The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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One of the most interesting and exciting books I have ever read, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test grabbed me and brought me to the world of the Merry Pranksters. I can honestly say that for the first time in my life I was sad when the story ended. I have never enjoyed reading, but with this book I felt like I was one of the characters.

Tom Wolfe was a reporter in the 1960s who went to California to meet up with Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. He went expecting an adventure, and came back with The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test.

The 1960s in America was a crazy time. Lots of new ideas were floating around and many active in the counterculture were becoming more open. Ken Kesey was there writing and doing crazy things with his friends, and invited Tom to travel across the country in the first hippie bus. Ken needed to go to New York to the World's Fair for the release of his novel, Sometimes a Great Notion. On this trans-continental bus tour, Ken Kesey and his group of Merry Pranksters made a wonderful setting for this documentary-style novel. On their way they have many run-ins and stops for group acid tests, and even visit LSD-proponent Dr. Timothy Leary.

Unfortunately, Ken Kesey's mind was so destroyed from all the drugs that he never wrote another book after that bus tour. The whole family of Merry Pranksters stayed together at Ken's in Oregon celebrating together with parties that became so popular that the Pranksters set up lights and brought together a band called the Warlocks (later the Grateful Dead). Eventually Kesey was arrested for drug possession. The Merry Pranksters split up for a while while Kesey hid in Mexico, but they had such an impact on the counterculture that everyone was turned on to drugs, The Grateful Dead, and being free-minded and loving. Some would say that Ken Kesey had a huge impact on the ways of the hippies and counterculture in the 1960s.

This book gives one of the best descriptions of the beginning of the hippie revolution. The 1960s is one of my favorite periods in U.S. history and Tom Wolfe really captures its mood. I usually don't enjoy reading, but Tom Wolfe got me so interested that I did not want to put the book down.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test is the best book I have ever read, and anyone interested in the 1960s and the counterculture, or just looking for a good read, should read it. .

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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AmericanoLounge This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
May 10, 2010 at 7:29 pm
I love this book. If you enjoyed this particular kind of novel, I'd reccomend the work of Hunter S. Thompson.
 
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