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The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (1968)

by Tom Wolfe

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,80252966 (3.83)103
  1. 30
    The Haight-Ashbury: A History by Charles Perry (jseger9000)
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    Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson (mcenroeucsb)
  3. 10
    Budding Prospects by T. C. Boyle (mcenroeucsb)
  4. 00
    On the Road by Jack Kerouac (Yells)
  5. 00
    I Think, Therefore Who Am I? by Peter Weissman (orlando85)
    orlando85: This book goes inside the LSD drug world, by someone who actually experienced it. It goes well with Wolfe, who talks about that world as a journalist.
  6. 00
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» See also 103 mentions

English (50)  French (2)  All languages (52)
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
"That which is written without effort is generally read without pleasure" -- Samuel Johnson, I believe, said that about something or other. While this EK-AAT is an exciting book to read, it's often kind of tedious. I also hate that this book contains as a character, though also a real person, an in-decline Neal Cassady. I liked Neal, for his gumption, his chutzpah, his bisexual liaisons with Alan Ginsberg (gossip, on my part, since I didn't know either of the principals), and for the very sad fact that Mr. Cassady died alone on a train track somewhere in South America. Your heart just breaks for him a little, especially in this book, although I don't believe Mr. T.W. intended the reader to have the reaction. Please see my review of T.C. Boyle's "Drop City" for my feelings on '60s-era hippies in general. ( )
  evamat72 | Mar 31, 2016 |
A fun read. Makes you wish you were there for it (maybe). ( )
  ndpmcIntosh | Mar 21, 2016 |
A long bus ride into psychedelia, chronicling Ken Kesey's (and his band of fellow "merry" tripsters) tour cross country and into Mexico. Wolfe helps us tour the various "trips" that people take and provides us with insight into the psychedelic experience. This book was a journalistic breakthrough in its exploration into the [then] little-known world of the hippies. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
You're either on the bus or you're off the bus. ( )
  JoeKingman | Dec 26, 2015 |
You're either on the bus or you're off the bus. ( )
  JoeKingman | Dec 26, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 50 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tom Wolfeprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Koning, BertTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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That's good thinking there, Cool Breeze. Cool Breeze is a kid with three or four days' beard sitting next to me on the stamped metal bottom of the open back part of a pickup truck. Bouncing along. Dipping and rising and rolling on these rotten springs like a boat.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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V.g in d/w with slight edge wear and one closed tear.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0553380648, Paperback)

They say if you remember the '60s, you weren't there. But, fortunately, Tom Wolfe was there, notebook in hand, politely declining LSD while Ken Kesey and his Merry Pranksters fomented revolution, turning America on to a dangerously playful way of thinking as their Day-Glo conveyance, Further, made the most influential bus ride since Rosa Parks's. By taking On the Road's hero Neal Cassady as his driver on the cross-country revival tour and drawing on his own training as a magician, Kesey made Further into a bully pulpit, and linked the beat epoch with hippiedom. Paul McCartney's Many Years from Now cites Kesey as a key influence on his trippy Magical Mystery Tour film. Kesey temporarily renounced his literary magic for the cause of "tootling the multitudes"--making a spectacle of himself--and Prankster Robert Stone had to flee Kesey's wild party to get his life's work done. But in those years, Kesey's life was his work, and Wolfe infinitely multiplied the multitudes who got tootled by writing this major literary-journalistic monument to a resonant pop-culture moment.

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:20:23 -0400)

(see all 6 descriptions)

Tom Wolfe's much-discussed kaleidoscopic non-fiction novel chronicles the tale of novelist Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters. In the 1960s, Kesey led a group of psychedelic sympathizers around the country in a painted bus, presiding over LSD-induced "acid tests" all along the way. Long considered one of the greatest books about the history of the hippies, Wolfe's ability to research like a reporter and simultaneously evoke the hallucinogenic indulgence of the era ensures that this book, written in 1967, will live long in the counter-culture canon of American literature.… (more)

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