Five years after On the Road, the book that made him an overnight celebrity, Kerouac examines with wrenching clarity his unwished for fame, escalating alcoholism, and troubling alienation from nature. In a thinly veiled autobiographical account of his time in Big Sur at the cabin of Lawrence Ferlinghetti and with friends in San Francisco—among them fellow iconoclasts Neal Cassady, Gary Snyder, and Alan Watts—he chronicles a ruinous alcoholic bender with searing psychological candor. Kerouac displays full mastery of pace, structure, and idiom in Big Sur—a tale that ends with a crescendo as finely wrought and poignant as any in American literature.
Jack Kerouac (1922-1969) was an American novelist, poet, and, with Allen Ginsberg and William S. Burroughs, a central figure of the Beat Generation. He was born in Lowell, Massachusetts, of French-Canadian parents and briefly attended Columbia University before falling in with a group of friends that would eventually define a literary movement. Big Sur is considered by many critics to be his finest literary achievement.
“Certainly 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
“Kerouac’s masterpiece, and one of the great, great works of the English language.”
“A humane, precise account of the extraordinary ravages of alcohol delirium tremens on Kerouac, a superior novelist who had strength to complete his poetic narrative, a task few scribes so afflicted have accomplished.”
Includes a character key that maps Kerouac’s fictional characters to his real-life friends and acquaintances, along with a detailed biographical timeline.
Price: $12.00 (paperback) | $3.99 (ebook)
Pages: 190 pages
Book dimensions: 5.25 x 0.5 x 8 inches
Published: November 12, 2019