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The Prankster and the Conspiracy: The Story of Kerry Thornley and How He Met Oswald and Inspired the Counterculture

4.04  ·  Rating Details ·  51 Ratings  ·  8 Reviews
One of the 1960s counterculture's most fascinating characters was Kerry Wendell Thornley -- a writer, philosopher, Zen dishwasher, enlightened prankster, and, possibly, an Oswald double with disturbing ties to the Kennedy assassination. A lifelong provocateur, Thornley was linked to many of the fringe elements of the time. He helped create the spoof religion called the Dis ...more
Paperback, 292 pages
Published November 1st 2003 by Paraview Press
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Anita Dalton
No matter what your opinion is of the JFK assassination, or even Thornley’s role in it, it is safe to assert that the madness and paranoia that plagued him in his later life was sparked in no small part by those who were either involved in the assassination or used the assassination to push their personal agenda. He started off as a sparkling trickster and died sick and paranoid, a very sad ending to be sure. I think this was one of the finer biographies and conspiracy books I have read in a whi ...more
Mike
Oct 27, 2014 Mike rated it it was amazing
Absolutely fascinating! If you're into the 60s, Robert Anton Wilson, Discordianism, or even JFK you should read this book.
Adam Clark
Aug 13, 2014 Adam Clark rated it it was amazing
When I first read the ‘Illuminatus!’ trilogy back in the early 80s, I assumed that Discordianism was a fictional religion invented by Robert Anton Wilson and Robert Shea for the books. As I read more Wilson I discovered Discordianism was real, and later on I even found a copy of Principia Discordia in the (now long-gone) wonderful Compendium Books in Camden.

I bought ‘The Idle Warriors’ and ‘Zenarchy’ when these were finally published in the early 90s, and even wrote to Thornley once in the mid 9
...more
Fishface
Sep 15, 2012 Fishface rated it it was amazing
A wonderful read about a great American religious leader. What a fascinating life -- just as the jacket copy warned me, it was both tragic and hilarious. Brings back the paranoid flavor of the Sixties in all its pot-addled glory. Not to be missed for any Discordian, student of the counterculture or fnord.
Paul
Jul 19, 2015 Paul rated it liked it
Interesting biography of this important underground cult figure. It gets bogged down somewhat in the section dealing with the Kennedy assasination, but there is good detail about Thornley's links to Lee Harvey Oswald.
Stacey
Feb 08, 2013 Stacey added it
Eh.
Brad Justice
Jan 14, 2016 Brad Justice rated it it was ok
I guess I have moved on, really used to love reading this kind of thing; strange, esoteric, counter-culture. Kind of skimmed through the end as I went. So it gose.
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American author focussing on pananormal topics and conspiracy theories.

Gorightly has proclaimed himself to be a "crackpot historian" articles of him have been published in several underground magazines.
More about Adam Gorightly...

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