Top critical review
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If you had an eternity to spare...
on 18 June 2004
Being a fan of Kerouac's dreamy style, I bought the subterraneans hoping for a great poetic account of the life of Jack and his fellow beats. However this was not to be the case. A short read that seems to last a lifetime, it is just tooo involved. Epic (100-page) love stories are not Kerouacs forte, and it is seen here as he drifts aimlessly from his classic style of combining concise with fantastical. Here he opts for uninteresting events and horrific amounts of detail (page long brakets anyone? Or perhaps the most unreadable parenthesis in commentary ever?).
Of course its not all bad, its Jack...
The Subterraneans does, for all its boring elaboration on stagnant relationships, have some decent imagery to picture the uneventfulness in. Another very nice touch in this editon is where in the foreword the 'true identities' of the subterraneans is revealed and reading about what Ginsberg, Burroughs and even the orginal Dean Moriarty got up to is a pleasant distraction.
For anyone who has been in love, you may enjoy this book. For the adventurers of 'On The Road' or the dreamers of 'Doctor Sax', I suggest you look elsewhere.