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Reviews by David Arnson
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Eye Mind: The Saga of Roky Erickson and the 13th Floor Elevators, The Pioneers of Psychedelic Sound
by Paul Drummond
Publisher:
Process 
Year:
2007 
Reviewed by David Arnson
9/9/2009

...An unforgettable read about an unforgettable time. Regardless of your taste for their music, this is an invaluable account of not only a seminal American band, but of the very roots of the psychedelic counter-culture itself. The book is full of priceless anecdotes on what it was like to be a head in the then-hostile Texas environment, as well as insights into the West Coast musical and cultural scenes. Innumerable punk, new wave, and psychedelic bands have counted the 13th Floor Elevators as an influence. [ read more ]

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Back from the Void
by Zoe7
Publisher:
Z Media 
Year:
2005 
Reviewed by David Arnson
7/10/2009

Author Zoe Seven’s magnum opus on contacting spirit forces, conspiracy theories, and working in Brazil with his plant allies, ayahuasca and Salvia divinorum. [ read more ]

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Sage Spirit: Salvia Divinorum and the Entheogenic Experience
by Martin W. Ball
Publisher:
Kyandara Publishing 
Year:
2007 
Reviewed by David Arnson
5/28/2009

Ball has definitely covered previously unwritten ground in his discussion of Salvia divinorum. This is a significant contribution, which helps flesh out Terence McKenna’s oft-repeated urgings for us all to “map out hyperspace.” With all the easy talk of entheogenic shamanism this past decade or so, Ball steps up to the plate and provides concrete examples and structures to work with. [ read more ]

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Metamorphosis: 50 Contemporary Surreal, Fantastic and Visionary Artists
by Robyn Flemming (Ed.)
Publisher:
BeinArt Publishing 
Year:
2007 
Reviewed by David Arnson
4/14/2009

The quality of the art in Metamorphosis is absolutely breathtaking. Herein you will not find any fractal, computer, or totally abstract art; what binds this collection together is an emphasis on a classic approach. The editors have struck an excellent balance between light and dark themes, as well as drawing from a truly international pool of creative souls. The images are so varied and intense that I found it impossible to absorb the book in one sitting. [ read more ]

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Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice: An Ethnobotanist Searches for New Medicines in the Amazon Rain Forest
by Mark J. Plotkin
Publisher:
Penguin Books 
Year:
1994 
Reviewed by David Arnson
3/24/2009

Mark Plotkin, who now runs an Amazonian preservation organization, delivers a fascinating story about his travels to the jungles of South America in search of medicinal plants. ...So elegantly detailed and well-written that even 16 years after its initial publication, it is still a must-read for anyone remotely interested in plant-based shamanism, or even for those just looking for a great book about life and adventure in the jungle.
read more ]

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A Psychonaut's Guide To The Invisible Landscape
by Dan Carpenter
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
2006 
Reviewed by David Arnson
7/8/2007

Each of Carpenter’s chapters contains numerous descriptions of encounters with what seems to be an internal ecology of the mind. If nothing else, even if you take Carpenter’s writing with a grain or even a boulder of salt, this makes for some very interesting reading on at least a science-fiction level, like some DXM remix of Flatland or A Voyage to Arcturus. [ read more ]

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Eduardo el Curandero: The Words of a Peruvian Healer
by Eduardo Calderon, Richard Cowan, Douglas Sharon & F.Kaye Sharon
Publisher:
North Atlantic Books 
Year:
2000 (revised edition) 
Reviewed by David Arnson
5/18/2007

...a fascinating book about a Peruvian shaman who performs (or performed) healing ceremonies employing San Pedro cactus as the sacrament and medicine. Evidently this book is a transcription of a filmed documentary that took place in 1978. Even with nothing but the black-and-white still shots from the film as illustration, the book sustains the reader’s interest from cover to cover. [ read more ]

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