Download Big Sur Audiobook

Big Sur Audiobook, by Jack Kerouac Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jack Kerouac Narrator: Ethan Hawke Publisher: Penguin Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2020 ISBN: 9780593342763
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,624 ratings) (rate this audio book)
Regular Price: $18.95 Add to Cart
— or —
BEST PRICE!
FlexPass™ Price: $15.95$7.95$7.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

A poignant masterpiece of wrenching personal expression from the author of On the Road and The Dharma Bums In this 1962 novel, Kerouac's alter ego Jack Duluoz, overwhelmed by success and excess, gravitates back and forth between wild binges in San Francisco and an isolated cabin on the California coast where he attempts to renew his spirit and clear his head of madness and alcohol. Only nature seems to restore him to a sense of balance. In the words of Allen Ginsberg, Big Sur "reveals consciousness in all its syntactic elaboration, detailing the luminous emptiness of his own paranoiac confusion." Download and start listening now!

2386

Quotes & Awards

  • “Ethan Hawke doesn’t just give a stellar performance. He delivers a living embodiment of Kerouac’s work, sustaining a quality that’s consistently startling. This is no small feat as Kerouac’s audiobook features his legendary free-flowing stream of consciousness, following no reliable path. Hawke’s confident performance is an anchor…Hawke’s skill here is to project this work as a kind of a sustained open mic—his highs and lows among and between the words are like waves crashing on the rocks. Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Kerouac’s grittiest novel.”

    New York Times

  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Reviews

Write a Review
  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Todd | 2/9/2014

    " Great piece of his later writings. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Aaron | 2/4/2014

    " I was mad at myself for giving this a try. I had read both "On the Choad" and "Dharma Bums." Both books were an exquisite example of the style over substance phenomenon. Youths exclaiming that they really...wholly...totally experienced something new and fulfilling that those crappy oldies just wouldn't understand. while I probably wouldn't enjoy an evening with your average American family of the 50's (I'm imagining rampant racism and a good dose of casual sexism thrown around the dinner table) Jacky's crew seemed to inhabit a dangerous and extreme counter point (not to mention an uninteresting one, at least by literary standards). In "Big Sur" Kerouac's world is turned on his head and the hollow idealism transforms into a world inhabited by the loneliness of fame, the danger of "friends," and the monstrous effects of a constant desire to alter your reality through substance abuse. A work that is real, terrifying, and constantly intriguing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Fiona | 12/24/2013

    " This is a classic - when I'm feeling like life is a little too proscribed, a short dip into the hundred mile and hour freakshow of Kerouac sets me on the right path again. I've read it before, but not as an adult. I do have to say though, that it is less compelling as an adult - the characters impress me less now. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Brian | 12/19/2013

    " Not as good as on the road but still very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kyle | 12/17/2013

    " So enthused I had to 5-star it before crossing the finish line. Can hardly remember on the road. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Trystan | 12/6/2013

    " There always seemed to be some underlying sadness in Kerouac's 'On The Road' and here it is in the form of his alcoholism. A very honest book about despair and drink. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leslie | 12/1/2013

    " Like reading Kerouac's thoughts. His writing is not for me though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Steven | 11/14/2013

    " Not that bad a read & pretty easy to get through (for a Kerouac book anyway). Decent read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amyshaft | 11/7/2013

    " Kerouac is spending a lot of time drunk in a bathtub. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 1/16/2013

    " Amazing religious zen activities that description will mesmerize the thought patterns and seem as if one was with Jack back in time! Beautiful! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 5/24/2012

    " Unflinchingly honest, sensitive and tragic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Camille | 4/1/2012

    " Sombering look at a psychotic break. I liked this book better than On The Road, it was more genuine to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patrick | 1/5/2012

    " Full of honest pain and self criticism, even as Kerouac struggles to see beauty and meaning in the universe. If you've ever wondered what it feels like to be an alcoholic, this gives an intense insider's view. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cameron | 9/6/2011

    " This is Kerouac's letter from hell: an unsettling & poignant account of his descent into alcoholism and madness, set against the backdrop of Big Sur and San Francisco. In my opinion, easily his best and most affecting work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 J. | 8/31/2011

    " I read this pressed up against a tuba...I taste brass when I think of this book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nate | 8/5/2011

    " My favorite Kerouac work. A beautiful poem. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Clay | 5/12/2011

    " This is the best Kerouac I have read to date. It is a terrifying read, yet, it was incredibly poetic, real and oddly grounded. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joana | 5/1/2011

    " -'Whatever I say Ben, dont mind it, I'm just a fool' - 'You said in 1957 in the grass drunk on whiskey you were the greatest thinker in the world' - 'That was before I fell asleep and woke up: now I realize I'm no good at all and that makes me feel free' "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Angie | 4/7/2011

    " Wonderful delve into the horrors of alcoholism and the inner depths of Kerouac's mind. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 3/28/2011

    " One of the saddest books I've ever read. Kerouac breaks my heart in this. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 J | 3/5/2011

    " A very sad book about people giving up on you because you give up on your self. The prelude to the literary downfall of some guy/buddha, who eventually drank himself to death. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ryan | 2/23/2011

    " I love Jack Kerouac's narrative style. On The Road had a big influence on me and Big Sur is definitely one of his best. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jaza | 2/16/2011

    " It was one of the hardest books I've had to read. But this has to do just with me and how I was feeling at the time I read it. I liked how I felt finishing it though... relieved and happy. Don't read it if you're feeling down or paranoid... "

About the Author

Jack Kerouac (1922–1969) was born in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1922. He attended local Catholic schools and eventually Columbia University, becoming in the late 1940s and early 1950s a member of what was soon to be called “the beat generation.” His first novel appeared in 1950, but it was On the Road, published in 1957, that epitomized to the world the beat philosophy. This novel created a sensation by chronicling a spontaneous and wandering way of life in a style that seemed founded both on jazz and on drug-induced visions. Kerouac published several novels, and Mexico City Blues is a volume of his poetry. 

About the Narrator

Ethan Hawke is an Academy Award­–nominated actor, author, and director. He studied acting at the British Theatre Association in England and at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His motion picture credits include Dead Poets Society, Gattaca, Great Expectations, and Snow Falling on Cedars, among many others.