To humorist Mike Lacher, Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road” isn’t just a seminal work of the beat generation — it’s an epic road trip befitting of Jaegerbombs and babes, for real, bro.
For those who don’t speak the language, that’s a bro-speak translation of what our critic Ray Browne wrote in his Washington Post review of the novel in 1957: “Throbbing, undirected and irresponsible energy is the distinguishing characteristic of this novel ... [which] consists of a series of mad dashes by a bunch of young bohemians.” Whatever, bro.
Lacher has rewritten the entire novel — sure to be featured in the book section at Urban Outfitters — in the language of bros, so-called because they punctuate their sentences with the phrase “bro” or “brah,” short for ”brother.” They are a population of young gentlemen who live for fraternity parties, Muscle Milk, jacked-up trucks, extreme sports and any other anti-intellectual pursuits.
“On the Bro’d” makes the work of Kerouac accessible for bros everywhere, massaging tough passages like:
“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time.”
To their bro equivalent:
“The only bros for me are the mad awesome ones, the ones who are mad to chug, mad to party, mad to bone, mad to get hammered, desirous of all the chicks at Buffalo Wild Wings.”
The book can be pre-ordered now for its April 15 release. Lacher’s site has been providing helpful bro translations of other highbrow cultural artifacts, like film. In the the YouTube video “Classic Movies Subtitled for Bros” (contains strong language), a pivotal moment in Stanley Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey” translates from “Dave, my mind is going” to “Bro, I’m gonna barf all those shots.”
“On the Bro’d” may be the harbinger of a new literary trend, though. A few years ago, literary mash-ups involved zombies, monsters and Jane Austen — remember “Pride and Prejudice and Zombies,” and “Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monsters”?
With “On the Bro’d” can we expect to see more bro-speak literature translations, making it a full-fledged sub-genre? Perhaps for his second effort, Lacher can move ”The Great Gatsby” from one fictional New York suburb — West Egg — to an actual, bro-filled one: Hoboken. Or should we say Broboken.