Saturday, 2 May 2015

Book Club Reject

   I attend a book club that I value because we read a classic every other month.  I have been with this group for 16 years, reading 6 classics a year.  Obviously, we have read some difficult and challenging books in that list of 96 classics.
  This is the choice for this month: "On The Road" by Jack Kerouac.
  I understand that Jack Kerouac is the most famous of the Beat Generation, born in 1922.  So I tried to figure out why he was interesting enough to speak for a 'generation'.  There was a movie made in 2012, so he must still be popular.
  I tried to begin by watching the movie.  Waste of time. So I moved to the book on tape.  I got to the 7th chapter and realized that it was also wasting my time.
  I will not, at this stage of my life, be able to understand this restless, dissatisfied 'generation'.  I guess I learned the same thing from a past book choice- "Catcher in the Rye".  I also have read "Generation X"- different time frame but the same sense of alienation and dissatisfaction. Perhaps I have wasted enough time trying to connect with these 'lost generations'.
  Do these books have a purpose?  Probably.  There must be a reason that Time Magazine included "On The Road" in the list of the best 100 English language novels from 1923-2005.  In the past, I have often struggled my way through a book, thinking that there must be something here of interest.
   Perhaps there is some personal development in Kerouac as he travels back and forth across the U.S.A.  with stories of bus rides and hitchhiking.  But I have decided that there is nothing that will make this an interesting 'read' for me.
   I will just accept that there are always dissastified people in the world and they have the right to express their perspective.

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