Big Sur

Front Cover
Penguin Books Limited, May 1, 2012 - Autobiographical fiction - 192 pages
736 Reviews

In 1960 Jack Kerouac was near breaking point. Driven mad by constant press attention in the wake of the publication of On the Road, he needed to 'get away to solitude again or die', so he withdrew to a cabin in Big Sur on the Californian coast. The resulting novel, in which his autobiographical hero Jack Duluoz wrestles with doubt, alcohol dependency and his urge towards self-destruction, is one of Kerouac's most personal and searingly honest works. Ending with the poem 'Sea: Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur', it shows a man coming down from his hedonistic youth and trying to come to terms with fame, the world and himself.

'Stunning and vivid.' Sunday Times

'Kerouac's grittiest novel . . . sensual and uninhibited.' The New York Times

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

Review: Big Sur (Duluoz Legend)

User Review  - Goodreads

Probably don't make this your first Kerouac - it's a pretty depressing look at the flip side of the general Beat hedonist outlook, when words are just words and life is burnt up. If you're feeling at all crisis-y though, Big Sur can be your best friend and saviour. Read full review

Review: Big Sur (Duluoz Legend)

User Review  - Sean - Goodreads

Jack is a spiritual dilettante and an alcoholic who bottoms out in a cabin in Big Sur. He asks all the good, hard, interesting, and important questions but he's very dramatic and self-congratulatory ... Read full review

All 44 reviews »

Other editions - View all

About the author (2012)

Jack Kerouac was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. In 1947, enthused by bebop, the rebel attitude of his friend Neal Cassidy, and the throng of hobos, drug addicts and hustlers he encountered in New York, he decided to discover America and hitchhhike across the country. His writing was openly autobiographical and he developed a style he referred to as 'spontaneous prose' which he used to record the experiences of the Beat Generation. Among his many novels are On the Road, Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, The Dharma Bums and Big Sur. He died in 1969.

Bibliographic information