You know when you’re super excited to read a book so you wait until the perfect moment, and it’s perfect and everything you had hoped and imagined?
This was not one of those times.
This really sucks, because I was expecting to love this book. I was expecting to add it to my collection of books I would take if I leave my house for more than a week. (The books that currently make up that list, in case you were curious, are The Truth About Forever, The Things They Carried, and Breakfast at Tiffany’s.) As a wannabe free-spirit, it’s the sort of story I usually love because it makes me feel like I could actually leave and take the great American road trip.
Unfortunately, On the Road is aimless, meandering, and grossly sexist. The women in this book aren’t characters, they’re accessories. Every once in a while, they’ll be used to further the plot. But not once does a female character actually get developed. So few of them even have names, and they get younger and younger as the book goes on, with the last ones being 15 and 16 in a Mexican brothel.
Of course, the two main characters (Sal and Dean) aren’t ‘developed” much either. They are definitely more three- dimensional than the women, but nothing changes in them from the beginning of the book to the end. And while Kerouac occasionally creates a memorable turn of phrase, his plot is so rambling that the core of the story — what Sal wants — is lost within it.
My most favorite thing about this book: IF I liked anything about this book, I liked how it called back to itself. On the millionth road trip, he remembered where he had done things from the first and so forth.
My least favorite thing about this book: Obviously all the blatant sexism. Book was a total bust.
Who I would most like to recommend this book to: Absolutely no one, don’t waste your time.
Which item in the challenge it fulfilled: Author with my initials. Technically his are JK and mine are KJ, but close enough, right?
Where this book sits on my bookshelf: After 12 Ways to Trick Your Biggest Enemy and before The Secret Life of Bees.