am 24. März 1999
This book is fascinating. It is not an "I like trippin' and listenin' to the Dead" book. It is a very thorough, interesting account of the work of two very intelligent and thoughtful people in the area of psychedelic drugs and their influence on/application to human life. Here's a quote that gives some idea of the orientation of the book: of marijuana (not a phenethylamine, and thus, not really addressed fully in the book), Shulgin writes, "I have chosen not to use marijuana, as I feel the light-headed intoxication and benign alteration of consciousness does not adequately compensate for an uncomfortable feeling that I am wasting time." Of psychedelics, he writes, "the potential of the psychedelic drugs to provide access to the interior universe, is, I believe, their most valuable property." This isn't a book about seeing jerry-bears and setting up clandestine labs. It's an introduction to a new way of exploring one's relationship to the rest of the universe. It is wonderful and an invaluable resource to all who are willing to try to deal with this piece of the puzzle.
am 16. November 1998
If you've heard about this book, you have probably heard of the 179 recipes for "designer drugs" (which, as Shulgin points out, is a moronic concept as all chemicals synthesized are made by design), whether inactive, active, or just plain weird in effect. They are there, in full detail for the chemist though lacking basic instructional material for the enthusiastic but untutored. (Like, they might not say what LAH in Et2O is, or that LAH can explode...) The syntheses include not just the overall gist, but grams of this and mls of that, including the extractions and purifications.
However, what Shulgin will give you that you didn't plan on is an insight as to why this is interesting in a scientific sense - the benefits in psychotherapy, the DRASTIC differences between effects of these chemicals in humans as opposed to rats, to the point where one compound is a highly effective analgesic in the one "taster" who has tried it so far, yet was ignored because rats had no effect, for example.
Last but not least, note that his DEA-approved research laboratory was busted and shut down in retaliation for his publication of this book. Solidarity...!
The "love story" itself (biography of the authors) ranges from fascinating to dull as you go along. Still, it gives a taste of what it is like to try so many bizarre drugs in a circumspect manner, and reminds you that this is someone who has subjected his brain to this for 20 years and is still smarter than YOU.
am 26. November 2009
Pihkal sollte meiner Meinung nach im Pharmazie-Studium pflicht sein, ist aber auch für Chemiker, Nerologen, Philosophen und Psychologen sehr interessant!
Ich selbst bin ausgebildeter Chemiker und mich hat das Gebiet der Neurochemie aus theoretischer Sicht interessiert. Ich habe dieses Buch auf Anraten eines Organik-Professors gekauft. Eine grandiose Entscheidung!
Das Buch hat mein Leben verändert und nachhaltig geprägt! Ich habe mich nach diesem Buch dafür Entschieden mich in diesem Bereich zu bewerben und arbeite nun in der Forschungsabteilung eines Pharmakologieunternehmens. Einfach nur gigantisch! Ich würde ihm Zehn Sterne geben wenn das möglich wäre.
Einzige Bemängelung: Im Syntheseteil bzw. "Chemieteil" sind einige nicht ganz unerhebliche Fehler zu finden... z.B. Chlorierung von 2C-H zu 2C-C usw. sind fehlerhaft, da nicht das gewünschte Produkt entsteht sondern ein Gemisch. Außerdem werden oft Sachen wie die Hydrolyse von LAH oft in den Syntheseanleitungen einfach weggelassen. Dies könnte allerdings ein gut gemeinter "Kopierschutz" sein, der verhindern soll dass die Rezepte in illegalen Laboren nachgekocht werden können, da diese Fehler für einen sehr gut in organischer Chemie ausgebildeten Menschen relativ leicht erkenntbar sind. Alles in allem aber immernoch DIE Referenz des Fachgebiets! Kauft es!
am 17. Februar 2000
If you've ever been curious as to what the chauvinistic governmental regulations have been keeping from you, here's the place to discover all you'll need to know. The author offers brilliant and informative insights into the chemically altered human states of mind. With his wife and life long partner also offering her point of view. If you've been curious as to what it's like and how to get there, this book is for you!
am 24. Mai 2000
What's amazing about the Shulgins is their ability to isolate the nuances that make drugs like MDMA and MDE different from one another. The separate entries at different dosage levels are not only insightful, but essential to the potential experimentor. Reading this will make anyone cautious about buying what is considered "ecstasy" by the current youth culture.
The Chemistry is beyond me, but it's still fascinating. Buying this book is worth being put on any government list. Yes, it's that good.
am 27. Mai 2013
An incredibly interesting book. Written by brilliant people. Haven't read a book by such intgelligent people ever! So the read is higly enjoyable.
As a non-chemist, I didn't care about the second, chemical part, which doesn't matter.
Partly they were perhaps trying too much to give it as much suspension as a thriller has.
In their highly interesting experiences, they describe all kinds of effects, ranging from fun to self-discovery and healing. However, for the latter, a more quiet and meditative way would be advisable.
Also, one learns a lot about what's going on in the US as far as politics and the law are concerned.
To sum up: highly recommended! Haven't read such an interesting book for a long time!