As I see it, one of the pinnacles of investigative journalism is a book published in 1968 by author Tom Wolfe, entitled The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. It's a non-fiction book, but it reads like a novel. Tom Wolfe followed author Ken Kesey (known for his book One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest), and made a book detailing Kesey's adventures with his band of pranksters.
Wolfe presents an as-if-firsthand account of the experiences of Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters, who traveled across the country in a colorfully painted school bus named "Furthur". Kesey and the Pranksters became famous for their use of LSD and other psychedelic drugs in hopes of achieving intersubjectivity. The book chronicles the Acid Tests (parties in which LSD-laced Kool-Aid was used to obtain a communal trip), the group's encounters with (in)famous figures of the time, including famous authors, Hells Angels, and The Grateful Dead, and it also describes Kesey's exile to Mexico and his arrests.
It's one of my all time favorite books; it's influenced me a lot, and I wanted to put together some quotations that spoke to me.
"I'd rather be a lightning rod than a seismograph."
"Everything in everybody's life is significant."
"May next year's seniors remember our motto-- 'transcending the bullshit-'"
"We can isolate ourselves in a monastery or we can organize a religion."
"People at all times need outlaws."
“Everybody, everybody everywhere, has his own movie going, his own scenario, and everybody is acting his movie out like mad, only most people don’t know that is what they’re trapped by, their little script.”
“What do you mean, blindly? That baby is a very sentient creature… That baby sees the world with a completeness that you and I will never know again. His doors of perception have not yet been closed. He still experiences the moment he lives in.”
“None of us are going to deny what other people are doing. If saying bullshit is somebody's thing, then he says bullshit. If somebody is an ass-kicker, then that's what he's going to do on this trip, kick asses. He's going to do it right out front and nobody is going to have anything to get pissed off about. He can just say, 'I'm sorry I kicked you in the ass, but I'm not sorry I'm an ass-kicker. That's what I do, I kick people in the ass.' Everybody is going to be what they are, and whatever they are, there's not going to be anything to apologize about. What we are, we're going to wail with on this whole trip.”
“Everything was becoming allegorical, understood by the group mind, and especially this: "You're either on the bus...or off the bus.”