Big Sur

By Jack Kerouac
Read by Grover Gardner

5.73 Hours 05/01/1999 unabridged
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Big Sur was written some time after Kerouac’s best-known work, following a visit to northern California and the first ravages of midlife crisis. Kerouac stayed for several weeks in a cabin in Big Sur and with friends in San Francisco. Upon returning to Florida, he wrote this account in a two-week period. Coming down from his carefree youth, Kerouac undertakes a mature confrontation of some of his most troubling emotional issues. The book reveals Kerouac’s burgeoning problem with alcoholism and the mental duress aggravated by his unwanted fame. Degenerating into addiction, fear, and insecurity, he dutifully records his ever-changing states of consciousness, which culminate in a powerful religious experience. Critic Richard Meltzer referred to Big Sur as Kerouac’s “masterpiece, and one of the great, great works of the English language.”

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Summary

Summary

Big Sur was written some time after Kerouac’s best-known work, following a visit to northern California and the first ravages of midlife crisis. Kerouac stayed for several weeks in a cabin in Big Sur and with friends in San Francisco. Upon returning to Florida, he wrote this account in a two-week period.

Coming down from his carefree youth, Kerouac undertakes a mature confrontation of some of his most troubling emotional issues. The book reveals Kerouac’s burgeoning problem with alcoholism and the mental duress aggravated by his unwanted fame. Degenerating into addiction, fear, and insecurity, he dutifully records his ever-changing states of consciousness, which culminate in a powerful religious experience. Critic Richard Meltzer referred to Big Sur as Kerouac’s “masterpiece, and one of the great, great works of the English language.”

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Big Sur is a humane, precise account of the extraordinary ravages of alcohol delirium tremens on Kerouac…At the peak of his suffering humorous genius, he wrote through his misery to end with ‘Sea,’ a brilliant poem appended on the hallucinatory sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur.” Allen Ginsberg
“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 
“For a narrator [this book] contains extraordinary difficulties, for the writing flies off into inebriated, overly long sentences that reflect, describe, or just babble forward in a kind of free association. To keep such passages flowing while making sense out of them is no mean feat. [Grover Gardner] pulls it off…He even manages to sound as if he were enjoying himself.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. He attended local Catholic schools and eventually Columbia University, becoming in the late 1940s and early 1950s a member of what was soon to be called “the beat generation.” His first novel appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that epitomized to the world the beat philosophy. This novel created a sensation by chronicling a spontaneous and wandering way of life in a style that seemed founded both on jazz and on drug-induced visions. Kerouac published several novels, and Mexico City Blues is a volume of his poetry. 

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Literary
Runtime: 5.73
Audience: Adult
Language: English