Big Sur

  • by Jack Kerouac
  • Narrated by Tom Parker
  • 5 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

"Big Sur's 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...others crack up. Here we meet San Francisco's poets and recognize hero Dean Moriarty 10 years after On the Road. Jack Kerouac was a 'writer,' as his great peer W.S. Burroughs says, and here 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


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Arguably one of Kerouacs best novels

Jack Kerouacs prose, like that of James Joyce, gets into your head and races over the reticulations and slaloms down the grooves kicking up powder everywhere. Once you have tasted his best work there is no going back to the safety of the restrained and structured prose of Dostoyevsky, Faulkner, and Hemingway. Big Sur is arguably one of Kerouacs best novels. It documents the personal crests and troughs between his initial fame that catapults him into the limelight and a downhill slide to what eventually becomes a self-destructive, terminal binge. It takes a much brighter look at his experience tower sitting on Desolation Peak than does Desolation Angels. Tom Parkers narration does justice to both the pace and tone of Kerouacs voice. Leave your slippers and smoking jacket at home and put on your walking shoes. Big Sur is waiting just over the edge of the Pacific bluffs.
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- Doing-fine-in-FLA

A great listen

Parker is an excellent reader.
Big Sur is a monologue, a descent into Kerouac's alcoholic Inferno. Kerouac could only write this having come out of it--for a time--but while I listened to Parker speaking to me in Kerouac's voice, I too felt the need for some stability, some sense of permanence in this all too hectic world.
And while Robinson Jeffers is the better Big Sur poet ("Continent's End" et. al.), this novel elicits the state of mind of an unstable man coming into this landscape to be nearly wholly worn down by the rhythms of the sea, the landscape, humanity and his own disease.
There is humor here too, but I responded strongly to the tragic elements in Parker's evocative reading of this powerful book.
(Parker really gets Cody's voice, just like he got McMurphy's in Kesey's novel--they're similar characters. I can't wait for him to record Visions of Cody.)
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Book Details

  • Release Date: 10-26-2000
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.