The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test

The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test

Book - 2008
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One of the most essential works on the 1960s counterculture, Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Test is the seminal work on the hippie culture, a report on what it was like to follow along with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters as they launched out on the "Transcontinental Bus Tour" from the West Coast to New York, all the while introducing acid (then legal) to hundreds of like-minded folks, staging impromptu jam sessions, dodging the Feds, and meeting some of the most revolutionary figures of the day.
Publisher: New York : Picador, [2008], c1968
Description: 416 p. ; 21 cm
ISBN: 9780312427597
Branch Call Number: 306.10973 Wol


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Sep 22, 2018

This is a hard read. Fascinating, but exhausting. The hippies are really romanticized these days. If they really were the way they're depicted here, they just seem like a bunch of self-absorbed, self-righteous folks more interested in shocking squares than genuinely changing the world for the better. Guess I'm just not "on the bus."

However, a book isn't bad just because you sympathize little with its subjects. As a record of 1960s counterculture, this is interesting, even essential reading.

Feb 20, 2018

This is a very awkward book to rate; its quite wild in its phraseology and the events it relates are equally wild... ridiculous... and unbelievable. There was some interesting facts in it, like how unoriginal the Beatles were and how derivative was their Magical Mystery Tour, but some facts were left undiscussed, like the laws prohibiting LSD (the prohibition seems to have no scientific basis, and none from the point of view of maintaining public order). The personalities and ad hoc-ness of it all come through... but through a crazy haze of dizzying words: it seems his goal mentioned in the note at the end of the book was achieved.

Nov 19, 2014

A freewheeling, adrenalin- (and other substances) fueled joyride into the 60s hippie/acid culture. Wolfe was there, right in the mix with Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, and comes back with an often hilarious and always entertaining account of his observations.

Jan 05, 2012

"In ordinary perception, the senses send an overwhelming flood of information o the brain, which the brain then filters down to a trickle it can manage for the purpose of survival in a highly competitive world. Man has become so rational, so utilitarian, that the trickle becomes most pale and thin. It is efficient, for mere survival, but it screens out the most wondrous part of man's potential experience without his even knowing it. We're shut off from our own world."

daymakerdave Feb 19, 2011


mburke26 Jul 06, 2009

An excellent read as a follow up to Jack Kerouac's "On the Road". The two encompass similar time frames and characters.

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