There’s some entries into the literary canon that are simply unavoidable. We’re talking about the kind of books you have to read at some point before you meet your (assuredly untimely) demise. We’re not trying to be dire, though; rather, we’re trying to hammer home the colossal importance of experiencing these literary classics (and some soon-to-be classics…don’t worry, they aren’t all stuffy old books nobody bothers to read any more, we’ve tried our best to mix it up) for yourself, rather than simply hearing about them from others who have conquered them. All of this is why we here at Goliath have assembled a list of 10 novels to read before you die, and if that’s not enough to get you started then we aren’t quite sure what is.
10. On the Road (Jack Kerouac)
The definitive road trip novel and the book that sold a generation, On the Road is the first published novel by author Jack Kerouac. Published in 1957, the novel details the experiences and ideologies of the Beat Generation, the counterculture revolutionaries who spent their time purposefully navigating the margins of society so as to better understand its intricacies and inconsistencies. On the Road uses many of Kerouac’s real life experiences (the novel functions as a roman a clef in many ways) to tell the story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, two young men who want nothing more than to chase girls, drive cars and discover the true meaning of America. A stellar read about what it means to be young and idealistic, the novel has occasionally been critiqued for its portrayal of both race and gender; however, like all texts from a past time, it’s best read with a critical eye and an understanding of the culture of the time.