‘I first met Dean’
Those were the opening words of the first sentence of ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac, a start of a book that describes the whole following story. An autobiographical story about the love for Dean, and for traveling the great unknown.
‘On the Road’ really is a classic, the book that started the ‘Beatnik’ movement in the United States. The story behind all of that commotion, is of a starting writer who wants to see more of the world, or actually america. The book is composed of five parts, each part describes a journey of the protagonist, physical journeys, but the protagonist also matures during the book.
I don’t know the exact genre of this book, but I know it is autobiographical. Almost everything that happens in the book has actually occured, the love for Dean, all the strange encounters, the use of drugs and prostitutes. I really didn’t expect those things from a book that is written in 1957. Sal Paradise, the writer goes to San Francisco to meet a friend, but he wants to make a stop in Chicago to meet his old friend Dean Moriarty. And no, that is not the Moriarty we all know from Sherlock Holmes. Dean Moriarty is by far one of the strangest characters that I have read about. Dean lives by the moment, doesn’t have a feeling of responsibility towards anyone and wants to broaden his knowledge of the world by finding interesting people who he can talk with. And of course he likes to be on the road just like Sal.
This book still is revolutionary, it talks about things that were never spoken of before. Old taboos on sex, homosexuality and drugs are bent or broken in this book. Still most books are far less provocative, and even the film of this book is censored to the fullest, talk about homophobia in 1012. Jack Kerouac broke all the bonds that were there until 1957 in the literature, he paved the way for other writers so they can wright as they please.
This really is a magnificent book, it tells you about life, about all the strange things that could happen and about the people you could meet. It is a book that you have to have read, it is a book that changed history. But the most awesome part of this book was the final sentence. I’m not gonna spoil it because you will read it very soon, I can sense that.
Overall, the book was really worth reading, it was written in a language as if a friend were talking to me and the themes were also very up to date.