BIG SUR by Jack Kerouac

BIG SUR

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KIRKUS REVIEW

In his latest novel, Jack Kerouac, alias Jack Dulouz, awakens all "woebegone and goopy" and hungover in old Frisco. With fearfulness, "Blakean groaning" and "Am Alone" Zen, Jack goes up to Raton Canyon to escape the fame On the Road brought. But the Beatific doesn't last and back to the Beat goes Jack: bottlecrashing parties, nuthouse pads, rucksack buddies, especially Dave and Ron, Handsome Hawk McClear and Perry who wants to marry 10 year old girls with pony tails; and most especially "great Cody" (once called Dean Moriarty) just out of Quentin on a marijuana fix, now settled with wife and children, a Nash Rambler and talkathons. Everybody talks ("we're all swinging on love ... while all the squares are puttin us down") and Jack falls for Billie, and her musical sad voice. But Perry muscles in, someone's reading "Kiss my thighs in darkness the pit of fire" and Jack yells "I'm SICK", then sees the Cross "I'm with you, Jesus, for always, thank you". And Billie goes, and Perry and Cody, and Jack is left- apostrophizing to the Sea, to the fantastic futuristic -- something or other out there, yeah.... All the mad innocence, natural child excitements, spontaneous rhythms, natory free associations, utterly frank confessions, hip lingo and lusts that made Ker a spokesman for a generation become here the new dead-Beat. Big Sur is an inverted parody, of a talent and temperament self-destroyed.
Pub Date: Sept. 11th, 1962
ISBN: 0140168125
Page count: 262pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1st, 1962




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