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The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test Paperback – August 19, 2008
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Kesey's theatrical metamorphosis from the distinguished author of One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest to the abominable shaman of the "Acid Test" soirees that launched The Grateful Dead required Wolfe's Day-Glo prose account to endure (though Kesey's own musings in Demon Box are no slouch either). Even now, Wolfe's book gives what Wolfe clearly got from Kesey: a contact high. --Tim Appelo --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
“Tom Wolfe is a groove and a gas. Everyone should send him money and other fine things. Hats off to Tom Wolfe!” ―Terry Southern
“The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is not simply the best book on the hippies, it is the essential book . . . the pushing, ballooning heart of the matter . . . Vibrating dazzle!” ―The New York Times
“Some consider Mailer our greatest journalist; my candidate is Wolfe.” ―Studs Terkel, Book Week
“A Day-Glo book, illuminating, merry, surreal!” ―The Washington Post
“Electrifying.” ―San Francisco Chronicle
“An amazing book . . . A book that definitely gives Wolfe the edge on the nonfiction novel.” ―The Village Voice
“Among journalists, Wolfe is a genuine poet; what makes him so good is his ability to get inside, to not merely describe (although he is a superb reporter), but to get under the skin of a phenomenon and transmit its metabolic rhythm.” ―Newsweek
Top Customer Reviews
The book delves into the heart of 60's America, giving (in as much detail as possible i think) a wierd and wonderful account of people, pranks and LSD. The book is written in a style i have never come across before, Wolfe using very inventive terms. The style itself is used mainly to re-create the feel of the time period, getting the feel of being 'On The Bus', and providing fantastic results.
Kesey and the Merry Pranksters aren't given bias either. They aren't praised or put down and that gives the book an extra strength. Wolfe using a 3rd person account, simply tells a story (and what a story).
Some parts of the book are somewhat longwinded, but on a whole its a masterpiece, quite simply a classic. Its certainly different, sometimes providing a somewhat LSD account of things, but wasn't that the sixties in a nut-shell? Probably. This is what Tom Wolfe set out to create, and how well he manages it.
Reading it now you'll think, "Wouldn't it be great to experiance the sixties for myself. Being on the bus, grooving with Kesey and the Pranksters, playing the cops and robbers game..." and then you realise you only went and got born in the 80's!
Still, opening the book again will transport there in the comfort of your own home. 'ELECTRIC' and 'KOOL', a must-read.
This book follows a group of hippies who take a lot of acid and go on an adventure to find higher meaning in it all. That's basically the plot. There is a lot of craziness going on, funny situations involving out of control people and interesting revelations. Throughout the whole book there is the feeling of something hanging in the air, lifting everyone up, that's hard to describe. The thing I loved most about this book was the positive mentality and the love people had for one another. Sure, it's easy to be happy when you're on drugs, but still. My generation is one of individuality, to the point where people don't even talk to each other anymore. You can hear this in today's music too. It's digital, sterile, pitch perfect. The human element of it is pretty much stripped out. It is such a contrast compared to the raw, hissy recordings from the 60's and 70's. This book is like that. I wasn't around to see it myself, but I feel this is the best way to read up about what it must have been like.
I loved it.
Never before has a book had so much of an impact on me that I actually experience withdrawals after putting it down. This book is not only about drugs and the free and spiritual lifestyle made possible by the 1960s counterculture, this book is a drug, giving the reader hallucinations from its vast style of exploration. You don't read this book; you experience it. It's not necessary to take peyote or mescaline or acid to understand the concepts Wolfe brings to life; you just need an open mind. An expansion of your intelligence while you leave the rest of your existence on the outside.
Those ideas being said, this book is not for everyone. Wolfe's thought processes are sometimes difficult to follow, and the casual reader may not enjoy the nonlinear style he utilizes; however, I do encourage everyone to give it a try. A few years ago, a friend of mine recommended it to me, but for some reason, I just could not get into it. Just a month ago, I decided to give it another try and lo and behold, it's quite possibly my favorite work. Whatever you're into - music, culture, politics, paraphernalia - I highly recommend The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. And even if you can't get into it now, give it a few years. It'll give you a brand new outlook on life and question your very existence and purpose. So, if you're not prepared, don't read it.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is second time I have read it. Pretty "gonzo". A nice "as if you were there AND could hear their thoughts" feel. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Desert1