In 1960 Jack Kerouac was near breaking point. Driven mad by constant press attention in the wake of the publication of On the Road, he needed to 'get away to solitude again or die', so he withdrew to a cabin in Big Sur on the Californian coast. The resulting novel, in which his autobiographical hero Jack Duluoz wrestles with doubt, alcohol dependency and his urge towards self-destruction, is one of Kerouac's most personal and searingly honest works. Ending with the poem 'Sea: Sounds of the Pacific Ocean at Big Sur', it shows a man coming down from his hedonistic youth and trying to come to terms with fame, the world and himself.
Kerouac's grittiest novel... sensual and uninhibited
Stunning and vivid
All artists have their eccentrics, and authors are no different. Here, from hanging upside down to sniffing rotten apples, are some of the most unusual habits famous names have used to get the juices flowing...
Jack Kerouac was obsessed with a rogue Breton prince he believed to be his ancestor. Thirty years later, this is how he was tracked down.