Erowid
 
 
Plants - Drugs Mind - Spirit Freedom - Law Arts - Culture Library  
Reviews by David Bey
ratingstars
Xenolinguistics: Psychedelics, Language, and the Evolution of Consciousness
by Diana Reed Slattery
Publisher:
North Atlantic Books 
Year:
2015 
Reviewed by David Bey
3/16/2016

The book is both a consideration of general topics in psychedelic-influenced language studies, as well as an account of the author’s own “outrageous twelve year adventure” of largely solitary psychedelic exploration, inspired in large part by her experiments with Glide, a visual language system she developed in the course of her researches. Slattery’s personal journey is both remarkable and inspirational. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Novel Psychoactive Substances: Classification, Pharmacology and Toxicology
by Paul Dargan & David Wood (Eds.)
Publisher:
Academic Press 
Year:
2013 
Reviewed by David Bey
2/19/2016

What stands out in the pharmacology and toxicology studies presented in Novel Psychoactive Substances is more the negative space of what isn’t there than the positive space of what is. [ read more ]

ratingstars
The Manual of Psychedelic Support
by Multiple Authors
Publisher:
Psychedelic Care Publications 
Year:
2015 
Reviewed by David Bey
11/19/2015

The Manual of Psychedelic Support includes everything one would need to start a new psychedelic care organization from the ground up, or to fine-tune and improve the practices of an established group. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Psychedelic Explorer's Guide
by James Fadiman, PhD
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
2011 
Reviewed by David Bey
6/30/2014

Fadiman and his collaborators are to be congratulated for having put together such a handsome, helpful and comprehensive collection of important information. It’s hard to imagine a better introduction to responsible psychedelic use, or a better signpost pointing towards its future horizons. The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide is an indispensable resource that surely belongs on every tripper’s shelf. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Body World
by Dash Shaw
Publisher:
Pantheon 
Year:
2010 
Reviewed by David Bey
5/28/2014

BodyWorld, written and illustrated by Dash Shaw, is a remarkable graphic novel and one of the best works of drug fiction in recent years. The comic is set in a mildly dystopian sci-fi future. It’s 2060 and there’s been a second American civil war. The surviving large cities are polluted hives, but out in the “experimental” woodland town of Boney Borough things seem peaceful, if insipid. Peaceful that is until the arrival of protagonist Paul Panther, a hardboiled “outsider” ethno-botanist posing as a visiting professor at the local high school while investigating reports of a hitherto unknown plant with psychedelic properties. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Hallucinations
by Oliver Sacks
Publisher:
Knopf 
Year:
2012 
Reviewed by David Bey
3/30/2014

Hearing voices. Seeing fantastic plays of light and color. Feeling the body transformed in impossible ways. Encounters with phantom entities. Temporary relocations of self and subjectivity. For some, experiences such as these are to be found at the bottom of a shaman’s gourd or within the crystalline lattices of the latest research chemical. For others, however, experiences like the ones above are not the result of any deliberate intervention but instead are a spontaneous consequence of the simple fact that our experience of reality is the product of our brains, and our brains are capable of being disturbed or disrupted in any number of ways. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery
by Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely
Publisher:
DC Comics 
Year:
1996 / 2012 
Reviewed by David Bey
9/12/2013

Don’t let the leopard-print short-shorts fool you! Four-part comic book miniseries Flex Mentallo: Man of Muscle Mystery (reprinted at long last in a handsome hardcover “deluxe” edition) is one of the most sophisticated representations of a drug trip ever written or drawn. [...] At the same time in an alternate reality, an unnamed rock singer is dying of a drug overdose in the rain. He’s taken everything in the house, including quite a bit of LSD, and he’s talking on a mobile phone to the unseen voice on the other end of a suicide prevention hotline. All he wants to talk about are comic books. [ read more ]

ratingstars
Rogan Gosh: Star of the East
by Brendan McCarthy and Peter Milligan
Publisher:
Vertigo/DC Comics 
Year:
1994 
Reviewed by David Bey
9/12/2013

Once again, it’s the interaction between the writing and the illustration that provides such a lush and unique means of expressing the psychedelic experience. To bring the world of Rogan Gosh to life, artist Brendan McCarthy mined his own childhood obsession with the Amar Chitra Katha tradition of Indian comic books—cross-wiring that with the electric offspring of punk-rock pop art to produce a lurching, spiral play of hyper-color lotuses, sitar-rayguns, corridors of endless uncertainty, ashrams of the absolute, and the dead-end sprawl of South London. [ read more ]

ratingstars
The Technopriests
by Alejandro Jodorowsky, Zoran Janjetov, and Fred Beltran
Publisher:
Humanoids/DC Comics 
Year:
2004/2011 
Reviewed by David Bey
9/12/2013

With illustrations by Janjetov and brain-melting color by Beltran, The Technopriests is an eye-popping visual feast. Jodorowsky has been quoted as saying, “I ask of film what most North Americans ask of psychedelic drugs”. The same would seem to be true of his work in comics. Indeed, in collaboration with Janjetov and Beltran, he brings worlds to life that would be impossible to film, even with today’s CGI wizardry. [ read more ]

ratingstars
LSD: Doorway to the Numinous
by Stanislav Grof
Publisher:
Park Street Press 
Year:
2009 
Reviewed by David Bey
3/21/2013

By the 1975 publication of Realms of the Human Unconscious, Stanislav Grof was prepared to assert the existence of “a vastly extended cartography of the human psyche” including two new realms whose non-existence were central to the (even now) prevailing scientific worldview: the perinatal––relating to the experience of embryogenesis and birth––and the transpersonal––relating to experiences of the synchronistic, telepathic, karmic, or otherwise out-of-body variety. [ read more ]