Tom Wolfe

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“Wolfe is not only inviting us to share a particular sort of emotional relationship – with him, as well as with his subject – but is also informing us that the relation between written and spoken discourse is not as it has always been, that we have to rethink our ideas about the primacy of writing.” — Robin Tolmach Lakoff, “Some of my Favorite Writers are Literate: The Mingling of Oral and Literate Strategies in Written Communication” I was pleased when Robin Lakoff mentioned Tom Wolfe in her essay. Wolfe’s colorful writing style has influenced my own writing as I’ve looked to his work for both inspiration and instruction. Wolfe creates characters that, in my opinion, feel genuine, and I initially believed that his characters’ physical …show more content…
The nonfiction work chronicles the transformation of Ken Kesey, beginning with his early fame as the author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, to an LSD enthusiast and leader of a group called the Merry Pranksters, and, finally, as a fugitive on the run from the FBI and Mexican police. The book also details the adventures of the Merry Pranksters, as well as their hippie philosophy and rampant drug use. With his unconventional literary style, Wolfe is able to provide a unique perspective on the counter-culture of the sixties. In the book, the characters consume mind-altering drugs, which Wolfe attempts to capture through their disjointed dialogue. Wolfe wants to put the reader in the mindset of the Merry Pranksters, as he writes in the author’s note, “I have tried not only to tell what the Pranksters did but to re-create the mental atmosphere or subjective reality of it. I don’t think their adventures can be understood without that.” Wolfe, I believe, successfully captures the subtle differences of speech while maintaining the characters’ drug-fueled …show more content…
The conversation between Sandy and Kesey is one example of the colloquial style Wolfe has mastered in his writing: Kesey says: “Hey! What the hell’s the matter with you —” And as soon as he says it, he knows, which is suddenly very bad. “I’m … stoned,” says Sandy. “I took some acid, and I … took too much and it’s going very

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