Desolation Peak: Collected Writings

Written by:
Jack Kerouac
Narrated by:
Christian Rummel

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
November 2022
7 hours 10 minutes
In the summer of 1956, Jack Kerouac hitchhiked from Mill Valley, California, to the North Cascades to spend two months serving as a fire lookout for the US Forest Service. Taking only the Diamond Sutra for reading material, he intended to spend his time in deep contemplation and to achieve enlightenment.

Kerouac's experience on Desolation Peak forms the climax of his novel The Dharma Bums and has also been depicted in part 1 of Desolation Angels and a chapter in his nonfiction book Lonesome Traveler. None of these versions offers a full, true picture, however; and for that reason, Desolation Peak is essential listening.

The highlight of Desolation Peak is the journal he kept, starkly revealing the depth of his poverty, the extremity of his mood swings, and the ongoing arguments with himself over the future direction of his life, his writing, and faith. Along with the journal, he worked on a series of projects, including 'Ozone Park,' 'The Martin Family,' and 'Desolation Adventure.' Also included in this collection are 'The Diamondcutter of Perfect Knowing,' Kerouac's 'transliteration' of the Diamond Sutra, his 'Desolation Blues' and 'Desolation Pops' poems, and assorted prose sketches and dreams.
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