> Skip to content

The first of Tom Wolfe's genre-defining non-fiction books, reissued to coincide with the fiftieth anniversary of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test

Tom Wolfe's debut collection of essays - a brilliant, form-bending dive into the future of America as it careened through the 1960s

In 1965, Tom Wolfe dropped like a bomb onto the American literary scene with his first book, The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby, an incandescent panorama of American counter-culture, its dances, bouffant hairdos, customised cars and rock concerts. Capturing the energy of the age in its portraits of Phil Spector, Cassius Clay, Las Vegas and the Nanny Mafia – as well as asking, why do doormen hate Volkswagens? – Wolfe’s flamboyant essay collection remains one of the great, revolutionary landmarks of modern non-fiction.

'Journalism, it is said, is the first draft of history. Nobody exemplifies the dictum better than Wolfe, the cultural observer and social critic par excellence' Daily Telegraph

Reviews

You only had to look at him… or read such books as The Bonfire of the Vanities and The Right Stuff to know that Tom Wolfe was like no other

John Pye, The Scotsman

Journalism, it is said, is the first draft of history. Nobody exemplifies the dictum better than Wolfe, the cultural observer and social critic par excellence

Mick Brown, Daily Telegraph

Effortlessly, elegantly, Tom Wolfe bestrode both fiction and non-fiction… a style at once objective, subjective, and hallucinatory

Andy Martin, Independent

[Tom Wolfe’s] gleeful use of punctuation and italics, along with entertaining asides and neologisms that often quickly cemented themselves into the English lexicon, helped Wolfe stand out from other journalists

Guardian

[Wolfe] made literature fun and bores don’t like fun

Freddy Gray, The Catholic Herald

Read More

Formats & editions

  • Paperback

    9781784873721

    May 28, 2018

    Vintage Classics

    368 pages

    RRP $19.99

    Online retailers

    • Abbey's Bookshop
    • Amazon
    • Angus & Robertson Bookworld
    • Booktopia
    • Boomerang Books
    • Collins Booksellers
    • Dymocks
    • Books Kinokuniya
    • The Nile
    • QBD
    • Readings
    • Robinsons Bookshop
    Or

    Find your local bookstore at booksellers.org.au

  • EBook

    9781448181957

    June 21, 2018

    Vintage Digital

    368 pages

    Online retailers

    • iBooks
    • Amazon Kindle
    • Booktopia
    • eBooks
    • Google Play
    • Kobo

Also by Tom Wolfe