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

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   It wasn't until this book was published in 1968 that many people became aware of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters. This book takes a first-person look of the events of the Pranksters by author Tom Wolfe. It tells the stories of their famous "Trans-Continental Bus Tour" in which they traveled the country on their way to the World's Fair in New York for the release of Kesey's novel, Sometimes a Great Notion. The trip included random stops for group acid tests and a visit to the LSD expert himself, Dr. Tim Leary. Once back from the trip, the Pranksters decided to stay at Kesey's farm in Oregon and hundreds of other "heads" got the same idea too. They began to hold group acid tests open to the public. As these became an instant success, they held larger and larger tests with special lighting, and music provided by The Warlocks (who soon changed their name to The Grateful Dead). These tests grew into Trips Festival, and resulted in the arrest of Ken Kesey for drug possession, which forced Kesey to hide out in Mexico as a fugitive. When he finally returned to San Francisco, Kesey and the Pranksters discovered many people had been turned on to acid.

This book gives one of the best descriptions of the history of the Merry Pranksters and has been called a work of "journalism" using an energized, poetic language to present the events. I highly recommend it to all who are interested in the crazy events of the sixties, the early history of The Grateful Dead, or would just like to learn about one of the best-known adventures of a very adventurous decade. .




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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