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Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood
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Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood

3.48  ·  Rating Details ·  50 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Growing up in the suburbs of Boston and raised on secular Judaism, Cocoa Puffs, and Gilligan’s Island, Peter Bebergal was barely in his teens when the ancient desire to finding higher spiritual meaning in the universe struck. Already schooled in mysticism by way of comic books, Dungeons & Dragons, and Carlos Castaneda, he turned to hallucinogens, convinced they would p ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published October 11th 2011 by Soft Skull Press (first published October 1st 2011)
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Robin Schoenthaler
Jun 10, 2013 Robin Schoenthaler rated it liked it
I read this book b/c he's a local guy (who I've never met), b/c I'm always trying to find good memoir by men, and b/c I find the continued -- often very subtle -- impact of the 60s and 70s a fascinating topic. I am of Peter's generation -- Siddhartha and Carlos Casteneda were required reading in my high school -- and I think he did a great job describing the psychedelic/spiritual/mystical experimentations and phenomenas of the 60s&70s, and this is one of the only books I've read that ...more
April Lyn
Sep 19, 2015 April Lyn rated it it was ok
I received this book for free from Goodreads firstreads. The author autographed the copy to me, which was cool.

I am only about 25% done with the book, but I'll give some primary observations:

First, I think my generation (I was born in 1984) may be a little too far removed from the era that the author's writing about in order to fully understand/appreciate it. For that reason, the references are lost on me and the content isn't quite as interesting as I would have liked.

Second, I really enjoy a
Lucy Furr
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

There is a great story here in the pages of Too Much to Dream about growing up and fighting your demons and living for music and searching for answers, but at times it gets lost in the (often dryly delivered) history of psychedelic drugs. I felt like I was reading two different books at once, one a text book, and the other an autobiography, and sometimes it felt like I’d misplaced the autobiography altogether (and it made it a slow read
Apr 06, 2012 Jeffrey rated it really liked it
Wow. This book does such a good job of describing and understanding my generation. It helped me connect my own pursuit of counter culture with a spiritual pursuit. As I rejected my naive past with its superstitions and pop spirituality, I rejected a legitimate spiritual inclination. Bebergal helped me to reevaluate and see my adolescent manias not simply as something to grow out of as quickly as possible, but as a positive search for god planted in the infertile soil of 70's and 80's pop- and ...more
May 17, 2012 Brian rated it liked it
Shelves: memoir, non-fiction
I purchased the book after Peter Bebergal had an excellent appearance in a Gweek (BoingBoing) podcast. The memoir is a self-reflection on addiction; an history of hallucinogens and American mysticism and their relationship to drug addiction, comics, and music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s. An excellent foreword by Peter Coyote (unfortunately, Bebergal is not able to sustain that same high level of writing). The book has moments of fascinating insight but, unfortunately, is burdened with too much ...more
Chris Brown
Mar 31, 2012 Chris Brown rated it really liked it
I feel like I know Peter after reading this book. I was born in 1966 and grew up sharing many of the same thoughts and experiences. I especially liked how he wrote about Dungeons and Dragons and the occult.
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Peter Bebergal is the author of Season of the Witch: How the Occult Saved Rock and Roll, Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood and The Faith between Us: A Jew and a Catholic Search for the Meaning of God (with Scott Korb). He writes widely on music and books, with special emphasis on the speculative and slightly fringe. His recent essays and reviews have appeared in The Times Literary ...more
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“Huxley’s mescaline trip, reported in his 1954 book, The Doors of Perception, is probably the most poetically realized of its kind. It underscored an idea that shifted the English schoolteacher’s son’s entire spiritual outlook. This notion was that the brain and the central nervous system, rather than being the seat of awareness and perception, are actually filters that prevent human beings from being overwhelemed by what Huxley calls Mind at Large.” 0 likes
“Spiritual truth, like good nuggets of psychedelic music, was at the margins, hidden in used bookstores and record shops.” 0 likes
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