Although I always admired Kerouac's ability to describe everything he so acutely observed with such flair and imagination, I often had difficulty with some of the other expressions of his mind. I knew him so well, I could tell when he was being bombastic, silly or playing to the audience, and I would feel embarassed for him.

In Big Sur I found a change in his writing. I don't know if it was a turning point, but in this book he was much more honest, more objective as well as subjective, far less self-conscious. I felt it a step forward in his writing, but a sad prediction of what was to become of him.

-Carolyn Cassady