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Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change by Tao Lin

By Asim Janjua   ✺   Writing  ✺  Book Reviews
  ✺   5 min read

A memoir by Tao, a writer and drug user and his exploration and impact of psychedelics on his life.

Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change by Tao Lin


Tao Lin's "Trip" embarks on an unflinching odyssey into the psyche, laced with the raw energy of psychedelic substances.

This narrative transcends a simple chronicle of drug use; it's a deep excavation of the human experience, framed within the context of alienation and the potential for profound change. Lin's text is a mosaic of personal anecdote, rigorous research, and a homage to the thinkers who have shaped the psychedelic landscape, notably Terence McKenna.

Lin navigates the complexities of modern life and the search for meaning within it, with psychedelics as the compass. Lin’s writing is intimate, yet it reaches beyond the personal to touch on universal themes. Readers are drawn into a contemplation of their relationship with the self and society, guided by Lin's candid exploration of his own life and the transformative potential of these substances. It's a book that challenges as much as it enlightens, offering a rare look into the mind of an individual standing at the crossroads of cultural norms and the frontiers of consciousness exploration.


These highlights provide a glimpse into the thematic depth of "Trip," illustrating Lin's exploration of the psychedelic landscape and his transformation from despair to a more nuanced understanding of his experiences.​​



In the tapestry that is Trip, Tao Lin weaves a narrative rich with personal anecdote, philosophical inquiry, and a poignant critique of modern alienation. This book is not just a chronicle of psychedelic experiences but a reflection on the existential search for meaning in a world where isolation often seems the norm. Lin's exploration of psychedelics serves as a vessel for broader contemplation, inviting readers to question the very fabric of reality and the constructs that define our consciousness.

The conclusion of this journey is not a destination but a transformation. Lin demonstrates that the quest for understanding and the grappling with alienation can lead to an evolution of the self. His candid portrayal of this odyssey offers a mirror to our own potential for change, suggesting that within the chaos of our times and the depths of solitude, there lies an opportunity for profound personal growth and an expanded understanding of our place in the cosmos.

"Trip" is a seminal work that challenges us to see beyond the surface of our experiences and to embrace the unknown with courage and curiosity. It stands as a testament to the power of psychedelics to catalyze a shift not just in the individual but in the collective narrative, urging us to reconceive what it means to be truly connected—to ourselves, to each other, and to the universe at large.

Author: Tao Lin
Publisher: Vintage
Publication date: 2018
Pages: 320

Trip: Psychedelics, Alienation, and Change 

by Tao Lin

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