Dona's Reviews > Big Sur

Big Sur by Jack Kerouac
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Jan 21, 12

Read in January, 2012

Loved it. Seemed more authentic than On the Road, but maybe that's because I connected with this book more. Because of the beautiful prose and original descriptions of nature, I found myself happily willing to experience Kerouac's gut and heart-wrenching highs and lows from the safety of my arm chair (and three periods of Friday Reading Workshop)!

In the preface to the edition that I read, Aram Saroyan writes, "Above all, he was a tender writer. It would be hard to find a mean-spirited word about anybody in all his writing." I think that's very true, even when considering the inherent misogyny that was a part of Kerouac's background and personality. That's what struck me--his compassion allowed him to spin people's motivations into gold. At his darkest times, however, this propensity turned to paranoid delusion--he perceives people's hidden motives to be utterly evil--absurdly and falsely evil in hindsight, when he's writing the book.

I mean, come on, even without the alcohol, who hasn't been there--at least for a little while?
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