With the coming of Dean Moriarty began the part of my life you could call my life on the road.
Begin a relatively short book it took me longer than normal to finish, not for any lack of trying. Certain things came up along the way that got in the way of my reading time (we moved, I got crazy sick, and with the move it has cut my train time in half which also cuts my reading time). Either way, enough excuses, on to the book.
I have been noticing a trend with the most of the books on The List; it’s very rare that I get sucked into the plot right from the first chapter. With most of them it has been taking me at least until the middle of the book to really get in to it, no exception with “On the Road”.
Once I got into the rhythm of the book, and yes I think there is a rhythm, I began to understand and cherish the relationship between Sal and Dean. More than the relationship with Sal and Dean is the relationship between Sal and the road. Even Dean and the road, mostly Dean and the road. I can understand why, at the time this book was published, it moved a generation to pack up what little possessions they had and hitchhike across the country. Because on the road you are free.
It reminded me of the film “Into the Wild” about Alexander Supertramp. He packed up a backpack right after college graduation and hitchhiked, hiked, and walked across the United States and in to Alaska. If I remember correctly this book was an inspiration for Alexander and many others of their generation.
Getting back to the book, it is beautifully written and takes you back to the beginning of the beat generation. But it is in the last chapter where the book really opens up, in my opinion. I’m not sure if it is because I was finally getting used to the language and the pacing or if it’s because I had actually had an hour to just sit and get lost in the book, but the last few chapters were all together heartbreaking and warming. Even though relationships dissolve and new ones form you still know that the old crew is still in everyone’s hearts and minds because of the amazing journey they went on together.