I read this sometime ago, but it was after 20 some odd years of reading for enjoyment before I finally started reading Kerouac’s work (this was actually the first book by him that I read) and I really liked it, a lot more than I thought I would.
I thought it started off kind of boring mainly because Jack was on top of a mountain alone working as a forest fire lookout. The first few chapters are nothing but Jack describing his dreams and visions and describing all the things he’s going to do once he gets back to civilization.
I’ve never read anything like this before, I mean to write a novel based on your day to day experiences is one thing but to be able to draw the reader in the way he does is a testament to Kerouac’s talent. The book is like a painting and the words paint the picture in your mind. I know, what you’re going to say, “But that’s what books are supposed to do”, it’s not the same. With a normal novel you see the scenes play out in your head, with Kerouac it’s something different. It’s real, soulful art that is injected into your mind’s eye.