Sunday, June 6, 2010

On the Road

'What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies'.

And it was one crazy venture after another that Sal Paradise undertakes in Jack Kerouac's very crazy book, 'On the Road'. But no matter where the road leads Sal and his buddies, there is always lots of booze, lots of women, lots of drugs and lots of mambo music.

The book takes the reader on a long ride across the United States. It gives an interesting description of post- war America which was waking up to the rise of a new era. An era which was graduating to jazz, the hippie movement and The Beatles.

Did I enjoy the book? In many ways, yes. The narrative style was simple - the book never seemed to drag as the protagonist, Sal, moved from one place to another meeting up with all sorts of crazy bums on the way. It was a queer book in many ways. There was no real plot and yet everything made sense.

What is more interesting than the book is the story behind its creation. Kerouac wrote the entire book in one go (20 days to be exact), on a single 120 scroll of paper which he had fed in his typewriter. The whole manuscript, once completed, looked like a road itself!

Moral of the story? There's no place like home. Or something to that effect!

Photographs: Google Images