Four years after the legendary 1964 bus trip immortalized in Tom Wolfe’s Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, Ken Kesey began serving time in San Mateo County Jail for pot possession. Transferred to an experimental low-security “honor camp” in the redwood forest, he spent six months clearing brush and immersing himself in the life of the jail community, attempting to “bring light and color” to it. “This is crazier here than the nuthouse ever was,” Kesey noted, and proceeded to record the scene in numerous notebooks, illustrated with intense and brilliantly colored artwork.
Upon returning to Oregon, Kesey turned the raw notebook material into an illustrated collage that stretched across dozens of 18″ x 23″ boards. Upon realizing that publication of the elaborate, handwritten book was more than his publisher was willing to attempt, he put it aside. Almost thirty years later he returned to the project and brought it to completion during the final years of his life. Fans of Ken Kesey’s singular American voice will rejoice to hear it again in this unique and long-overdue volume. Those unfamiliar with Kesey’s artwork are in for a revelation.