The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

by Tom Wolfe

Tom Wolfe's much-discussed kaleidoscopic non-fiction novel chronicles the tale of novelist Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters.

  • Language: English
  • Category: Nonfiction
  • Rating: 3.92
  • Pages: 416
  • Publish Date: October 5th 1999 by Bantam
  • Isbn10: 0553380648
  • Isbn13: 9780553380644

Read the Book "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" Online

His hands looked rubbery, like Plastic. Jeff turned to the other passengers. I just want to grok, he thought, but the passengers turned toward him. Are they howling because theyre pixilated, speckled like a Seurat.? Outside the trolley, flying monkeys were flinging sugar cubes at Ma&Pa&Buddy&Sis. Paul is dead. More than half of this book was written like a faux LSD trip. Groove to acid tests, self-absorbed hippies, squalor for the sake of squalor soundtrack provided by The Grateful Dead (dont get me started on them). Also, Wolfe like a young Norman Mailer, doesnt know how to spell the word fug.

And what pours out of the almost-mystical experience--following a group of misfits who grok over the long roads & ever-expanding horizons of the motherland--is something unforgettable, unattainable for any other writer than this one, the overly ambitious writer of "Bonfire of the Vanities," Mr. Tom Wolfe. Reading "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test" is like following the Pied Piper into some sweet oblivion, acting as stupid foolish children, except that your parents will never find out nor be sad about your departure.

My older brother and sister would drag me along to look at the "hippies" ... Ken Kesey and the "Merry Pranksters" are the subject of this real-life look into the lifestyle of California hippies , commune living, and all those weird things you kids have heard of happening in the sixties. Well, The weekend they were in Houston, Ken Kesey (a benign Manson) went to the stadium where a day-long concert of the summer (Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe and the Fish, Quicksilver Messenger Service ... At one point, he asked everyone to jump in synchronicity , I thought to feel the stadium rumble for a few seconds, but looking back he may have been trying to cause the thing to collapse! Finally, he asked everyone to take a deep breath and let it out slowly as a loud hiss.

It's hard to believe that a book that included so many interesting people, Ken Kesey, Allen Ginsbergh and Neal Cassady just to name a few, could be so tedious and uninteresting.

"What we are, we're going to wail with on this whole trip." What Ken Kesey is is a prick, so let's not get any delusions about that. The middle part makes you feel like Kesey was really on the edge of something new - or at least that he really, really wanted to be - placing him among prophets remembered and failed. But the fact that he managed to become a central, trusted, key figure once again, in this movement also...dude had to know what he was doing.

It was exciting for me to read because I felt pretty immersed in the times through my dad.

All the things people whisper and get reminiscent about today comes alive in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. What we are, we're going to wail with on this whole trip." The book today is also seen as an important representative of the New Journalism literary style. The title was given to a series of parties that were held in the mid-1960s, where LSD (often put into the drink Kool-Aid, hence the title of the book) was taken to abandon the real world and reach a state of intersubjectivity. It used to go life-death, life-death, but now it's death-life, death-life..." Having that said, it's an achievement how Tom Wolfe, who was never truly "on the bus" (he claims to never having taken LSD and only smoked marijuana once) made you feel like you're part of the experience throughout the entire book.

Tom Wolfe spent his early days as a Washington Post beat reporter, where his free-association, onomatopoetic style would later become the trademark of New Journalism.