Fear and Loathing vs On the road - Xtratime Community
 
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old May 24th, 2008, 01:50 Thread Starter
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Fear and Loathing vs On the road

Regularly compared due to sharing several key themes (searching for the American dream, freedom on the road, youthful excess, rebelling etc)

Some say Hunter S Thompsons "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" was a quantem leap forward in terms of its strong political references, more dinamic writing style and braver more explicit content, making Jack Kerouac's "On the road" dull and obsolite by comparison.

However some take the view that Kerouac's more traditional writing style, better characterisation and more clearly showcased themes makes "On the road" a classic novel in its own right while Thompson's work is confused, crude to the point of been pornographic and lacking any genuine writing craft.

Both excellent books but which do you think is critically the better and which is your personal favorite.

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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old May 25th, 2008, 20:42
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The Road is a better book but Fear and Loathing is funnier.

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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old May 30th, 2008, 00:28 Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luther Blissett View Post
The Road is a better book but Fear and Loathing is funnier.
I would agree with that. Wow thought more people would have read these books, Xtratimers mainly polite, sensible teens it seems:smileani:

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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old May 1st, 2012, 18:46
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I read On The Road, but just saw the Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas movie. The latter is really funny, but Kerouac's literature is just magic. Truly makes you see things differently. That guy is special.

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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2012, 08:54
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I felt kinda disillusioned with On The Road tbh, I don't know, perhaps I was expecting a JD Salinger from Kerouac.

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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old May 6th, 2012, 13:14
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I felt kinda disillusioned with On The Road tbh, I don't know, perhaps I was expecting a JD Salinger from Kerouac.
I don't think I fully understand what you're saying, but I'm interested in what way you were disillusioned. I liked Salinger's The Catcher in The Rye and I love everything I've read by Kerouac, but I don't see any similarities!

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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old May 9th, 2012, 19:09
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You see, I already read some cool quotes from On The Road before I read the actual book, plus I have a friend who totally idolized Kerouac, so my expectations were quite high.. And I guess based on those quotes I was expecting it to be in the mold of Catcher in The Rye, so I felt disappointed that it wasn't. I'm willing to give Kerouac a second chance tho..p (That friend of mine suggested Tristessa, which might be a good idea because the part I like the most about On The Road is the Mexico part)

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Last edited by totow; May 9th, 2012 at 19:20.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old May 13th, 2012, 10:33
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You should definitely give Kerouac another chance! You could try The Dharma Bums!

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2012, 07:39
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Neither is a great work of literature by any stretch of imagination...what was it that Truman Capote said, Kerouac's work is not writing, it's typing. Spot on. It's an important book because it captured the imagination of millions of teenagers frustrated by their own conformism. That's why I loved it the first time I read it. But after re-reading it ten years later, the disappointment was huge...the whole self-indulgence of the beat generation gets really tiring after you've stopped believing their credo of being the "best minds of their generation". The Moriarty/Cassady character is still a wonderful one, though, I can't deny that.

So yes, it's exactly like Catcher in the Rye in that sense, its appeal really is limited to certain time and situation of life.

Fear and Loathing is fun for pot-smoking college students. Totally different kind of book. Much more fun. But come on, how did this stuff become appreciated literature...

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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2012, 08:06
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Why exactly should Kerouac not be appreciated just because "you've grown out of it"? Or was the last remark only relating to Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas?

And I don't quite understand the typing part, Kerouac manages to inspire because of his language and not despite it.

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Last edited by RahzeL; May 16th, 2012 at 08:24.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2012, 08:26
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The last remark is about Fear and Loathing, but I also believe that you don't grow out of truly great literature. Like Salinger, I don't think it's really great because it loses most of its power once you're not a teenager anymore. I believe the same thing happens with Kerouac. Don't get me wrong, On the Road is a great book to read at a certain point and it definitely should be appreciated. And perhaps more importantly, it represented a new direction in literature at the time. It was in many ways genuinely ground-breaking. But I don't think it's great literature. Great literature endures.

Subjective opinion, goes without saying.

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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2012, 08:37
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Subjective opinion, yes. Because as a general statement it is completely wrong to assume that people grow out of On The Road just because it applies to you.

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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old May 16th, 2012, 08:49
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Never assumed that but it certainly has happened to a lot of people, that's for sure. I'm not saying it will happen to you, much less that it should happen, but Kerouac is almost exclusively about depicting and glorifying a certain lifestyle. If you lose fascination with that lifestyle, it often happens you lose interest in the books...when you start to think that Cassady and Ginsberg (Moriarty and Marx) sitting on the bed are just two guys talking crap instead of two geniuses tapping into some stream of universal wisdom, the whole thing's bound to be less interesting.

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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old May 17th, 2012, 04:06
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The On The Road adaptation debutes at this years Cannes. Walter Salles of 'Motorcycle Diaries' fame behind the directing steering wheel.

Not bigotting

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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2012, 14:58
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How does he live by it, like by quoting it constantly or actually engaging in those levels of narcotics consumption?

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post #16 of 16 (permalink) Old May 22nd, 2012, 21:01
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...and does he love guns and go to Vegas in a convertible a lot?

Not bigotting

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Ive probably been the poster with most number of heated discussions in this board over the years.... and I can assure you I won at least 90% of them.
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