I first read this book when I was about 14. It seemed amazing back then, as it was an excursion into history and kinda-sorta sex and the road and motorcycles and that whole enthusiastic, Dickens-hipster thing. Yeah, daddy-o.
The problem about reading it with an older eye is that it hasn’t aged particularly well. The text is clunky and overcomplex, the characters pretty one-dimensional – Gallen is basically a big-hipped R. Crumb figure with less intrigue – and the whole atmosphere is a little too keep-on-truckin’ to be read without cringing. (more…)