Review of "The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test"

Essay by Anonymous UserA+, November 1996

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Tom Wolf's 'The Electric Kool Aid Acid test' explores the magnificent and mysterious world of an age long gone but definitely not forgotten. An age of testing the boundaries of not only the human conscience but of social awareness and tolerance. An age in which seemingly anything could happen and through the eyes of a new generation of visionaries an age of enchantment and personal empowerment. I'm talking about none other than the nineteen sixties. Hippies, Hell's Angels, psychoactive drugs and a new way of thinking for a new kind of culture. This is a very in depth account of the underground drug culture's emergence in San Francisco. Not only a look at the movement from the outside but a rather compelling perspective drawn from the innards of this thriving culture is portrayed by Wolf. The book much like the emergence of the 'scene' is centered around one man, Ken Kessy.

A man of power, vision, authority, and from most respect. In his retrospect Wolf digs into issues such as social views displayed by society outside the inner circle. Also ideas touched upon include the essence of the 'hippie' mentality (what makes a hippie tick) and some rare glimpses through the eyes of the LSD induced mind. Wolf takes us from the beginnings of an LSD visionary's creation through the convergence of a revolutionary subculture to one man's life as a fugitive from the law and finally an attempt at redirection. In-between we as the reader get an unadulterated realistic view of what life was really like for this subculture. We get to experience life through the eyes of a new consciousness. Many different perspectives throughout America are displayed by wolf as well. From the hippie to the middle aged American differing opinions are offered as...