I can remember exactly when I first read Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road”. It was a few months before I moved away from home for university and as soon as I started reading I instantly fell in love. Everything about the book appealed to me – the story, the characters, the style of writing – I couldn’t find a single fault.
To this day, I would still list Jack Kerouac as one of my all time favourite authors, and not only for “On The Road”. There is something about Kerouac’s style of writing – the non stop, benzedrine fuelled madness – that really appealed to me. While I have now read “On The Road” more times than I care to remember, I have also delved into other Kerouac books – “The Dharma Bums” and “And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks” are another two favourites.
My love of Kerouac’s writing style definitely influenced my reading list from then on, with Allen Ginsberg, William Burroughs, Tom Wolfe, Hunter S Thompson and more filling up my bookshelf as the years went on.
Nothing has ever quite topped “On The Road” for me though. The storyline is so simple – a group of friends travelling around America, set to the backdrop of sex, drugs, jazz and poetry – but it is Kerouac’s trademark style that makes it so memorable.
I recently came across Paul Rogers, an illustrator who is such a fan of Kerouac and “On The Road”, that he began a project – to create illustrations for every single page of the seminal novel. Rogers manages to perfectly capture the raw beauty of the book through his illustrations, carefully choosing sections from each page to bring to life.
Below are a few of my favourite illustrations, but I would definitely urge you to check out Rogers’ full collection on his website here.
I would also high recommend you read “On The Road” if you already haven’t. You won’t regret it.