Tom Wolfe’s much-discussed kaleidoscopic non-fiction novel chronicles the tale of novelist Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters. In the 1960s, Kesey led a group of psychedelic sympathizers around the country in a painted bus, presiding over LSD-induced “acid tests” all along the way. Long considered one of the greatest books about the history of the hippies, Wolfe’s ability to research like a reporter and simultaneously evoke the hallucinogenic indulgence of the era ensures that this book, written in 1967, will live long in the counter-culture canon of American literature.
The electric-sign prose, the skyrockets of neologisms, the chromatic dazzle, is but the surface on these bulging dossiers of meticulously documented reporting on the unknown wilderness of sidewalk – and penthouse – America. Swock it certainly does!’ – Kenneth Allsop, The Daily Telegraph
“Tom Wolfe is to the typewriter what David Bailey is to the camera and Mick Jagger to the microphone. He is a sort of Prophet of Pop, a man obsessed with the wild, peripheral activities of contemporary America’ – Alexander Frater, Punch
‘It’s a lot of fun – sense too – and it’s as good as a whizz trip round America’ – Elizabeth Smart, Queen
‘He has the compulsive manner of a superb intellectual entertainer who applies the frame of reference of traditional art history and culture to the world of the hot-rod adolescent with lots of money’ – Tom Manwaring, The Sunday Telegraph
‘He is a journalist – a talented, funny journalist, whose roots clearly go back to Damon Runyon and Ring Lardner’ – John Bowen, The Sunday Times