Tom Wolfe Writing Styles in The Electric Kool-aid Acid Test

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Tom Wolfe describes in the Author's Note how he researches the book. He has never taken LSD or any of the other drugs that his subjects use, but he has access to the films, recordings and writings that the Merry Pranksters have made. Combined with interviews, his research materials far outweigh the finished book. No single Prankster could have written as objectively, including Ken Kesey. They are all too much into their subjective experiences. By necessity, only an author looking in from the outside can maintain objectivity.

The author writes for both drug users and straight people. The drug users will see themselves in the text, while straight people might come to a deeper understanding of the 1960s drug culture. Value judgments are left to the reader. Wolfe describes what people do without trying to analyze why people behave the way they do. He does point out ironies...

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