Drunk Tired Horny Beatniks in Big Sur’s Emotional Head Trip

Big Sur paperback cover Penguin Books edition
Big Sur paperback cover Penguin Books edition. Cover art by Vivienne Flesher.

hor, hor, hor

I need solitude and rest so borrow mafriend’s cabin in the woods to stay there a long head scratching month with plans to write and get away from those kids breaking into my house expecting me to drink and drunk and yahoo. All that stuff sez those crazy kids reading my book.

yass, yass, yass

Adjust and accept and become comfortable and only then enjoy – the reading pattern I took with Big Sur. Not long after publishing his classic and inspirational book “On The Road,” the over-the-top fan attention Jack Kerouac received was too much. He needed a place to hide and collect thoughts. That place is Big Sur on the central California coast. His time at Big Sur is described in a book of the same name.


A discomfort settled through the first chapters. Lightly structured and unexpected rhythms and cadence. The word combination clashes then links and then elevates, but returns down forcefully breaking mangled over jagged rock. Aaaarrgghh!!! Felt like a transcription of live events. Something like unfiltered closed captions.

(Long long hyphens)

Constantly drunk he borrows a friend’s cabin in the woods. Stumbling and groping at night he finally reaches the cabin and there onward it’s a mess of people and back and forth to and from the cabin to San Francisco or to a friend or back at the cabin, but he doesn’t want to be there anymore at the cabin and again and again. A. gain.

dont (without apostrophe)

Encouraging for the slow reader some chapters are no more than two pages.


And the end is a blur of nonsensical raw thoughts crisscrossing. Illusions, hallucinations, paranoia. Severely drunk. His friends with him at the cabin want to harm him. Billie the sweet girl he met in San Francisco just wants to marry him. It’s her last chance at a real man. The precipice of delusion and paranoia end suddenly and quickly. Everything is alright. Jack is alright. His friends are alright. The world is good again.


More reviews of Big Sur over at Good Reads.