The Further Inquiry Summary

Summary (Masterpieces of American Literature)

Its pages depicting a robin’s-egg-blue sky with fluffy clouds (a spaced out hipster’s dream of open spaces, or merely the view appropriate for a ghost speaking from the heavenly ranks), text highlighted in screenplay format, and pictures from the Merry Pranksters’ 1964 coast-to-coast road trip (California to New York), The Further Inquiry seeks to re-create visually the sensibilities of that bygone era. Michael Ian Kaye provides solarized or psychedelic Day-Glo poster art styles of the 1960’s reflective of visual experiences with the Pranksters’ drug of choice, LSD. A series of shots of legendary rapper Neal Cassady (depicted as Dean Moriarty, the lead in Jack Kerouac’s 1957 On the Road) grace the bottom-right corner and, flipped rapidly, provide the illusion of a home movie of him dancing. The book features 150 previously unpublished photographs of the trip and travelers by Ron “Hassler” Bevirt and images from Allen Ginsberg’s collections. The jacket cover blurb promises “a serious meditation on the sixties.” However, reviewer Brook Horvath in Contemporary Fiction found the text “unambitious” and limited, as did George Searles, who asserted in The New Leader that it nonetheless gives readers “a feeling of what life was like outside American mainstream culture at the dawn of the Hippie era.” Its goal may be to elucidate the past, but the perspective is nostalgic, insider to insider.

The title, The Further Inquiry, plays on the front destination sign of the once yellow school bus that the Merry Pranksters repainted in psychedelic colors for their infamous trip—“Furthur” (the back of the...

(The entire section is 686 words.)

The Further Inquiry Bibliography (Masterpieces of American Literature)

Drout, Michael D. C. “Hoisting the Arm of Defiance: Beowulfian Elements in Ken Kesey’s Sometimes a Great Notion.” Western American Literature 28, no. 2 (August, 1993): 131-141.

Gilmore, Mikal. “Ken Kesey’s Great American Trip.” Rolling Stone, nos. 885/886 (December 27, 2001-January 3, 2002): 58-62, 144.

Huffman, Bennett Tracy. “Twister: Ken Kesey’s Multimedia Theatre.” Modern Drama 43, no. 3 (Fall, 2000): 452-460.

Kesey, Ken. “Ken Kesey: The Art of Fiction CXXVI.” Interview by Robert Faggen. The Paris Review 35, no. 130 (Spring, 1994): 58-94.

Leeds, Barry. Ken Kesey. New York: Frederick Ungar, 1981.

Sullivan, Randall. “And We Bid You Good Night.” Rolling Stone, nos. 885/886 (December 27, 2001-January 3, 2002): 62, 144.

Tanner, Stephen L. Ken Kesey. Boston: Twayne, 1983.

Tanner, Stephen L. “Kesey’s Cuckoo’s Nest and the Varieties of American Humor.” Thalia nos. 1/2 (1993): 3-10.

Waxler, Robert P. “The Mixed Heritage of the Chief: Revisiting the Problem of Manhood in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Journal of Popular Culture 29, no. 3 (Winter, 1995): 225-235.

Zubizarreta, John. “The Disparity of Point of View in One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.” Literature/Film Quarterly 22, no. 1 (1994): 62-69.