you will read in five usual novels. If such things upset you, this...
Veröffentlicht am 25. Juli 2007 von Donald Mitchell

versus
2.0 von 5 Sternen addressing those "wandering spirits"
"We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move. And we moved!"
Fans of Kerouac just aren't going to like me much.
Now don't get me wrong, the book was okay for what it was: a snapshot of a different time. I read over and over again how "this book...
Veröffentlicht am 24. April 1999 von Prince Mu-Chao (princemuchao@h...


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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Grass Is Always Greener . . . Someplace Else, 25. Juli 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(TOP 500 REZENSENT)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: On the Road (Penguin Modern Classics) (Taschenbuch)
My rating of this book is based on the quality of the writing. If I were to rate the book instead for the appropriateness of what is described, I would rate it as a "zero." Before going further, let me mention that this book describes more immorality, lack of consideration, and disgusting behavior than you will read in five usual novels. If such things upset you, this book will be a poor choice for you to read.

This autobiographical novel is a paean to the hunger and optimism of youth. Everyone you meet in the book is convinced that something much better lies in the next town, in the next relationship, or in the next hit of "tea." The irony of this is nicely explored through the character of Dean Moriarty (Kerouac's friend, Neil Cassady, in real life) who constantly is adrift among the three women he has married.

The uplifting part of the book is found in the way that things somehow work out for everyone involved, even though they lack resources, insight, and appropriate caution. In their giddy gambles on new experiences, they hit the winning numbers often enough to be able to keep coming back for more. Their rootlessness and commitment to experimentation define them in the same way that the Depression defined their parents.

The brilliance of this book is that although you will probably not approve of the irresponsible lives the characters live, you will find yourself deeply involved with them. You will probably also know how they feel. In one vivid sequence, the bipolar Moriarty recreates a memory by almost crashing the car he is driving . . . just to make his point. In the aftermath, he quicky falls asleep, and someone else has to drive.

Youth can be very manipulative, and Kerouac's male pals certainly exemplify that impulsive weakness. Out of money, they steal, beg, borrow, lie, and do whatever it takes to score some. Then, they will spend whatever they have to last them for weeks on a spree covering just a few hours. Moriarty routinely leaves people in strange cities with no money and no friends, and forgets about them. Another pal marries a woman so he can get her to pay for a cross-country drive. When her money runs out in Arizona, he abandons her.

Kerouac's writing captures all of this in a remarkably vivid way. He has a lust for experiences that makes the world fresh and new. For example, he lovingly describes being a cotton picker, one of the worst jobs available at the time. The descriptions of what it is like to listen to jazz are remarkably effective and will probably attract new fans for years. Unfortunately, he also glamorizes drug usage which will also probably generate a lot of new fans for that, as well.

Road trips are a classic way that young men blow off steam in college. Freed from the restraints of being around those who supervise them, life seems more open and everything is possible. The men in this novel are mostly veterans who can get G.I. bill funds for their education. This can help fund road trips across the country, when the urge to travel hits them, tied to either their sense of being footloose or a vague promise of a bed on the other coast. Even after they marry and begin to raise families, the behavior changes little. These are Peter Pans who have adult responsibilities.

While most of what these people do are things that I do not consider commendable, this book took me back to my youth in very fundamental ways. I recalled each and every one of my "conservative" road trips with great relish and delight. I hadn't thought about them in years. I suspect that this book will be a "youth drug" for making you feel like a teenager again, too.

After you have enjoyed the great writing and the reminiscences that the book inspires, I suggest that you think about the exemplary things you did as a young person. How can you share those experiences with others in ways that will inspire them to want to serve goodness in the same ways?

Be open to life's potential . . . and be prepared to help enhance it with your responsible participation.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Fast Paced, Stream of Consciousness Writing, Fantastic!, 13. März 2009
Von 
James Gallen (St. Louis, Missouri, U.S.A.) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(REAL NAME)   
Rezension bezieht sich auf: On the Road (Taschenbuch)
"The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes "Awww!"

This was my first introduction to Jack Kerouac. I found this book to be fantastic! For those like me who have heard of Kerouac and "On The Road" but really do not know what it is about I will provide a brief synopsis without giving too much away. It is the story of Sal Paradise (substitute for Kerouac) and his friend, Dean Moriarty (modeled on Kerouac's friend) and their late 1940s cross country searches for "it", music, sex, liquor...life, as they know it.

Those who have read my other reviews may be surprised at my gushing praise for this classic of the Beat Generation. The life style described in this book is, in my opinion, utterly disgusting. What makes this book great, to my taste, is the writing style. It is a fast paced, stream of consciousness description of totally irresponsible, hedonistic behavior. I would not recommend this life style to anyone but I do recommend the book to any fan of great writing with the maturity to avoid the siren call to take to the road.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen The Grass Is Always Greener . . . Someplace Else, 25. Juli 2007
Von 
Donald Mitchell "Jesus Loves You!" (Thanks for Providing My Reviews over 124,000 Helpful Votes Globally) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
(TOP 500 REZENSENT)   
My rating of this book is based on the quality of the writing. If I were to rate the book instead for the appropriateness of what is described, I would rate it as a "zero." Before going further, let me mention that this book describes more immorality, lack of consideration, and disgusting behavior than you will read in five usual novels. If such things upset you, this book will be a poor choice for you to read.

This autobiographical novel is a paean to the hunger and optimism of youth. Everyone you meet in the book is convinced that something much better lies in the next town, in the next relationship, or in the next hit of "tea." The irony of this is nicely explored through the character of Dean Moriarty (Kerouac's friend, Neil Cassady, in real life) who constantly is adrift among the three women he has married.

The uplifting part of the book is found in the way that things somehow work out for everyone involved, even though they lack resources, insight, and appropriate caution. In their giddy gambles on new experiences, they hit the winning numbers often enough to be able to keep coming back for more. Their rootlessness and commitment to experimentation define them in the same way that the Depression defined their parents.

The brilliance of this book is that although you will probably not approve of the irresponsible lives the characters live, you will find yourself deeply involved with them. You will probably also know how they feel. In one vivid sequence, the bipolar Moriarty recreates a memory by almost crashing the car he is driving . . . just to make his point. In the aftermath, he quicky falls asleep, and someone else has to drive.

Youth can be very manipulative, and Kerouac's male pals certainly exemplify that impulsive weakness. Out of money, they steal, beg, borrow, lie, and do whatever it takes to score some. Then, they will spend whatever they have to last them for weeks on a spree covering just a few hours. Moriarty routinely leaves people in strange cities with no money and no friends, and forgets about them. Another pal marries a woman so he can get her to pay for a cross-country drive. When her money runs out in Arizona, he abandons her.

Kerouac's writing captures all of this in a remarkably vivid way. He has a lust for experiences that makes the world fresh and new. For example, he lovingly describes being a cotton picker, one of the worst jobs available at the time. The descriptions of what it is like to listen to jazz are remarkably effective and will probably attract new fans for years. Unfortunately, he also glamorizes drug usage which will also probably generate a lot of new fans for that, as well.

Road trips are a classic way that young men blow off steam in college. Freed from the restraints of being around those who supervise them, life seems more open and everything is possible. The men in this novel are mostly veterans who can get G.I. bill funds for their education. This can help fund road trips across the country, when the urge to travel hits them, tied to either their sense of being footloose or a vague promise of a bed on the other coast. Even after they marry and begin to raise families, the behavior changes little. These are Peter Pans who have adult responsibilities.

While most of what these people do are things that I do not consider commendable, this book took me back to my youth in very fundamental ways. I recalled each and every one of my "conservative" road trips with great relish and delight. I hadn't thought about them in years. I suspect that this book will be a "youth drug" for making you feel like a teenager again, too.

After you have enjoyed the great writing and the reminiscences that the book inspires, I suggest that you think about the exemplary things you did as a young person. How can you share those experiences with others in ways that will inspire them to want to serve goodness in the same ways?

Be open to life's potential . . . and be prepared to help enhance it with your responsible participation.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen how it is (the book), 5. Juli 2000
Rezension bezieht sich auf: On the Road (Taschenbuch)
Gonna try and keep it short. I read most of the reviews here, and some were negative, and there seemed to be an obvious similarity to them all. They were either mindless resentment(no offense), Or it was a lack of fully understanding what happened. This book was not a journal made on a drunken whim, but a story that took seven years to develop. Now when anyone spends a span of time like that, you know that they are going to be able to accomplish a feat like using the one large roll of paper to complete the novel. Also, to some this story seemed like the people were unchanging and lacked any development as the story prgressed without any sort of concrete ending, thats the idea, the characters are on a quest for the unattainable, like the knights of the round table searching for the holy grail with no avail whatsoever. "Road" is more than an isolated novel, but an installment of an ongoing epic! Finally, the characters seem seedy and sort of bad cos they are, they are human beings, they wallow in the filth like pigs should, they have an uncontrolable urge not burn their tender flesh in the hot sun like the culture surrounding them. And Kerouac, to some seems like the loser tagging along with the hip crowd because he was, Kerouac was an insecure outsider that tried to fit into something that he could somewhat be a part of, not to impress others, but to feel love from mankind. I could cover more ground on this subject, and strike at all the condecending points people try to make at this masterpiece, but it would waste everybodys time, so just enjoy this book, not with any sort of trend, philosophy, or any literary clout surrounding it , but with the love and compassion that this man, like many urned to express in the cold, timid, time these characters lived in. So just read, enjoy, and if the writing style is not your taste, then try to look at it for what it is, a cry for freedom and a want for something that is non existent. OPEN YOUR MIND AND LOSE YOURSELF FOR A WHILE/ IF YOU CAN
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5.0 von 5 Sternen It's The Beat To Keep !, 17. Mai 2000
my shrink gave me a copy of this book when i was coming to terms with the rejection of a rah-rah girl i spent a whole year chasing, a father who couldn't understand what it meant for me to be a writer, and a society that had no love for free spirits...i read it when i was a junior in college, then i actually did some traveling; i went to san francisco, right after a rotten semsester, just so i could check out the north beach area that jack referred to so fondly...i saw it and chinatown, and washington square, and city lights bookstore, the ghost of bob kaufman and ate chinese food and met wild beautiful crazy unapologetic souls along the way who were just trying to find their niche in this life, just like sal and dean. last year, i came out to san francisco, with two bags carrying all my poessions,my savings and brass balls, beacuse i always wanted to be here, to chase a dream...people who trash kerouac will never get the gist of what he was getting at; that there had to be more to america than picket fences, 9 to fives,raising rugrats, and slaving for a paycheck...i'm not saying that being a free spirit is glamorous and romantic,when i came to sf, i didn't have enough to get a room, i stayed in a shelter a couple of months. eventually i found a place and a job, because i wanted to be here, to write in san francisco. this book didnt offer any easy solutions(it wasn't meant to !) but it did show me that there were people like me out there that wanted to be happy on their own terms...its not for everyone, but then again, neither is John Coltrane's sweet poetry pouring from a saxophone... trane wasn't crazy and neither was jack...they just had their own way of looking at the world... i wonder if the rah rah girl still thinks about me, of if she became a trophy wife? as for kim in chicago,stop reading excrement like camus and get a life!...Thank you Jack. whereever you are
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5.0 von 5 Sternen It's The Beat To Keep !, 17. Mai 2000
my shrink gave me a copy of this book when i was coming to terms with the rejection of a rah-rah girl i spent a whole year chasing, a father who couldn't understand what it meant for me to be a writer, and a society that had no love for free spirits...i read it when i was a junior in college, then i actually did some traveling; i went to san francisco, right after a rotten semsester, just so i could check out the north beach area that jack referred to so fondly...i saw it and chinatown, and washington square, and city lights bookstore, the ghost of bob kaufman and ate chinese food and met wild beautiful crazy unapologetic souls along the way who were just trying to find their niche in this life, just like sal and dean. last year, i came out to san francisco, with two bags carrying all my poessions,my savings and brass balls, beacuse i always wanted to be here, to chase a dream...people who trash kerouac will never get the gist of what he was getting at; that there had to be more to america than picket fences, 9 to fives,raising rugrats, and slaving for a paycheck...i'm not saying that being a free spirit is glamorous and romantic,when i came to sf, i didn't have enough to get a room, i stayed in a shelter a couple of months. eventually i found a place and a job, because i wanted to be here, to write in san francisco. this book didnt offer any easy solutions(it wasn't meant to !) but it did show me that there were people like me out that wanted to be happy on their own terms...its not for everyone, but then again, neither is John Coltrane's sweet poetry pouring from a saxophone... trane wasn't crazy and neither was jack...they just had their own way of looking at the world... i wonder if the rah rah girl still thinks about me, of if she became a trophy wife? as for kim in chicago,stop reading excrement like camus and get a life!...Thank you Jack. whereever you are.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen addressing those "wandering spirits", 24. April 1999
Rezension bezieht sich auf: On the Road (Bibliothekseinband)
"We were all delighted, we all realized we were leaving confusion and nonsense behind and performing our one and noble function of the time, move. And we moved!"
Fans of Kerouac just aren't going to like me much.
Now don't get me wrong, the book was okay for what it was: a snapshot of a different time. I read over and over again how "this book changed my life and blah blah blah..." According to the blurb on my copy, it is, "quite simply one of the greatest novels and major milestones of our time."
I can't comprehend the fact that this book could change the life of anyone in my generation. The characters are not very likable and I can't imagine myself enjoying the situations they find themselves in. The writing seems extremely average to me. I have a gnawing feeling I read a different book than everyone else I ever talked to about Kerouac's "masterpiece".
Several scenes are fairly strong and memorable, especially when he was hitchiking alone, and I know that Kerouac is addressing those "wandering spirits" that exist independant of what decade it is, as well as talking about being lost as a young adult. Still, I have to wonder how one could identify so much with any of the characters in the book without being a total moron.
His metaphors are inane, and not even in a good way ("This was a manuscript of the night we couldn't read"), and he only gives us small snapshots of the late 40's "underground" - a paragraph about Wilheilm Reich and his orgones here, a paragraph or two about jazz there.
Perhaps the characters were (lying on their) hip in the 40's and 50's, but they're just not cool now. They seem like a collection of cardboard cutouts of parrots. I have no problem with drugs (hell, I like William Burroughs), but the way Kerouac addresses their drug use seems off the cuff and almost as if it was inserted extemporaneously to make the book more "edgy" (or hip, if you insist).
Recommendation: If you want to try Kerouac, read San Francisco Blues or one of his other books of poems instead.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen Simply Stunning, 17. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: On the Road (Taschenbuch)
Start with the road trip, an American institution linked in our minds with youth, freedom, coming of age, and the joy and spontaneity of being out on the road without rules or deadlines. Add to that the forefathers and mothers of the Beat Generation-not the Beatniks later so vilified by their idols. Swirl in spirituality, drugs, frantic love, and frantic living-not violence, never violence-and the resulting mass seems almost like unmolded clay: there's a potential for greatness though unrealized. But removing the dross, the gray outside, there is within a beautiful gem, treasure to be found, a book, On the Road by Jack Kerouac.

Though "...the road is life," only about half to three-fourths of the book actually occurs on the road. The book focuses for the most part on Sal Paradise, his friend and inspiring force, Dean Moriarty, and their various relationships with various people from coast to coast. They love to hitchhike, have an affinity for hobos, spend a lot of time trying to "make" girls, and are constantly running from one wild, spiritual, improbable situation to the next with little accountability and few regrets. They're blown away by jazz, are constantly in search of that almost unreachable "IT," and tea to them doesn't mean the same thing as tea to me (some drugs have obscure slang names-who knew). One scary, or intriguing, thing to think about for those who've read the book already is that Kerouac himself once wrote in a letter about the book, "Every word of the story is true."

Though I liked this book, I found within myself conflicting feelings about the story and characters. The practical side of me, some might say the nagging side, wonders if these people have parents or anything even remotely resembling a sense of responsibility for their actions or their consequences, because as far as I can tell, they don't. But there is another side of me that screams, "Amen, hallelujah, I want to do that when I grow up or at least before the week is out." There is something extremely refreshing and inspiring about the very freedom that Sal and Dean have. I am jealous of their ability to be able to leave their homes and jobs wherever they have settled in the county and go out and hitchhike thousands of miles away from stability into uncertainty. While some of the parts about life on the road are scary and ill advised, it seems like a great deal of fun and the adventure of a lifetime. Kerouac utilizes prose in his writing, imagination in his words, and profound insight spilling from the pages and his soul into the readers and their souls. It's about obsessions, abuse, depression, the absolute joy of friendship, moving, thinking, learning, manics, and life-living to the utmost, loving the living. It's life.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen a kindly rejoinder, 13. Februar 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Rezension bezieht sich auf: On the Road (Taschenbuch)
Although I need to wash the car, do the dishes and eat dinner one of these days, everything must be put on hold--in fact at the risk of sounding imposing the earth must for 10 minutes cease its incessant spinning so I can respond to shawn mcbride's even more dizzying review of On The Road. What in god's name could trigger such a mean-hearted response to such an unpretentious, sweet and joyous piece of work? Of all the contrived, vacuous and vile literature piled high in every bookstore from sea to shining sea, our friend somehow found it necessary to pan, and with fervor, On The Road???????? This requires more than a simple contrary response: I believe it's necessary to actually enter shawn's head, to do a cranial shawnectomy, to even reach inside his very soul and pluck all the thorns and barbs the poor fellow has received from life (not to mention the book.) My friend, please don't condemn Kerouac for the (late) popularity of his novel or for eventually becoming a cultural icon--such attachments actually have much more to do with our own deficiencies rather than any of his own. If you let such a perspective influence your literary analyses, you've become the very dupe of society I'm sure you believe you're independently and outrageously detached from. May I however gently request shawn, so you next time don't sound so stupid and uninformed, that you do a smidgeon of research on a subject before you attribute blanket statements that reinforce some lazy opinion dangling around your head since junior year of college. Kerouac was far from a rich white boy on financed vacations; he actually was from a blue collar immigrant family; he attended Columbia strictly on a football scholarship, and dropped out long before graduating. He (and the book's protagonist) always had a number of blue collar jobs. If his very aspirations of being a writer was elitist, then I suppose all wielders of a pen are so condemned. How ever could one condemn a book whose characters so artistically and poetically try, often futilely, to discover traces of their own joys in life rather than accept that what is manufactured and packaged for them? Shawn--please write and tell me a book which has delivered to you beauty and honesty--I swear I'll read it tomorrow. I somehow believe such a work doesn't exist for you and that any attempts simply and defenselessly are for one purpose: to be disassembled. May I say this: whenever I'm feeling so bleakly cynical, I need to only randomly find a page in this book. Really, just about any one. I've discovered no artistic achievement that is so life affirming, and exactly so blue. Brother may you have such a balm.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen a classic example of awful writing, 23. Januar 1998
Rezension bezieht sich auf: On the Road (Taschenbuch)
You never want to dig out those unreal phrases like "best ever" or "worst ever" because no one has read everything. But this is surely the worst example of writing I have ever encountered. It reads like exactly what it is: a stoned, egotistical rant by someone incapable of expressing himself comprehensibily. It drones on and on endlessly for such a short tract. I've never understood the almost religious fervor so many people associate with this nonesense. Kerouac really had no ability. He got an idea, clouded over with the shattered haze of his "non-conformist" mind and puked it up onto the page. Some may snap their fingers in a retro beatnik hipster slang and bee-bop along through this identity crisis and croon: 'Dig, man, that's the squee-squeelin' point, brother,' but, hopefully they'll realize what they've just said and laugh at themselves, returning somehow to a world where communication matters and distorted images of solipsistic rhythm will grind themselves down to the putrid puddle of ashes a gleefully burned copy of this outrageous piece of trash should rightly become. The only worthwhile mention involved with this goofy spatter is it's obvious historical impact. But for that might I recommend any non-fictional work on the beat poets. To the uninitiated: Stay away from everything written by all of these so-called cultural icons, none of them had any ability, just rage they didn't understand or know what to do with. If you must read this for a class and a teacher is really into it I can merely offer my condolances. That was my situation a few years back and the whole experience has left a scar on my conscious mind (no doubt a deeper, darker wound upon the unconscious.) Just tell them the truth, tell them there is nothing here, nothing to be seen. Move along, citizen, move along.
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