Acid Dreams – how scandalous! Due to the cover’s bright color and bold design, it caught my eye two years ago in a random beach/souvenir store in San Diego. I decided not to buy it then, but took a picture so I’d remember it for later. My boyfriend eventually bought it for me in a book buying gift spree for my birthday, but it took me a while to get around to reading it. Since then I’ve realized I really need to start reading more fiction books. A lot of these non-fiction books are too heavy for me to enjoyably read on a weekend afternoon. It’s kind of like choosing to read a textbook or watch Scandal. While I love learning, I want to relax, so I’m watching Scandal. Although is Scandal that relaxing? I digress.
The first 30 or so pages of Acid Dreams were intriguing. We learned where acid came from, who invented it, and his first experiences with it. Then, we learn all about how the CIA decided they wanted to experiment with acid as a mind control substance. This is where the book almost lost me. The first third of the book was mostly information about the CIA’s secret operatives to discover mind control and how acid and LSD played into that. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m all for a good conspiracy theory, but this part of the book was a little too technical for me. I actually almost stopped reading. However, a little over 1/3 of the way through, Acid Dreams was able to lasso me back in. It started talking about the cultural impact of acid and LSD in the 60’s and 70’s. Learning about this time period was the main reason I wanted to read the book. While interesting, I could care less about acid and LSD on its own; I was more interested in learning about its role in the 60’s and 70’s – time periods I find fascinating to learn about. I greatly enjoyed this part of the book because of its detailed recollection of those formidable years in our nation’s history.
I would recommend Acid Dreams to anyone interested in modern American History. You can easily skim through the first part of the book and get to the part about acid and LSD’s cultural significances. The Summer of Love, the Beatles, and other events of historical significance are discussed, which I think are topics many people would find interesting.