The Electic Kool-Aid Acid Test

Discussion in 'Beat and Hippie Books' started by charbono, May 23, 2004.

  1. TreeFiddy

    TreeFiddy Member

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    I felt like I had a better understanding of the hippie movement after reading it...why it started, why it "died"...I thought it was a truly beautiful beautiful book, very charismatic and warmly written
     
  2. sunshine and pearls

    sunshine and pearls Member

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    I really loved it when I was in high school. enough that I went on to be a writing major in college, but I have found that although, there is amazing content and wonderful experience in reading that now I find the book very slow to open as far as literature is concerned. Because I read Electric Kool Aid acid test I tried out other books by tom wolfe and found him to be very boring. I do have to say that EKAAT will be his best ever book because it is timeless and draw a following and is great to read about the merry pranksters.
     
  3. Beatnik57

    Beatnik57 Member

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    im only half way thru it and its really good. great at informin you what went on back in those days. all we can do now is look back and smile.
     
  4. veroness

    veroness There's only one :)

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    have you ever read it? what did you think?
     
  5. short-man420

    short-man420 Member

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    i've been trying to find that book for a long ass time
     
  6. BraveSirRubin

    BraveSirRubin Members

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    I am currently reading it, got it off Amazon... book stores just don't seem to have it.

    It is wonderful so far, it pretty much illustrates the way I want an acid trip to go, but people are just too stuck within society in this reality to achieve that.
     
  7. MollyThe Hippy

    MollyThe Hippy get high school

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    hurry up and buy cuz the government is trying to get hold of all the copies and burn them so people won't have a way out
     
  8. shine_crazydiamond

    shine_crazydiamond Member

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    yes, i have 2 copies of it! i have a new edition...and an old edition that i found at a yard sale. i thought it was one of the most interesting books i've ever read. i think the merry pranksters were very cool people..i love reading about them ! ken kesey was
    amazing!
     
  9. Jimi_Lives

    Jimi_Lives Member

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    I just started it today. It's pretty gear. A buddy of mine is reading it for his American Lit. class. :cool:
     
  10. BraveSirRubin

    BraveSirRubin Members

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    I just finished this lovely book... it was truly amazing. The Prankster's style of humour resembles my style of humour greatly. Very well written too, and a fascinating story. I honestly expected less from the book because it is so hyped up in hip culture. It is not a "Drug Book" in my opinion, it's a book about an ideal.
     
  11. thehippie_08

    thehippie_08 that girl

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    what everyone's said about this book, makes me want to buy it.
    i was going to buy it offline but i wanted "Steal This Book" by Abbie Hoffman and i could only afford one.
     
  12. dollydagger

    dollydagger Needle to the Groove

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    my favorite book of all time......i read it once a year
     
  13. dollydagger

    dollydagger Needle to the Groove

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    You gotta get this book!!!!!!
     
  14. Birdmanams

    Birdmanams Member

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    This book doesn't only relate to the hippie movement but the whole club experience as well as the rave scene. Very influentual. Plus I love it when the Hells Angels take acid and the part about the Beatles.
     
  15. Scott MacFarlane

    Scott MacFarlane Member

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    Wolfe's breakout book of New Journalism is great in how it depicted the forces that launched Psychedelia in California. The word "hippie" is only used twice in the whole book, because the author finished writing the story in 1966 before the Media labelled those in the exploding movement as "hippies." Kesey and the Pranksters were definitely proto-hippies and this literary biography gets at the heart of this with well-written prose.

    More problematic is Wolfe's assertion at the back of his book that he is getting inside the minds of his subjects. The author was never, for example, allowed by Kesey into Kesey's own inner motivations and feelings. Wolfe also superimposed his own ideas of social hierarchy onto the Pranksters. This helps explain why Kesey and the Pranksters never fully endorsed this book. In a recent interview, Stanley Owsley Augustus III called Wolfe's depiction of him in the book as "crap."

    Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test made Kesey into a countercultural icon and established Kesey's phrase "you're either on the bus, or off the bus" as a mantra of the era. When Furthur made its way across the USA in 1964, onlookers had no idea what to make of this travelling carnival sideshow, in part, because there was no word (especially not "hippie") to describe this rolling "movie." The Beatle's "Magical Mystery Tour" album and movie was inspired by the Prankster's cross-country bus trip.

    Actually, I think Gurney Norman's Divine Right's Trip is a more compelling narrative of an extended hippie road trip. It was first published in the margins of The Last Whole Earth Catalog in 1971. Norman's take on the era is an insider's; Wolfe was an outsider to the movement.

    Also, speaking of Kesey, one gets a better sense of this author's inner conflict that contributed toward the burgeoning Counterculture from his second novel Sometimes A Great Notion (1964), than from the non-fiction depiction of Kesey in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

    Scott MacFarlane
     
  16. Birdmanams

    Birdmanams Member

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    yeah, but when is the movie coming out?
     
  17. Scott MacFarlane

    Scott MacFarlane Member

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    The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is a fine work of sociological literature in the way it describes the flourishing of Psychedelia as a movement in California. Along with Truman Capote's In Cold Blood it is also an early work of New Journalism, which is the seminal force for today's Creative Nonfiction. CNF is the dominant literary genre of our time. This said, Kesey and the Pranksters have issues with many of Wolfe's portrayals. Owsley called it 'crap' in a recent interview. There are always issues when trying to portray real people, or as Wolfe suggested he did, claim that he was able to get inside the minds of people in his book. Kesey and many of the Pranksters never allowed Wolfe as close as the author made it seem. The actual descriptions in the book of being on an acid trip were not even written by Wolfe, who had "politely declined" to take any. COMMERCIAL ALERT!!! At the risk of offending BraveSir, I spend three chapters on Kesey, including one in-depth one on this book in The Hippie Narrative which should be available this week. Google it on Amazon.com.
     
  18. out_in_the_sticks

    out_in_the_sticks Member

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    i would love to see a movie of this :p
     
  19. Slothrop

    Slothrop Member

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    Because of this book I'm always looking for black shiny FBI shoes, lol
     
  20. The_Walrus

    The_Walrus Sgt. Pepper

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    I've been trying to get this damn book for years. I have yet to find it in town (to purchase or check out from a library), and my parents have refused to get it for me online (even if I paid for it)... and I don't have a credit card. Ugh.
     

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