Why The Sixties Happened
by Carl S on September 29, 2011A few years ago, 50 years after its initial publication, and 35 years since I had read it for the first time myself, I loaned my battered paperback copy of 'On The Road' to a young friend of mine who had asked me "What should I read next?". Her reaction was, as I would have hoped, overwhelmingly positive. "It made me want to go hitchhiking" she told me.
She didn't go, of course, that's considered too dangerous these days, but she caught the spirit of Kerouac from those yellowed old pages and that made me happy.
It made me remember myself from the days before I was twenty. When the world was wide-open in front of me with all my limitless imagination and inexhaustible energy to carry me forward.
Those two-and-a-half-hundred pages created in a Benzedrine-fueled typing frenzy spoke to both of us across generations as great writing is meant to do.
Jack's tales of Casady, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and the rest would continue in his books that followed but the spirit and zest of 'On The Road' stand alone.
Bob Dylan said of 'On The Road', "It changed my life like it changed everyone else's".
Myself and my young friend were lucky enough to experience it that same way.
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