Acid Christ
Mark Christensen
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Buy *Acid Christ: Ken Kesey, LSD, and the Politics of Ecstasy* by Mark Christensen online

Acid Christ: Ken Kesey, LSD, and the Politics of Ecstasy
Mark Christensen
Schaffner Press
440 pages
October 2010
rated 4 of 5 possible stars

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Ken Kesey had written his now-classic novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and already become a national figure when the author first met the Oregon-born writer. Christensen, enthralled by Kesey, set out to learn everything he could about the man, and here on these pages are the results.

The author has done a ton of research to unearth who Kesey really was. There are interviews with Ken's friends and followers and in-depth examinations of all facets of his life. Christensen is a skilled writer, but his writing is so full of scope and drama that it sometimes gets hard to read more than a few pages at a time. Here is an example.

So why did Kesey's life seem to go so far downhill after those two novels?

It was certainly not for want of energy or ambition. No tendril-armed bi-focalist laboring in a cobwebbed garret, burly Kesey was the big man on campus writ artiste, acidhead alpha dog and action figure, an aging high school jock in flower power drag - and he was not particularly a free thinker, taking his cues not from proto-hippies Rousseau, Heathcliff or Walt Whitman but from his childhood comic book heroes, Superman, Spiderman, Plasticman, Batman, and Captain Marvel. But, fly as they might, comic book super heroes aren't free spirits. They are cops.
That is a heady paragraph, and every line here is similar. Unless you have a great command of pop culture, politics, metaphysics, literary figures, the '60s, religion and a lot more, this will be a difficult read. But if you can get through it, you'll come out the other side as a true expert on one of America's greatest writers.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at Steven Rosen, 2010

buy *Acid Christ: Ken Kesey, LSD, and the Politics of Ecstasy* online
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