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Big Sur

Big Sur

Author(s): Jack Kerouac

Location(s): Big Sur

Genre(s): Fiction

Era(s): Second half 20th Century



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.

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Book Reviews

Lead Review

Henry Miller at his best. Big Sur is such a prominent character and so evocative of the time and place. From this modern perspective you can certainly hear the echoes of footsteps past.

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Lead Review

A novel, it is true, but so much autobiographical insight. The biggest characters in this book (apart from thinly disguised friends) is Big Sur itself and the ocean.

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Enter the 2021TripFiction 'Sense of Place' Creative Writing Competition!

A story in which the location plays as important a role as the rest of your words.

2,500 word maximum, 750 word minimum

Judges include Victoria Hislop and Rosanna Ley

First Prize of £1,000 / US$1,350

Prizes total £1,750 / US$2,362 

Winning entry published on TripFiction site and publicised on Social Media

Entries close 6th November 2021