57 pages 1 hour read

Tom Wolfe

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 1968

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Chapters 10-12

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 10 Summary: “Dream Wars”

When the bus leaves New York, they decide to take the northern route back to California and take turns driving because Cassady has left the trip early. Jane also departs the trip in New York, but Sandy stays for the return trip even though he is suffering recurring effects from DMT, a powerful hallucinogen drug that he was offered back at Millbrook. When the bus detours through Canada in order to watch the Calgary Stampede, Hagen returns to the bus with a girl who Wolfe describes as “tender in age,” (111) and who turns out to be a runaway being searched for by the Mounties. Because she is painted in Day-Glo, she goes unnoticed. Wolfe points out that when the bus finally makes it back to Kesey’s in La Honda, the Pranksters are more in tune with one another than ever, but a sharp line still divides those who are on the bus and off the bus (113).

Wolfe explains that Sandy is still having an issue being on the bus because for him, “the bus had stopped but he hadn’t” (114). Now back at La Honda, a simple argument over the sound system turns into a physical confrontation between Sandy and Kesey, but it ends quickly without harm and the two talk it over.