Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Drugs, Jazz and...Poetry?

I have literally just finished reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac and man, I was NOT expecting that. I mean when a novel gets high praise from the likes of Bob Dylan you expect it to deliver but this went above and beyond. I don't think I've ever been so compelled by a book (well I have but it's a small minority). Initially, kind of cynically, I dismissed it as just another gang banging, dope smoking, angsty road trip-discovering-bohemian-America story but what set this apart was that it wasn't just skittering on the surface and it had depths beneath the depths that it plunged and the characters weren't just chasing after idle amusements but were adventurous and yearned to discover and experience. It's kind of a roman a' clef (real life accounts under a facade of fiction). In fact Kerouac wanted to keep it autobiographical but the yuppie ccorporate scum publishers forced him to change the names so our protagonists Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady become Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty as they discover the underground Chicago Jazz scene, are introduced to the Mexican culture through the use of mambo music and underage prostitutes and start hallucinating and talking in verse as a result of the marijuana. The whole thing was intoxicating and beautiful and really makes you contemplate the "American Dream". I really recommend this book to anyone who's a free spirit; and if you're not, I'm sure this book will make you one.

1 comment:

  1. I love those faces, accompany the books and everything more than it concerns them!
    Jack Kerouac and his (friendly) fabulous characters.

    In fact I am using a simultaneous translator to talk with you, since I do not know hardly anything of English, am better in the French. To purpose, I am a Brazilian.