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on 19 February 2017
Jack Kerouac’s writing is gaunt and transparent, and this is his genius. No wasted verbs or adjectives, no necessity for alliteration, no long-drawn out explanations, Kerouac just states it as it is with no frittering of words; ‘And before me was the great raw bulge and bulk of my American continent; somewhere far across, gloomy, crazy New York was throwing up its cloud of dust and brown steam. There is something brown and holy about the East; and California is white like washlines and emptyheaded – at least that’s what I thought then’

Isn’t that magical? Kerouac writes in a stream of consciousness, giving the impression of a mind at work, bouncing from one observation or reflection to another, expressing a simple flow of speculation. It is absolutely pure and unadulterated, and when you read the lines ‘There is something brown and holy about the East’ you can’t help but feel that the author’s nailed it. He’s given a full description of New York, Detroit and Chicago in just nine words. This is such subtle and exquisite writing. Nobody could write like that nowadays. It would take three undernourished chapters for any other writer to reach the conclusion that New York is brown and holy.

Jack Kerouac’s internal monologue bleeds, leaks and oozes onto the page – and it truly was one page because typing at about 100 words per minute in an explosion of gifted energy, he found replacing regular sheets of paper in his typewriter just interrupted his flow, so On the Road was smashed out on a 120-foot-long scroll of paper stolen for him by Neal Cassady (Dean Moriarty). I think the scroll can still be viewed at the University of Indiana.

‘She was a fetching hunk, a honey-coloured creature, but there was hate in her eyes.’

I love this. He’s clearly attracted to Remi’s girlfriend, Lee Ann, but knows he can’t make a move on her because Kerouac stole his first wife from Remi, and there’s only so many times you can screw a guy over. But the fact that she has hate in her eyes somehow has the effect of making Lee Ann even more attractive. The three of them row out to a rusty old freighter in San Francisco Bay, and Lee Ann takes all her clothes off and lays down to sun herself on the flying bridge with nothing to cover her modesty except hatred and venom

I liked Lee Ann.

You could write forever about Kerouac’s rare literary talent – and many people have. Where does one finish a review like this? I just don’t know. I would liken his writing to the explosion of a star, in which his luminosity increases astonishingly and most of the star's mass is blown away at high velocity, leaving behind the extremely solid and translucent core that is Jack Kerouac.
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on 21 January 2014
After countless recommendations I thought I'd finally give this book a shot. My expectations were extremely high and being a keen traveller I was looking forward to getting stuck into On The Road. Unfortunately, it has not lived up to expectations and truth be told, I got bored halfway through.

The first few chapters progressed way too quickly and I was expecting some sort of introduction to characters and more scene setting, it felt as though I'd missed something, as if I was expected to already know a lot. Although the fast paced start (the whole book progresses qiuckly and at time I wasn't entirely clued up as to how many days/months/years had gone by) was difficult to keep up with, it did give you a good sense of how lively these chaps were.

The latter parts of the book were more interesting, things slowed down slightly and I started to learn more about the main characters however I was eager to just finish the book at this point. Each page seemed similar to the last and it felt all too repetitive.

This was my first 'beat' novel and maybe the style of writing just isn't for me. At some points I did feel the urge to just get out and drive and I wondered how fun it was back in their era, how carefree everybody seemed, but not enough for me to really enjoy this book.

I'm glad I gave it a shot and it was 'ok' but I certainly don't have the urge to read it again.
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on 19 June 2017
I feel like this book would have been totally outstanding at the time but I feel like now it stands a little dated, I got a bit bored and wasn't fully convinced by the main character, but it serves the good purpose of showing us the beat generation. I got a little lost with all the names that get thrown at you, half the time I have no clue what character is being talked about and with who they are spending the night, and though I wouldn't read it again I do understand why it is considered a classic!
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VINE VOICEon 4 May 2017
Great book ~ my original was "lost" years ago and I thought that it was about time to read it again.
Great condition for a pre-owned book.
Saved a few pounds, so I can by another Kerouac if I want to.
Always a good way to buy a book for yourself ~ good choice, cheaper price and good delivery.
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on 12 March 2017
This has to be on every reading list. A deserved classic of writing in English in the twentieth century.
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on 26 June 2015
Oh man, I so wanted to love this book but I didn't. Nothing happens, the prose is ridiculous and I dislike the main characters. I genuinely think that life is too short for bad books so I quit after 40%. If this book peaks after 40% I will never know or care.
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on 17 July 2015
Quite well written but ,apart from some interesting insights into American life in the late forties, I thought it was repetitive and irritatingly pointless.
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on 30 March 2017
A classic, not to be missed. The iconic book of a generation!
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on 2 May 2017
The item was delivered in time. The package was not damaged and the item is working just fine. It is a good deal indeed
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on 27 March 2017
Great read.
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