A poignant masterpiece of wrenching personal expression from the author of On the Road and The Dharma Bums
In this 1962 novel, Kerouac’s alter ego Jack Duluoz, overwhelmed by success and excess, gravitates back and forth between wild binges in San Francisco and an isolated cabin on the California coast where he attempts to renew his spirit and clear his head of madness and alcohol. Only nature seems to restore him to a sense of balance. In the words of Allen Ginsberg, Big Sur “reveals consciousness in all its syntactic elaboration, detailing the luminous emptiness of his own paranoiac confusion.”
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969), the central figure of the Beat Generation, was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, in 1922 and died in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1969. Among his many novels are On the Road, The Dharma Bums, Big Sur, and Visions of Cody.
“In many ways, particularly in the lyrical immediacy that is his distinctive glory, this is Kerouac’s best book . . . certainly, he has never displayed more ‘gentle sweetness.'” –San Francisco Chronicle
“Kerouac’s grittiest novel to date and the one which will be read with most respect by those skeptical of all the Beat business in the first place.” –The New York Times Book Review
“Big Sur is so devastatingly honest and painful and yet so beautifully written….He was sharing his pain and suffering with the reader in the same way Dostoyevsky did, with the idea of salvation through suffering.” –David Amram