Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Butterfly KidThe Butterfly Kid by Chester Anderson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Merry lobstery Christmas! Come take a Reality Pill and make all your trippiest dreams come true!

Or rather, sidle up to your best buds, take as much LSD or tokes that you like, and welcome the alien invasion, man. Don't forget to jam and rap! This is gonna be one wildly imaginative ride. :)

Welcome to the hippiest days of NYC when walking hallucinations roam the streets or transform them, where milling crowds take the drugs that let their imaginations change reality, where six-foot pacifist lobsters in Jesus Robes enlist a devoted hippie pacifist to fight their wars for them.

WHAT COULD GO WRONG?

Honestly, I've read a good number of mind-blowingly imaginative books that revel in the strange and the wonderful and just don't care whether or not you're on any mind-altering substances. Hell, I've written a few books like that, myself. But after all this time and a rather huge bibliography to draw from, I can honestly rank this one up there with the very best. :)

Context is important. This came out at the height or the very end of the beginning of the LSD heyday in 1967. Chester Anderson more than capitalizes on the movement... he puts himself right in the tale. As a character. With reality slipping all the time.

This is a real trip and a half to read and imagine. I bet he had a fantastic time writing it. :) It takes courage, strength, and fortitude to let quite this much of yourself hang out for the world to see.

Of course, I really should mention that it would work just as well to read this in today's age for one good reason. Comics and superheroes play a huge part. Context-wise, back then, it was usual for kids and a very select number of the counterculture to still love Marvel. Not like today where the love has gone totally mainstream.

So, for the day, it's not exactly normal to read about dropping acid and going totally green-lantern in the middle of NYC. I'm a huge PKD fan, but even he never pulled something quite this extroverted. :)

Merry trippy Christmas! :)



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