Hullo, my Pixels!
Alex Boese, the author, actually wrote two other books before 'Elephants on Acid' - 'Hippo Eats Dwarf' and 'The Museum of Hoaxes' which were more focused on the cultural hoaxes and lies people can create in society to grab the attention of the news. Elephants on Acid, as well as his latest release 'Electrified Sheep', both include many eccentric tales of scientific experiments which have been conducted by deluded scientists over the years.
Non-fiction books don't usually appeal to me, but I really enjoyed how this was written in short overviews of each crazy experiment; not too long to make you lose interest, but just long enough to include all of the vital information you really want to know. I'll be honest - I was naughty and 'read a book by its cover' with this one. How can you not though?! Firstly, the front cover. Elephants are one of my favorite animals, and multi-colored objects always appeal to me. You can't properly tell in any of the photos, but all of the text/elephants in silver are actually holographic as well, so it adds even more mystery to the book.
Secondly, the title. The fact it's a non-fiction book and mentions elephants on acid, I was certainly intrigued to know more. After picking it up and reading the tagline at the bottom of the front cover, which mentions zombie kittens, I had to turn it over and find out more.
'Have you ever wondered if a severed head retains consciousness long enough to see what happened to it? Or whether your dog would run to fetch help, if you fell down a disused mineshaft? And what would happen if you were to give an elephant the largest ever single dose of LSD? The chances are that someone, somewhere has conducted a scientific experiment to find out...'
Some of the studies included are a bit more macabre and gory than funny, but they're the ones which really make you question what some people are even thinking. What would we ever do without scientists like these though, hey? I'm sure you always wanted to make sure your dog would run for help if you ever found yourself in an empty mineshaft!
'Tusko the elephant led a peaceful life at the Oklahoma City Zoo. There were his daily baths, playtime with his mate, Judy, and the constant crowds of people peering at him from the other side of the fence. Nothing out of the ordinary. So when he awoke in his barn on the morning of Friday, August 3 1962, he could hardly have foreseen what the day held in store. He was about to become the first elephant ever given LSD. He would simultaneously become the recipient of the largest dose of that drug ever administered to any creature - a record that stands to this day. If he had known what was about to happen to him, he probably would have made a run for it.'
Now this is the 'famous' article which the whole book is named after. I'm only giving you a teaser, because if you like these kind of books, I seriously recommend buying it. It's not a lot of money, and it's really good to pick up every now and again when you're in the mood for a very confused giggle.