Re: Kerouac and the Beats
I actually just finished the Subterraneans. The best thing about Kerouac's writing for most is the celebration of the Beat lifestyle and mentality, which can only really be captured with his "free" (spontaneous) writing style. If you don't like that, you probably won't like any of his work, but in saying that, I think the Subterraneans is a bit meh. It is more self-reflective and about one specific relationship, rather than the wildness and adventure of On the Road which is much more about the Beat values: freedom, spontaneity, adventure, etc. Also, spontaneous prose is always a bit hit and miss - some passages are gold, whereas others don't quite work. Definitely read Ginsberg's Howl, it will only take a few minutes and can read for free on the net.
I've seen the Motorcycle Diaries movie, don't know if that counts...
For in much wisdom is much grief, and he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow...