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Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change…

Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change (edition 2018)

by Tao Lin (Author)

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Title:Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change
Authors:Tao Lin (Author)
Info:Vintage (2018), Edition: 1, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

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Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change by Tao Lin



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I wish I'd sampled this book first. A page or two at the start would have been enough to send me scurrying off in a different direction.

The description tells us this book is: "Part memoir, part history, part journalistic exposé..." In truth, it's almost all memoir, and an odd one at that. There's a bit of history incorporated. There is nothing even vaguely journalistic here.

The description also tells us that Tao Lin became "obsessed" with Terence McKenna, an LSD advocate following in Timothy Leary's footsteps. Lin's obsession is clear from the start, as he gushes about McKenna in the way of an indoctrinated cult member. Lin gives us a glowing chronicle of the man and his life, quotes him endlessly, and describes YouTube videos in detail. I mean, seriously, I don't want a play-by-play of a video I could just watch myself. And if I wanted all that detail, I'd read McKenna's books, not Tao Lin's book.

Then Lin goes on to talk about his own personal life prior to his discovery of LSD. He was, it seems, an apathetic drifter in search of life's meaning through the use of drugs. We're given in-depth accounts of his experiences with various drugs. These sections read like the diary of a deluded drug addict who has somehow convinced himself that he's on a journey toward enlightenment.

The writing itself is tedious, with overly long sentences and narcissistic undertones.

I read a lot about the psychedelic culture, which I find fascinating, but this is not that kind of book. And clearly I am not the right target audience for Tao Lin.

*The publisher provided me with a print copy, via Amazon Vine, in exchange for my honest review.* ( )
  Darcia | Aug 24, 2018 |
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