© Jack Kerouac; (P)2004 BBC Audiobooks Ltd.
In its first, and true draft, Kerouac typed directly on a single continuous roll of paper - a preternatural, crystal clear stream, tic-tac'd on a typewriter. A monotone delivery is pitch perfect and here is what we get in this performance of one of the 'landmark' skid novels of the twentieth century. For me it will always be the 'Birth of the Cool' in written form and transposes neatly in time, place and temperament with the sounds of Miles Davis. The combination of mental, physical, and emotional traits of a person, his natural predisposition, his fears, his motivations, what makes him laugh and where he chooses to dispose of the instinctual energies and desires that are derived from the id. Daddy-oh. A feeling, a place, a time, relax, forget, remember and then let it go....
5 stars for the book but Matt Dillon's reading is done in a gruff monotone. This is a very long reading, and after a while it becomes difficult to listen to because of his delivery. Worthwhile but flawed.
I didn't really enjoy this and I don't think it was down to the narration. The aimless wandering and drifting did my head in. They always seemed to be going somewhere, but usually without reason and without actually seeming to enjoy it either. Dull. Occasionally a scene is described in a wonderful, poignant way; but there is a lot to wade through till they get there. I enjoyed it more when they got to Mexico as their experiences were new and foreign.
I watched the new Ken Kesey documentary "Magic Trip" and didn't like that either (features the real guy who inspired the fictional Dean Moriarty), so I probably have the wrong sort of brain for this stuff - not sufficiently drug-addled!
One Flew Over the Cookoo's nest is a great book (and film) though.
I had high hopes of this one.... but I am having to give up on it. Matt Dillon's awful monotonous delivery is doing absolutely nothing for me, and I am finding I have no inclination to go on with it. I usually listen to my current audible book for 45 minutes at a time while walking my dog looking forward to the next installment, but after three days of switching off after 15 minutes, I am moving on to the next book in my library.
A brilliant performance by Matt Damon takes the listener right into the heart of Kerouac's cool ramble of a book. I was immersed in fifties America, on the back of pickup trucks and in the seediest hotel rooms, in love and isolated, life through the dark glass of a poetic mind. Great writing, great performance.
Great book. Unfortunately the reading is pretty awful; just a ten hour monotonous drone that sucks the life from what is a fine piece of writing, A bit like listening to a eight year old attempting to read in class.
The previous reviewer said it was worth getting past the monotone reading so I thought at under ?5 it was worth a try. I wish I hadn't bothered! This will be the first time that I have not managed to listen to the end of a book; if there is a story, I have no idea what it is.
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