by Jack Kerouac
This could have been so much better.
I hated, hated the Dean character. Whenever he was out of the picture, things settled down, the writing sparkled, the story captivated me. Then he’s back, and everything gets stupid again; and once again I have to slog through paragraph after paragraph, page after page, of him banging two girls at once and saying “Oh yass” and running around in a circle and smoking “tea” and oh what a party it was and listening to bop and having only two dollars left.
Sample paragraph with Dean around:
“He giggled maniacally and didn’t care; he rubbed his fly, stuck is finger in Marylou’s dress, slurped up her knee, frothed at the mouth, and said, ‘Darling, you know and I know that everything is straight between us at last beyond the furthest abstract definition in metaphysical terms or any terms you want to specify or sweetly impose or harken back…’ and so on, and zoom went the car and we were off again for California.”
Sample paragraph without Dean:
“I took the Washington bus; wasted some time there wandering around; went out of my way to see the Blue Ridge; heard the bird of Shenandoah and visited Stonewall Jackson’s grave; at dusk stood expectorating in the Kanawha River and walked the hillbilly night of Charleston, West Virginia; ad midnight Ashland, Kentucky, and a lonely girl under the marquee of a closed-up show. The dark and mysterious Ohio, and Cincinnati at dawn. Then Indiana fields again, and St. Louis as ever in its great valley clouds of afternoon. The muddy cobbles and the Montana logs, the broken steamboats, the ancient signs, the grass and the ropes by the river. The endless poem. by night Missouri, Kansas fields, Kansas night-cows in the secret wides, cracerkbox towns with a sea for the end of every street; dawn in Abilene. East Kansas grasses become West Kansas rangelands that climb up to the hill of the Western night.” ( )