Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test ushered in an era of New Journalism. "An American classic" (Newsweek) that defined a generation. "An astonishing book" (The New York Times Book Review) and an unflinching portrait of Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters, LSD, and the 1960s.
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A good view into that culture
I was born in 1964, so by the time I came of age, the psychedelic movement was over, and the war on drugs was full on. I was just behind it though, and it shaped in explicit and subtle ways everything I experienced in the 70’s and 80’s. There is a lot to read out there about psychedelics, about the late 60’s, about the war and the Haight and everything that was going on, and I’ve read much of that, too. But reading this is different because of the way Wolfe wrote it. Its not just a documentary, and it’s not a journalistic account. It’s more like a Picasso. Wolfe puts words on the page in an attempt to give the reader the first hand experience of being there. Since I missed it, and couldn’t be there, I’m thankful for that because the movement improved the world at the time. It elevated the collective awareness and I think we need a shot of that again now. America needs a good trip, a day-glo movie, another bunch of Pranksters!
An odd book about odd folks in an odd time.. written in a style that demands you abandon any hope of linearity, or plot, or character development until you come out the other end and put it all together. I didn’t really enjoy reading the book, but was glad I did when I finished it.
My thoughts on this awesome book
I have been to over 160 grateful dead shows in my life and reading this book ranks right up there among them all makes me long for those days gone by and remember boys and girls never trust a prankerster. Tom Wolfe was at his best when he put pen to paper on this book