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Outside Looking In: A Novel Audiobook, by T. C. Boyle Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: T. C. Boyle Narrator: Johnathan McClain Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2019 ISBN: 9780062896964
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A provocative new novel from bestselling author T.C. Boyle exploring the first scientific and recreational forays into LSD and its mind-altering possibilities.

In this stirring and insightful novel, T.C. Boyle takes us back to the 1960s and to the early days of a drug whose effects have reverberated widely throughout our culture: LSD.

In 1943, LSD is synthesized in Basel. Two decades later, a coterie of grad students at Harvard are gradually drawn into the inner circle of renowned psychologist and psychedelic drug enthusiast Timothy Leary. Fitzhugh Loney, a psychology Ph.D. student and his wife, Joanie, become entranced by the drug’s possibilities such that their “research” becomes less a matter of clinical trials and academic papers and instead turns into a free-wheeling exploration of mind expansion, group dynamics, and communal living. With his trademark humor and pathos, Boyle moves us through the Loneys’ initiation at one of Leary’s parties to his notorious summer seminars in Zihuatanejo until the Loneys’ eventual expulsion from Harvard and their introduction to a communal arrangement of thirty devotees—students, wives, and children—living together in a sixty-four room mansion and devoting themselves to all kinds of experimentation and questioning.

Is LSD a belief system? Does it allow you to see God? Can the Loneys’ marriage—or any marriage, for that matter—survive the chaotic and sometimes orgiastic use of psychedelic drugs? Wry, witty, and wise, Outside Looking In is an ideal subject for this American master, and highlights Boyle’s acrobatic prose, detailed plots, and big ideas. It’s an utterly engaging and occasionally trippy look at the nature of reality, identity, and consciousness, as well as our seemingly infinite capacities for creativity, re-invention, and self-discovery.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “There is much to learn and enjoy here, as Boyle takes us deep inside the lives of Leary and his convention-bashing acolytes, offering a brisk read that provides much food for thought.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “An evocative depiction of the early days of LSD.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Spellbinding…Boyle’s trenchant cultural observations slyly depict how establishment gives way to antiestablishment in this engrossing, mind-expanding trip.”

    Booklist

  • “Keeping his own stylistic flamboyance in check, Boyle evokes a cultural flashpoint with implications that transcend acid flashbacks.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

T. C. Boyle is the author of more than a dozen novels, including Drop City, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and World’s End, winner of the PEN/Faulkner Award. He has also written numerous short-story collections. He lives near Santa Barbara, California.

About the Narrator

Johnathan McClain is an American actor, voice-over talent, and Earphones Award–winning narrator. He pursued stage acting in New York for a number of years and has appeared in many television series, including Law & Order: SVU, Medium, Scoundrels, and CSI: Miami. He also has several narration credits, including Lee Child’s Jack Reacher series and Jeremy Logan novels by Lincoln Child.