Tom Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test ushered in an era of New Journalism. "An American classic" (Newsweek) that defined a generation. "An astonishing book" (The New York Times Book Review) and an unflinching portrait of Ken Kesey, his Merry Pranksters, LSD, and the 1960s.
Seminar paper from the year 2004 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: A+, Victoria University of Wellington (School of English, Film and Theatre der Faculty of Humanities and Social Science), course: ENGL439 - Journalism And Literature, language: English, abstract: A close reading of Tome Wolfe's The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test considering Wolfe's concept of New Journalism as a form of writing between the novel and journalism.
From the literary wonder boy to the countercultural guru whose cross-country bus trip inspired The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, this candid biography chronicles the life and times of cultural icon Ken Kesey from the 1960s through the 1980s. Presenting an incisive analysis of the author who described himself as "too young to be a beatnik, and too old to be a hippie," this account conducts a mesmerizing journey from the perspective of Mark Christensen, an eventual member of the Kesey "flock." Featuring interviews with those within his inner circle, this exploration reveals the bestselling author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest in his many forms, placing him within the framework of his time, his generation, and the zeitgeist of the psychedelic era.
Slovenia is acquiring some literary journalism written by Slovene journalists and writers. Author Sonja Merljak Zdovc suggests that more Slovene writers should prefer literary journalism because nonfiction is based on truth, facts, and data and appeals more to readers interested in real world stories. The honest, precise, profound, and sophisticated voice of literary journalism is becoming increasingly good for newspaper circulation, as it reaches not just the mind but also the heart of the reader. Thus, the world of Slovene journalism should also take a turn towards the stylized literary journalism seen in the United States. There, journalists and writers realize that through literary journalism they could perhaps end a general decline of traditional print media by restoring to readers stories that uncover the universal struggle of the human condition.
Ken Kesey (1935–2001) is the author of several works of well-known fiction and other hard-to-classify material. His debut novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, was a critical and commercial sensation that was followed soon after by his most substantial and ambitious book, Sometimes a Great Notion. His other books, including Demon Box, Sailor Song, and two children’s books, appeared amidst a life of astounding influence. He is maybe best known for his role as the charismatic and proto-hippie leader of the West Coast LSD movement that sparked “The Sixties,” as iconically recounted in Tom Wolfe’s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. In the introduction to “An Impolite Interview with Ken Kesey,” Paul Krassner writes, “For a man who says he doesn’t like to do interviews, Kesey certainly does a lot of them.” What’s most surprising about this statement is not the incongruity between disliking and doing interviews but the idea that Kesey could possibly have been less than enthusiastic about being the center of attention. After his two great triumphs, writing played a lesser role in Kesey’s life, but in thoughtful interviews he sometimes regrets the books that were sacrificed for the sake of his other pursuits. Interviews trace his arc through success, fame, prison, farming, and tragedy—the death of his son in a car accident profoundly altered his life. These conversations make clear Kesey’s central place in American culture and offer his enduring lesson that the freedom exists to create lives as wildly as can be imagined.
Arranged in chronological order, these pieces add up to nothing less than a full-scale history of the greatest tour band in the history of rock. From Tom Wolfe's account of the Dead's first performance as the Grateful Dead (at an Acid Test in 1965), to Ralph Gleason's 1967 interview with the 24-year-old Jerry Garcia, to Mary Eisenhart's obituary of the beloved leader of the band, these selections include not only outstanding writing on the band itself, but also superb pieces on music and pop culture generally. Fans will be fascinated by the poetry, fiction, drawings, and rare and revealing photographs featured in the book, as well as the anthology's many interviews and profiles, interpretations of lyrics, and concert and record reviews. Still, The Grateful Dead was more than a band--it was a cultural phenomenon. For three decades it remained on one unending tour, followed everywhere by a small army of nomadic fans. This phenomenon is both analyzed and celebrated here, in such pieces as Ed McClanahan's groundbreaking article in Playboy in 1972, fan-magazine editor Blair Jackson's 1990 essay on the seriousness of the drug situation at Dead concerts, and Steve Silberman's insightful essays on the music and its fans.
While The Right Stuff and The Bonfire of the Vanities remain perhaps his best-known works, Tom Wolfe's journalism and fiction continues to enjoy a large audience, perhaps chiefly because of the variety of his subjects and his controversial approach to them. Here, McEneaney offers an account of the man and his works, explaining along the way Wolfe's use of irony, his obsessive themes, and even his use of pranks. More comprehensive in scope than any preceding book on Wolfe, it offers accurate and accessible commentary based upon what Wolfe admits about his own work. In this new book, Wolfe's work is put in journalistic and literary context. The reliability of Wolfe's journalism is discussed, especially when there are alternative narrations to events he has depicted. McEneaney also examines the Wolfe's use of pranks that he plays on readers at times, and uncovers the influences on Wolfe that have contributed to his unique style. Finally, the author discusses Wolfe's impact on other writers. Readers will gain access into Wolfe's world through this detailed and colorful work.
"The first biography of Kesey, [revealing] a youthful life of brilliance and eccentricity that encompassed wrestling, writing, farming, magic and ventriloquism, CIA-funded experiments with hallucinatory drugs, and a notable cast of characters that would come to include Wallace Stegner, Larry McMurtry, Tom Wolfe, Neal Cassady, Timothy Leary, the Grateful Dead, and Hunter S. Thompson"--Dust jacket flap.