Thomas's Reviews > The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe
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's review
Sep 01, 2010

liked it
Read from September 01 to October 20, 2010

Tom Wolfe's book is particularly effective in two aspects. First, he observes and compellingly describes the personality cult surrounding Ken Kesey and his merry pranksters. Second, Wolfe attempts to convey through his writing style the subjective experience of taking LSD. The result is that some of the text is quite bizarre, but it intrigues the reader about the effect of mind-altering substances. Ken Kesey is a fascinating figure, and Wolfe traces his rise and subsequent fall. In between, we hear an entertaining story of a visionary poorly understood by society. At the same time, we also have to wonder whether he really had a coherent message at all. As a very polarizing personality, Kesey will forever represent the 1960's counter-cultural movement. Did he leave a legacy? Maybe he did, but it wasn't one that many people could follow. I recommend this book for anyone who wants to know this era for something more than slogans and fashion statements.

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