Jack Kerouac may not be my favorite writer, but he has written, by far, my favorite book. On The Road tells the story of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty (based on the exploits of Kerouac himself and his close friend at the time Neal Cassidy) and their adventures and travails to and fro a since long forgotten and simpler (in some aspects) America. I had long heard of the book from television shows and articles about books that were incredibly influential to a generation of people. I had heard about his writing style and it intrigued me so I decided to check out his On The Road, and it would turn out to be, at least writing wise, a turning point for me and my overall style of writing.
Kerouac is credited with creating a form of writing called spontaneous prose which is closely related to stream of consciousness writing. His style of writing is filled with such a fluidity that seems to flow off the page with an ease and grace that very few can come close to matching. The smoothness of his descriptions and carefree way in which he develops his story and characters add to the depth of his style. Many have said that his writing style is similar to a smooth jazz or blues, it has that kind of feel to it, and I have to agree. It’s laid back and mellow but definitely has a bite to it. The pages of On The Road instantly take you back to that time in America and you don’t have to struggle to get a sense of the atmosphere or a feel for the people involved in those settings because it’s done so seamlessly for you thanks to Kerouac’s writings.
The prose of his writing easily and seductively guides you from one sentence, to one paragraph to one chapter after the other, and you want more. Out of all the writers I’ve come across, from novels, to comic books, to magazine and news paper journalists, it’s Kerouac’s work, especially what I consider to be his masterpiece that is On The Road, to be the most influential on me. I freely admit, that a lot of my writing style is due in part to Kerouac. Of all the people that I’ve mentioned on during this series, Kerouac, Frank Miller and Ernest Hemingway are probably the one’s who have had the greatest impact artistically and prose wise as far as my writing is concerned. I strongly suggest picking up a copy of On The Road to get a sense of great creativity this man had in his writing and prose for yourself.