Among the Bloom staff it’s pretty divided on which of us are readers, and which of us aren’t. I fall into the former category and this is an article I’ve wanted to write for some time. Some of the greatest books of all time seem to fall into this ‘stoner lit’ category and I have to admit, I’m not surprised. Most are classics and for a good reason, and if you see one that you think belongs on this list- email us and it might just get added!
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is the best chronicle of drug-soaked, addle-brained, rollicking good times ever committed to the printed page. It is also the tale of a long weekend road trip that has gone down in the annals of American pop culture as one of the strangest journeys ever undertaken.
(My favorite quote: “Too weird to live, too rare to die”)
Seconds before the Earth is demolished to make way for a galactic freeway, Arthur Dent is plucked off the planet by his friend Ford Prefect, a researcher for the revised edition of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy who, for the last fifteen years, has been posing as an out-of-work actor.
One of the pinnacles in Science Fiction! A must read, at least once in a lifetime.
In the first book of this brilliant series, Stephen King introduces readers to one of his most enigmatic heroes, Roland of Gilead, The Last Gunslinger. He is a haunting figure, a loner on a spellbinding journey into good and evil. In his desolate world, which frighteningly mirrors our own, Roland pursues The Man in Black, encounters an alluring woman named Alice, and begins a friendship with the Kid from Earth called Jake. Both grippingly realistic and eerily dreamlike, The Gunslinger leaves readers eagerly awaiting the next chapter.
A book of utter mayhem, this one had to be added to the list. Here are my two favorite reviews to sum up the entirety of this book:
"Rico Slade can grab Chuck Norris by a wrist and an ankle and use him as a jump rope. If you're looking for some well-crafted literary mayhem that entertains and pleases in equal degrees, this is the book for you." - THE AUSTIN POST
"If you like violence. If you have a decent sense of humor. If you have ever wondered what would happen if Richard Brautigan wrote a 90's action film instead of killing himself in the winter of 1984...These are all great reasons to read Rico Slade Will F*cking Kill You." - HOUSEFIRE
Tom Wolfe's much-discussed kaleidoscopic non-fiction novel chronicles the tale of novelist Ken Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters. In the 1960s, Kesey led a group of psychedelic sympathizers around the country in a painted bus, presiding over LSD-induced "acid tests" all along the way. Long considered one of the greatest books about the history of the hippies, Wolfe's ability to research like a reporter and simultaneously evoke the hallucinogenic indulgence of the era ensures that this book, written in 1967, will live long in the counter-culture canon of American literature.
With mostly favorable reviews among a great many fantasy forums, this book is a step into a different sort of magical world. ‘For a thousand years the ash fell and no flowers bloomed. For a thousand years the Skaa slaved in misery and lived in fear. For a thousand years the Lord Ruler, the "Sliver of Infinity," reigned with absolute power and ultimate terror, divinely invincible. Then, when hope was so long lost that not even its memory remained, a terribly scarred, heart-broken half-Skaa rediscovered it in the depths of the Lord Ruler's most hellish prison. Kelsier "snapped" and found in himself the powers of a Mistborn. A brilliant thief and natural leader, he turned his talents to the ultimate caper, with the Lord Ruler himself as the mark.’
Just read this. There’s plenty of books in the series to keep you entertained for days-at least.
Among the seminal texts of the 20th century, Nineteen Eighty-Four is a rare work that grows more haunting as its futuristic purgatory becomes more real. Published in 1949, the book offers political satirist George Orwell's nightmarish vision of a totalitarian, bureaucratic world and one poor stiff's attempt to find individuality. The brilliance of the novel is Orwell's prescience of modern life—the ubiquity of television, the distortion of the language—and his ability to construct such a thorough version of hell. Required reading for students since it was published, it ranks among the most terrifying novels ever written.
Remarkably heart-wrenching, but if you love history this is a great read. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is Dee Brown's eloquent, fully documented account of the systematic destruction of the American Indian during the second half of the nineteenth century. Using council records, autobiographies, and firsthand descriptions, Brown allows the great chiefs and warriors of the Dakota, Ute, Sioux, Cheyenne, and other tribes to tell us in their own words of the battles, massacres, and broken treaties that finally left them demoralized and defeated. A unique and disturbing narrative told with force and clarity, Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee changed forever our vision of how the West was really won.
A staple of my childhood, and I’d be remiss to not add it to this list, a compilation of one of the best comic strips of all time. Bill Watterson's Calvin and Hobbes has been a worldwide favorite since its introduction in 1985. The strip follows the richly imaginative adventures of Calvin and his trusty tiger, Hobbes. Whether a poignant look at serious family issues or a round of time-travel (with the aid of a well-labeled cardboard box), Calvin and Hobbes will astound and delight you.
If you think another book should be added to this list, email us! We’d love to do another edition of this article.
Happy reading and Happy 420 Bloom fam!