Book Review: Sweet Chaos, The Grateful Dead's American Adventure By Carol Brightman

788 words - 4 pages

If a Deadhead was to read Carol Brightman's book Sweet Chaos: The Grateful Dead's American Adventure, they would be in for a great deal of disappointment. This book is not about the Dead, rather, it is about Carol Brightman's sixties adventures. People love to talk about themselves, and Brightman has found a venue for her tales of "radicalism." By putting a picture of the Grateful Dead on the cover of her book, with no reference to the true contents, one would assume they are about to embark on an adventure led by the Grateful Dead. Brightman has mislead her reader and brought them into her chaotic collage of anecdotes. For a book that actually fulfills the criteria of adventures of the ...view middle of the document...

This is blatantly obvious by her devotion to the theme of drugs and her buoyant stories of LSD use. She fails to speak of the horror stories of those who have never returned from trips and others who were not lucky enough to make it through their trips with their lives. She also failed to speak of the positivity of the scene, except from some brief quotes from former heroine addicts who found a home among the Dead's following. Rather, she chooses to focus on the negativity associated with Dead shows, something only an outsider would do. She should truly "feel like a stranger" in the scene, but fails to do so and attempts to be an insider.There is an occasional lyric that Brightman attempts to analyze and bring into her patchworked tale, but she fails miserably and the lyric comes from nowhere and leads into nothing. The analyzations only contribute to her failure because they are quite inaccurate; Robert Hunter (the Dead's lyricist) would be very disappointed. Brightman also brings her personal and non-personal stories out of...

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