The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell: Two Complete Nonfiction Works (Perennial Classics)

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9780060595180: The Doors of Perception & Heaven and Hell: Two Complete Nonfiction Works (Perennial Classics)

Two classic complete books -- The Doors of Perception (originally published in 1954) and Heaven and Hell (originally published in 1956) -- in which Aldous Huxley, author of the bestselling Brave New World, explores, as only he can, the mind's remote frontiers and the unmapped areas of human consciousness. These two astounding essays are among the most profound studies of the effects of mind-expanding drugs written in the twentieth century. These two books became essential for the counterculture during the 1960s and influenced a generation's perception of life.

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Review:

Sometimes a writer has to revisit the classics, and here we find that "gonzo journalism"--gutsy first-person accounts wherein the author is part of the story--didn't originate with Hunter S. Thompson or Tom Wolfe. Aldous Huxley took some mescaline and wrote about it some 10 or 12 years earlier than those others. The book he came up with is part bemused essay and part mystical treatise--"suchness" is everywhere to be found while under the influence. This is a good example of essay writing, journal keeping, and the value of controversy--always--in one's work.

From the Inside Flap:

In 1953, Aldous Huxley took four-tenths of a gram of the drug Mescalin, sat down and waited to see what would happen. When he opened his eyes everything was transformed. He describes his experience in The Doors of Perception and its sequel Heaven and Hell.

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