Welcome to the On the Road read-a-long! We’re reading this book through June and July. You can see the reading schedule and guidelines on the Starting Post Page.
Week Seven: To the End
I am glad I finally read this book, though I wish I had done so earlier. I think I would have been more entertained by it in a different stage of my life. Where I am now, this book felt tedious and somewhat juvenile in a way that I couldn’t connect with. It’s not that I’m so mature (I can certainly connect with that juvenile-self in plenty of ways, just not here). I didn’t mind the rambling, though he lost me when he got really “jazzy” in the writing – but I think that may have been the point. He even had some really poignant moments, and quotes; this week, I particularly liked the beginning of chapter 4 when he tells us about Stan Shephard getting stung in the arm, “He had his arm draped over the broken door and was riding along and talking happily when suddenly a bug flew into his arm and embedded a stinger in it that made him howl” (268). I think that was a wonderful metaphor for Sal’s journey through this book (and something we’ve all felt at times… rolling along happily in our lives and then something happens that feels like a sucker punch). I also happened to like the fact that they visited so many places and talked a lot about two of which I am very familiar with (having lived there), Colorado and California.
What I didn’t like was Dean (just put a period there, because I liked almost nothing about Dean… and by almost I mean nothing, period). I also didn’t like all the random sex these grown men had (especially with teenage girls), the drugs, the crazy driving, the constant searching and leaving and searching again. And the reason I didn’t like these things is not because I don’t actually like those things (even though I don’t), but rather because they became tedious. There are only so many times you can say you did the exact same thing before it becomes boring. I tried, tried to put myself back in time when these things would be shocking and even important to tell in order to change the conversation of the day – and I think, for the most part, I failed. Even if I had succeeded – taking 307 pages to say the same thing over and over again and then just come to the conclusion that Dean is really a messed up slightly terrible friend is a bit much in my opinion.
Here’s the weird part… I was a little shocked when Dean left Sal (feverish, ill Sal) in Mexico at the end. But I’m glad he did. By that point, I wanted Sal to learn his lesson – Dean was not his friend. Dean was nobody’s friend, not even Dean’s.
But – like I said – I AM glad I read it. Thanks for reading along with me. What did you think?
Who’s Reading Along:
** Please don’t forget to come to this blog each Friday and share your thoughts in the comments section of the weekly On the Road discussion (see below for more information).**
- If you are participating and I don’t have you on this list, please let me know in the comments section. I did not include people who said ‘maybe’ so if you have changed your mind and are definitely reading along with us, let me know so I can add you. Also, if you are not going to be able to join us anymore please let me know and I will take you off the list.
- Comments from the previous week’s reading will be closing Thursday afternoon (before the next discussion takes place on Friday). If you would like to be part of the discussion, please remember to comment before then.
- Each week, on Friday, share your thoughts about the previous week’s reading. If you are stuck on what to comment about, you can respond to my post or others’ comments. Regardless, you MUST check in each week (two weeks without a response and you will be taken off of the list — see below for details on why). You may have only one “off week” (which may not be the last week of reading for obvious reasons) and still be kept on the list, but you must let me know in the comment section by saying something like, “I’m catching up,” or “I’m still reading.” ***for all week’s discussions please refrain from posting ahead, even if you have read ahead, as to not spoil the book for others***
- If you are a blogger you may post a link to your blog if you are posting about each of the each week’s reading. If I, or other readers, have extra time we will gladly try to visit your blog; however, you must make sure to share your thoughts here on this blog, and be part of the main conversation or your comment will not be counted.
- If you go for two weeks without commenting in my weekly update comments section, I will assume you are no longer participating and will take you off of the list (*NEW GUIDELINE*, in order to get back onthe list, you need to a.) Have missed no more than two weeks of discussion, b.) Let me know you would like to be on the list again, and c.) consistently be part of the discussion for the next two weeks after requesting to be put back on the list.). This is in no way to be discouraging, but helps to keep the read-a-long organized (and helps me remember who’s completed what read-a-long…there (ahem) might be something fun for different levels of participants at the end of the year! Thanks!