From Allen Ginsberg to Tao Lin, Audrea Lim traces the decline of hippie utopianism and the increasing disillusionment with drugs that pervades pop culture and Tai Pei:

This is the world from which the novelist Tao Lin’s new fictionalized memoir Taipeiemerges. Taipei is filled with substances of various kinds — Klonopin, coke, LSD, ecstasy, Tylenol 3, Percocet, Ambien, Adderall, Oxycondone, Xanax, ketamine and heroin, for starters — whose consumption punctuates the seemingly pointless adventures of Paul, a New York–based writer, as he seeks out romantic prospects, goes to different US cities for readings, gets married in Las Vegas, and visits his parents inTaipei. Throughout, Lin hints at the possible origins of Paul’s love affair with drugs. Does it date back to those fateful, formative years when rejection and bullying by grade school peers caused him to abandon all attempts at being social — except for when a combination of LSD, ecstasy, and Ritalin “slightly [distorted and energized] his feelings of depression into something dreamlike and enjoyable in a resigned, artful manner”? Or was it when he realized that being on drugs changed his behavior in a way that made people view him differently?

Read the whole review here.

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