The Sea Is My Brother

  • by Jack Kerouac
  • Narrated by Ray Porter
  • 4 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

In the spring of 1943, during a stint in the merchant marines, 21-year-old Jack Kerouac set out to write his first novel. Working diligently day and night to complete it by hand, he titled it The Sea Is My Brother. Nearly 70 years later, its long-awaited publication provides fascinating details and insight into the early life and development of an American literary icon.
Written seven years before The Town and the City officially launched his writing career, The Sea Is My Brother marks the pivotal point at which Kerouac began laying the foundations for his pioneering method and signature style. The novel chronicles the misadventures of two seamen who at first seem different but are really two sides of the same coin: 27-year-old Wesley Martin, who “loved the sea with a strange, lonely love”, and William Everhart, an assistant professor of English at Columbia College who, at 32, impulsively ships out, hoping to “escape society for the sea, but finds the sea a place of terrible loneliness.”
A clear precursor to such landmark novels as On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Visions of Cody, it is an important formative work that bears all the hallmarks of classic Kerouac: the search for spiritual meaning in a materialistic world, spontaneous travel as the true road to freedom, late nights of intense conversation in bars and apartments, the desperate urge to escape from society, and the strange, terrible beauty of loneliness.


What the Critics Say

“Published for the first time, the novel betrays the faults of inexperience….But these are outweighed by its virtues - the vitality of its dialogue, the freshness and power of its descriptions, whether of cheap saloons, cramped cabins, or sunrise at sea. A social concern rarely found in American fiction since Dos Passos.” (Daily Mail, London)
“The real value in The Sea Is My Brother is that it shows that Kerouac didn’t spring fully formed as the ‘King of the Beats,’ but had an evolution, a period of growing up and maturing, and that he - as any great writer must - certainly paid his dues.” (Independent, London)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A fantastic romp of a tale! A great narrator too!

If you could sum up The Sea Is My Brother in three words, what would they be?

A great romp of a tale!

What did you like best about this story?

The plot and characters...developed so quickly and with gusto!

Which character – as performed by Ray Porter – was your favorite?


Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Laughed a bit...

Any additional comments?


Read full review

- Ingrid

For Kerouac fans

This story, on its own, it nothing special. It is unfinished and lacks the signature style that Kerouac is known for. It is however a very interesting look at the early formation of Jack's writing and a glimpse of his first attempt to walk the thin line between fact and fiction. If you love Kerouac's work, you'll probably like this as well. If you have never read any of his other stories, you may be disappointed with this one. Narration is top notch. As usual, Ray Porter knocks it out of the park. He is tied, in my mind, with George Guidall for best audio book voice actor.
Read full review

- Anthony "Memoir junkie"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-20-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.