Jack Kerouac was one of those authors I’d heard of, and had seen quotes from scattered around the internet, but had never actually read a book from him. I remember particularly liking this quote:
Despite the disappointment that Jack Kerouac would probably not find me that interesting, I do yawn and I frequently talk about commonplace things (nobody wants to know how your jigsaw puzzle is going Laura!), I do find this quote a bit of a motivator. We should be mad to live. That’s what we’re here for, right?
As I got a reaction from reading this quote, I thought it made sense to read the book it is from. I strolled down my local library and picked up a copy of On the Road. The version in my library was The Original Scroll, which was apparently the way Kerouac wanted it published. He wrote in just three weeks on one long scroll, one long block of text.
He wanted it published like this, with as little editing as possible. An edited version with the names changed was how it was first published, but this version tried to stay as close to the original as possible. This was a nice thought, but it also took some getting used to as there were no paragraph breaks! It took a while for me to not turn over each page and groan at the block of text I was about to plough through, but I got used to it in the end.
As I was writing this post I realised just how many passages I made a note of, while it did occasionally feel like hard work, I really enjoyed this book!
His writing is just a bit cool and he was really good at painting a picture of all the crazy things that they got up to on the road.
I particularly liked this part because sometimes I am guilty of unnecessarily worrying about things that will get worked out either way.
I would definitely recommend this book. While it did make the idea of going on an epic road trip seem cool and made me think about saving up for driving lessons, it does seem like an extremely tiring way to travel. I did frequently think but aren’t they all horribly hungover?! but I did also find it a bit inspiring. I wanted to have more adventures, be a bit more impulsive and generally have a bit more fun.