'It's the first trip I've taken away from home since the publication of 'On The Road', the book that "made me famous" and in fact so much so I've been driven mad for three years by endless telegrams, phonecalls, requests, mail, visitors, reporters, snoopers . . . Drunken visitors puking in my study, stealing books and even pencils - Me drunk practically all the time to put on a jovial cap to keep up with all this but finally realising I was surrounded and outnumbered and had to get away to solitude again or die . . .'
Unmistakably autobiographical, 'Big Sur', Kerouac's ninth novel, was written as the "King of the Beats" was approaching middle-age and reflects his struggle to come to terms with his own myth. The magnificent and moving story of Jack Duluoz, a man blessed by great talent and cursed with an urge towards self-destruction, 'Big Sur' is at once Kerouac's toughest and his most humane work.