Michael Polish

Why don't iconic novels translate into film?

Why don't iconic novels translate into film?

Earlier this week, I saw Michael Polish’s film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s 1962 novel “Big Sur,” which opens Friday. The book is one of my favorites: dark, brooding, the flip side of the Beat road legend, a story of isolation and spiritual despair. In it, we confront Kerouac’s alter ego, Jack Duluoz, as he tries to reconnect with himself at a quiet cabin in Bixby Canyon. But he is already too far gone in his dissolution (Kerouac died in 1969, at age 47, of an esophageal hemorrhage, what his biographer Gerald Nicosia described as a “classic drunkard’s death”) to find any solace, and so “Big Sur” traces a descent into madness...