Coming down from his carefree youth and unwanted fame, Jack Kerouac undertakes a mature confrontation of some of his most troubling emotional issues: a burgeoning problem with alcoholism, addiction, fear, and insecurity. He dutifully records his ever-changing states of consciousness, which culminate in a powerful religious experience.
Big Sur was written some time after Jack Kerouac's best-known works, following a visit to northern California and the first feelings of midlife crisis. Kerouac stayed for several weeks in a cabin in Big Sur, California, and with friends in San Francisco. Upon returning home, he wrote this account in a two-week period. Critic Richard Meltzer referred to Big Sur as Kerouac's "masterpiece, and one of the great, great works of the English language."