Big Sur
Jack Kerouac
E-book in epub format.

I know Kerouac is considered to be a great figure in American literature and all that but, sorry, whenever I read his books I cannot avoid but to feel that he is overrated. Sure, "Big Sur", like so many of his other books, has some good moments. There are times when he truly takes off and manages to fly close to the stars... but, alas, it usually doesn't last long. Just a few sentences, a paragraph at the most.

When reading Kerouac's books, I cannot avoid the annoying feeling that I'm reading someone who is so utterly full of himself that he considers each and every little moment of his life of great importance. Something that should definitely be recorded on a novel and passed to posterity as a priceless legacy. Thus, we have to pretend that even the paranoiac obsessions of a drunken bum are somehow direct expression of some sort of liberating satori.

But what to say about his style? Was it innovative? I suppose so. Yeah, his prose is definitely different. It has a style that is peculiar to him (and other beatniks). Sure. And what? The real question is: does it work? Does it truly help express what is going on? And the fact is that I'm not so sure of the answer. Yes, it does help express certain events (the most hectic, crazy experiences), but at the price of exaggerating every other personal event (the not-so-hectic, the more down-to-earth... in other words, the normal experiences, the ones that we all have most of the time) to the point of becoming merely cartoonish.

Entertaiment Factor: 4/10
Artistic Factor: 5/10