57 pages 1 hour read

Tom Wolfe

The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Nonfiction | Biography | Adult | Published in 1968

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Chapters 13-15

Chapter Summaries & Analyses

Chapter 13 Summary: “The Hell’s Angels”

In the summer of 1965, Kesey and the Merry Pranksters hold a huge party with the Hell’s Angels, the notorious motorcycle gang. Kesey had met the Angels through his friend and fellow author, Hunter S. Thompson, who was writing a book about them (168). His recent marijuana arrest and his charismatic personality give Kesey immediate credibility with the gang. Despite their reputation for violence, the Pranksters welcome 40 members of the Angels to the property with “what looked like about a million doses of the Angels’ favorite drug—beer—and LSD for all who wanted to try it” (172). Wolfe explains that “the beer made the Angels very happy and the LSD made them strangely peaceful and sometimes catatonic, in contrast to the Pranksters and other intellectuals around, who soared on the stuff” (172). Some of Kesey’s intellectual friends were there, like Allen Ginsberg and Richard Alpert, but so were the local cops, watching from across the highway. Ultimately, the cops decide that a policy of containment was best because the only laws they saw being broken were possibly indecent exposure (174).

Mountain Girl is also a hit with the Angels after she jokes with them and shows them that she has no fear of them.

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