Levi Asher

Reprinted with gratitude from Levi's splendid website, www.litkicks.com

From the late forties to the beginning of the sixties, Jack Kerouac chronicled almost every important event of his life in his novels. He began with the collegiate and post-collegiate adventures of The Town and the City and On The Road and continued with the soul-searching journeys of Dharma Bums and 'Desolation Angels' and the sordid romantic misadventures of 'The Subterraneans.' 'Big Sur' marks the end of this fifteen-year cycle.

It takes place during the summer of 1960, and by the end of this summer Kerouac's mental state will have deteriorated so badly that he can no longer subject himself to the hot spotlight of his own introspection.

Like F. Scott Fitzgerald, Kerouac was able to write about his crack-up almost as it was taking place. This is one of his best books; it even received decent reviews from the literary critics of that age, who loved to trash anything Kerouac wrote. Unfortunately, the nervous breakdown that this book describes was real. Kerouac lived for eight years after the events of this book, but he did not allow himself to ever write as honestly about anything again. This is the last book by the Kerouac who tried for enlightenment, who still believed there was hope for his soul.


click here for
The Story of a Nervous Breakdown
Back in San Francisco
The Second Trip to Raton Canyon
At Billie's Place in San Francisco
The Third Trip to Raton Canyon