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Altered State, Updated Edition: The Story of Ecstasy Culture and Acid House (A Five Star Title) Paperback – November 1, 1998
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About the Author
Matthew Collin has worked as a magazine editor, a foreign correspondent, a broadcast journalist and a features writer. He has been the editor of the Big Issue, the Time Out website and i-D magazine. His prevoius books, This is Serbia Calling and Altered State are also published by Serpent's Tail.
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Top Customer Reviews
Mr. Collin describes Ecstasy as "the euphoric peak of a lifetime". One's first Ecstasy experiences are strikingly empathic and stimulating. Tactile and verbal communication are delightful, and dancing and music acquire their own lives. Ecstasy's sensory and empathic effect combined with its related clubs, music and dress codes make it especially attractive to first-time drug users.
With continued use Ecstasy users lose the initial ecstatic feeling. To regain the original ecstatic feeling users first try larger Ecstasy doses. Within a year larger Ecstasy doses fail, and users try other drugs (cocaine or amphetamine-like Ecstasy variants). Once lost the ecstatic feeling is gone, but the user now is using hard drugs. And organized crime often accompanies hard drug sales.
The chapter "Techno Travellers" is intriguing because it discusses Ecstasy users' impact upon English politics and society. Groups of working class Ecstasy users (like the "Merry Pranksters" documented by Ken Kesey) believed that occupying public and private property and that providing deafening music was their right. They dropped out of society, acquired expensive vans and sound systems, and hosted shows and festivals. The travellers joined compatible environmental and political groups' demonstrations, their sound systems providing "a focus of attention". The author discusses the travellers' constant battles with English police (to the point of driving through police roadblocks and digging trenches in fields to stop vehicles). Mr. Collin speculates on how the travellers funded their travels.
Mr Collin has written a clear and fascinating book that documents how, in one short decade, Ecstasy "transformed whole areas of the social landscape of Britain -- but into what, exactly, was still unclear."