So I'm reading On The Road right now, and I'm about 60 or so pages into it. So far, I'm not seeing what the big deal is about this book. Maybe it speaks to a completely different generation. All I can say is that I'm doing some major skimmage -- it's mostly just a motley collection of his rather uninspired adventures out West with some friends of his. And all these friends are so non-descript that they all blend into each other so there's really very little characterization going on.
It's got this distinct feel of a book that I'm supposed to like, but for some reason or another, just really don't. It's got about another 50 pages and if I'm not really into it, I may just have to bail. I hate bailing on books -- it's really the ultimate offense you can pay to an author (ok, maybe a really bad movie adaptation is the ultimate offense, but I'm never gonna be in a position for that to happen.) And I especially hate bailing on books that I was expecting to like.
I have to admit, one of the biggest reasons I decided to pick the book up this summer is because I'm totally into that 10,000 Maniacs song "Hey Jack Kerouac" which is all about the Beat Generation (although you'd never know it without knowing something about the Beat Generation because I think the lyrics are on the obtuse side.) I do love that Maniacs album -- In My Tribe. It's probably the only one of theirs that I really like. I remember having a copy of 10,000 Maniacs Unplugged when I was in college, and Rick loved the CD so much that he totally overplayed it. I basically never need to hear that CD ever again -- and I'm not kidding when I say that. I'm just to the point now where I can tolerate the song "Because The Night." Plus, I never really got into Natalie Merchant's solo stuff. It just didn't have the same punch that 10,000 Maniacs had which is kind of weird because she was pretty much the voice of the Maniacs, but who knows. I have Blind Man's Zoo on my iTunes, but it gets listened to a whole lot less than In My Tribe does.
So I have this feeling that I will go to my grave not having finished On The Road. Oh well, I guess worse things in life have happened.