Book Review - The Genesis Generation

Photograph taken by David Wilder.

Photograph taken by David Wilder.

Lorenzo Hagerty, host of the inimitable Psychedelic Salon podcast for nearly the past ten years, first released The Genesis Generation: A Psychedelic Novel in audiobook format in 2010, and I remember listening to it and enjoying the story as well as the psychedelic ideas that are weaved throughout. He recently released the print version of the book and I sat down to read it over the course of the past couple of weeks.

The book follows the main protagonist, a character named "William", through a transitionary period in his life where he goes from being a corporate stooge working at a large technology company to becoming deeply ingrained in the underground worldwide psychedelic community. Along the way he meets many challenges and has a plethora of eye-opening experiences. I believe Will's story is loosely based on Lorenzo's own life, although Lorenzo appears as a separate character in the novel a few times.

There are several main characters involved in the story, some of whom have real-life counterparts in the actual psychedelic community. This book has the same feel as Alexander and Ann Shulgin's PiHKAL and TiHKAL books, which weave bits of fiction with a mainly-nonfiction story as both a narrative device and to protect those involved.

I enjoyed this book immensely, although I feel as if I cannot give it five stars because of the poor editing throughout the book. I would recommend it to anyone who already listens to Psychedelic Salon podcast or is interested in psychedelics, with the caveat that it isn't a perfect book. However, it is a fairly quick read and should definitely be considered on any psychonaut's bookshelf.

4/5 stars. 398 pages.