Friday, 22 February 2008

Audio Classic

Finished February 21
On the Road by Jack Kerouac, performed by Matt Dillon
This was another of those classics that I'd never read, and I'd heard this audio version was good so decided I should take a listen. Perhaps I'm from the wrong generation (born in the early 60s) but it really didn't engage me.
I was surprised to find how much of this book was not what I expected. I guess that with a classic one starts to get certain ideas about the kind of book it is and I'm not sure even where all of the those preconceived ideas came from. It was less a travel book (I expected a book about America, similar perhaps to Steinbeck's Travels with Charley) and less a book about a certain group of people from a certain generation. I was surprised as well about how much non-conformist behaviour occured prior to the sixties. Sal's peers are actually a little before my own parents (born in the late 30s) and yet seem so much more radical.
I was put off by Sal's friend Dean and his behaviour. He never really seemed to take responsibility for his actions and his treatment of the women he met was definitely demeaning.
I'm glad I've read it and it made me think about some things in a different way, but it's definitely not a favourite.

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