Download The Sea Is My Brother Audiobook

The Sea Is My Brother Audiobook, by Jack Kerouac Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jack Kerouac Narrator: Ray Porter Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2012 ISBN: 9781481556231
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In the spring of 1943, during a stint in the merchant marine, twenty-one-year-old Jack Kerouac set out to write his first novel. Working diligently day and night to complete it by hand, he titled it The Sea Is My Brother. Nearly seventy years later, its long-awaited publication provides fascinating details and insight into the early life and development of an American literary icon.

Written seven years before The Town and the City officially launched his writing career, The Sea Is My Brother marks the pivotal point at which Kerouac began laying the foundations for his pioneering method and signature style. The novel chronicles the misadventures of two seamen who at first seem different but are really two sides of the same coin: twenty-seven-year-old Wesley Martin, who “loved the sea with a strange, lonely love,” and William Everhart, an assistant professor of English at Columbia College who, at thirty-two, impulsively ships out, hoping to “escape society for the sea, but finds the sea a place of terrible loneliness.”

A clear precursor to such landmark novels as On the Road, The Dharma Bums, and Visions of Cody, it is an important formative work that bears all the hallmarks of classic Kerouac: the search for spiritual meaning in a materialistic world, spontaneous travel as the true road to freedom, late nights of intense conversation in bars and apartments, the desperate urge to escape from society, and the strange, terrible beauty of loneliness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • The Sea Is My Brother is indeed a bad book, but it's a fun bad book and offers plenty of disarming insights into who Kerouac was as a person and writer before he slipped behind the mask of Beat Generation Zen-master channeling literature from the ionosphere. The book is enjoyable because, unlike Kerouac's later canonized work, it comes to its faults honestly, out of simple inexperience.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Kerouac’s first novel, written when he was twenty-one, offers a tantalizing glimpse of the themes and characters that were to become his obsessions…The most interesting aspect of this work is how, amid the rough-hewn dialogue and formative instinct for motivation, Kerouac’s rhapsodizing about the open road appears as an aspect of his talent fully formed.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Published for the first time, the novel betrays the faults of inexperience…But these are outweighed by its virtues—the vitality of its dialogue, the freshness and power of its descriptions, whether of cheap saloons, cramped cabins, or sunrise at sea, a social concern rarely found in American fiction since Dos Passos.”

    Daily Mail (London)

  • “The real value in The Sea Is My Brother is that it shows that Kerouac didn’t spring fully formed as the ‘King of the Beats,’ but had an evolution, a period of growing up and maturing, and that he—as any great writer must—certainly paid his dues.”

    Independent (London)

  • “This ‘lost’ novel will intrigue Kerouac heads. Ray Porter’s excellent narration greatly enhances the material. Essential for lit collections.

    Library Journal

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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

Ray Porter has garnered two Audie nominations as well as several Earphones Awards and enthusiastic reviews for his sparkling narration of audiobooks. A fifteen-year veteran of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he has also appeared in numerous films and television shows.