On the Road

On the Road – Jack Kerouac

The book that gave us a new meaning for the word “beat” and a vision of the road trip as an endless quest for freedom. Kerouac used pseudonyms and the novel format to share this thinly veiled memoir of his travels with Neal Cassady aka Dean Moriarty. Allen Ginsberg aka Carlo Marx and William S. Burroughs aka Old Bull Lee also appear as minor characters. For many, Kerouac was the entry point to beatnik culture of the 1950s: prose, poetry, music, and art.

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test – Tom Wolfe

Wolfe’s first masterpiece is a trip through trippy times on Ken Kesey’s bus. Essays from Acid Test ground zero, featuring real life characters straight out of Kerouac. Hunter Thompson gives us details in his books and Wolfe gives us the scene, the zeitgeist. Interestingly, Thompson shared his notes with Wolfe at times, particularly for details on a party at Kesey’s house.