The legend behind this book is that Kerouac sat down, high on benzidrine and wrote the story in 3 weeks on one continuous scroll of paper. After completing this mammoth task in 1951 he was unable to get it published until 1957 due to the sexual and drug use content. Dealing with issues unlike other novels at the time bought controversy as well as a cult following. Voted by TIME magazine as one of the top 100 novels from 1923-2005 this book is still a must read for many youths setting out across country trying to discover their own place in the world as well as ‘IT’.
The story follows Jack and his travels across the great wide expanse of the USA. Joined by a group of crazy, drugged out and albeit colourful characters, makes this not just another road trip. Set during the 1950’s this book explores many themes and social taboos of the time. Being the founding members of the Beatnick movement you are drawn in by there personalities and their Beat ideas, it also makes you want to pack up and set off west.
I really liked this book. Knowing that is was written on one continuous sheet of paper in an erradict three weeks, I felt I read it in the same way. I felt like I couldn’t put it down and I wanted to swallow all the information in one go. The characters interested me and after reading their stories I wanted to find out more about these people. Many of the died young, from drugs, alcohol or some other vice but each off them somehow has left their mark in American history and on American society. I think there is something for everyone in this book, especially if you think philosophically.