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.