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The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Written by: Tom Wolfe
Narrated by: Luke Daniels
Length: 13 hrs and 37 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (2 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 37.53
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Publisher's Summary

Tom Wolfe - one of the 20th century’s foremost voices in cultural criticism - went from local news reporter to international icon in 1968, with the publication of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. Now voiced with vivacity and vigor by Audible Hall of Fame narrator Luke Daniels, the non-fiction swan-dive delves into the world of hippies, hedonism, and everything in between. 

To most, Ken Kesey is best known as the author of the celebrated novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. But for Tom Wolfe, Ken was the leader of the Merry Pranksters, a band of counter-culture bohemians who traveled cross-country in a far-out, brightly painted school bus they dubbed Furthur. The Pranksters were known for drug-fueled escapades, none more famous than the so-called “Acid Test”, wherein a party full of people would take LSD in an effort to escape the banality of reality and connect on a higher, subconscious plane. As Wolfe follows the group down their nonconformist rabbit hole, he’s led on a wild trip through the backwaters of the 1960s, encountering the era’s living legends - from The Grateful Dead to Allen Ginsberg - along the way.   

©1968 Tom Wolfe (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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  • Overall
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  • JE
  • 2019-03-29

Extremely well-narrated

This is maybe the most effective audiobook I’ve yet experienced. As a text, the book is such a flurry of description, mood and energy that it can get exhausting. Here, the narrator embraces Wolfe’s manic prose in a way that carried me along and made me love the language. The book is wild, vivid and unruly, and this production helped make it feel like a lived experience.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • tastipes
  • 2019-03-14

Had to stop listening

The narrator of this book was just a bit too far over the top. First time I ever got a headache listening to the book. I was very much looking forward to. Very disappointed.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • S. Phillips
  • 2019-04-11

Maybe it resonated with a different time and place

I have read other works from Tom Wolfe and enjoyed them. I'm a fan of "gonzo journalism" and the kind of realism and embedded story telling that Wolfe pioneered. I'll even stipulate that this book accurately reported what happened.

None the less, it's not for me. I'm a Gen Xer so I didn't grow up fearing some vague hippie threat and I don't have fears or hang-ups about drugs or people living different lives. You want to drive around high as a kite in a whacked out van with loud speakers, you do you. But when one starts doing "outrageous" things to try and "freak out" others......eh, that's where I get off the trolley. You're not revolutionary. You're not leading people to some hidden truth. You're just being a jerk.

And that's what this book was. Page after page of stoners doing things for the sole purpose of trying to get a rise out of people. It's amusing once or twice. 100 pages in you start wondering who is trying to prove what to whom.

The audiobook performance isn't bad. Daniels changes voices and inflections appropriately. The performance may have been why I kept listening to the book long after checking out on the story (I got a little more than halfway through).

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  • nancy
  • 2019-03-13

Have been waiting & waiting for this book

Too bad it took Toms death to bring back so many of his works to the open catalog. The interpretation took some getting used to but generally worked

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  • Kelvin E Dodson
  • 2019-03-11

A great one

Definitely in the top 3 audio books I've listened to. Wonderful. Delightful. Hilarious. Couldn't stop listening. Great performance, really added character and clarification to the interesting personalities. I felt that the voices helped me understand the characters on a deeper level than if I had simply read it.

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  • Craig Floyd
  • 2019-04-15

Gibberish

Dated drug fueled gibberish
Waste of credit and time
I’m being out front with you man

0 of 1 people found this review helpful