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Publisher's Summary

A poignant masterpiece of wrenching personal expression from the author of On the Road and The Dharma Bums.

In this 1962 novel, Kerouac's alter ego, Jack Duluoz, overwhelmed by success and excess, gravitates back and forth between wild binges in San Francisco and an isolated cabin on the California coast where he attempts to renew his spirit and clear his head of madness and alcohol. Only nature seems to restore him to a sense of balance. In the words of Allen Ginsberg, Big Sur "reveals consciousness in all its syntactic elaboration, detailing the luminous emptiness of his own paranoiac confusion".

©1962 Jack Kerouac (P)2020 Penguin Audio

What listeners say about Big Sur

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Astonishing Ethan Hawke Performance

This is a riveting book, and brought to life fully, completely, compassionately through this remarkable interpretation.
In reading Kerouac's work in the past, I used to space out alot, lol, but hearing his voice via Ethan Hawke, I began to appreciate what a tremendous writer he was. I understand now, I get it. What a time in history that was.
So appreciate this offering- you've put two geniuses together.
Thank you.

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YES! PLEASE MORE

Dear Publishers: this is just amazing! Please keep producing more from Kerouac and keep up with Ethan Hawke, Hawke was born for narrating this- a match in heaven, pure inspiration transcended from Kerouac thru Hawke. I’m sad it’s over (Sur and Dharma Bums). Desolation or On The Road next pleeease.

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Angry story or angry narration - I can't tell

The latter two thirds of the audio book is read with gritted teeth. it may be warranted, not sure. Not relaxing, not interesting - just angry internal dialog over petty matters, discontent with life, and lashing out by Kerouac at other characters.

This was touted as a continuing journey but it's just angry reflection. Maybe it's valuable as an insight into Kerouac, but not as a story on it's own imo.

I'm on chapter 35 of 38, can't wait to be done

1 person found this helpful

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Hawk’s Performance Brings the Book to Life!

Ethan Hawks voice is incredible in this production! I could listen to this one over and over.

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Tragedy in paradise

Following Kerouac into his drunken tail spin is heart wrenching. You can almost smell the port wine is his ramblings. The narrator has the perfect indignant tone to capture Kerouac's paranoia. This is just a phenomenal story and very pleasant to listen to, albeit incredibly depressing.

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Frantic yet slow motion train wreck

You will be listening to an aging beatnick's descent into alcoholism, paranoia and despair. Well worth the listen but it's a long harsh ride you are on, so don't hold any illusions otherwise. Well worth the post "on the road" listen.