Too Much to Dream: A Psychedelic American Boyhood

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Soft Skull
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5.5 X 8.2 X 0.8 inches | 0.65 pounds

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About the Author

Peter Bebergal is the co-author of The Faith Between Us. He studied religion at Brandeis and Harvard Divinity School and writes frequently on the intersection of popular culture, religion, and science as well as reviews on science fiction and fantasy. He lives in Cambridge with his wife and son. An ordained practitioner of Zen Buddhism and a politically engaged actor, Peter Coyote began his work in street theater and political organizing in San Francisco. In addition to acting in over 140 films, and working with directors such as Martin Ritt, Steven Spielberg and Roman Polanski, Coyote has won an Emmy for narrating the award-winning documentary Pacific Century. He has also narrated The West, The Dust Bowl, Prohibition, and The Roosevelts for Ken Burns. In 1993 he was awarded a Pushcart Prize for Carla's Story, published in Zyzzyva. He lives in Mill Valley, CA.


Praise for Too Much to Dream

"Bebergal's beautifully nuanced prose and depths of psychological insight make this one of the best memoirs of the decade, one that also offers a uniquely valuable perspective on addiction." --Booklist

"Bebergal embarks upon a whirlwind coming-of-age journey, consorting with homeless acid-heads, occult-obsessed mall security guards, desperate hardcore punkers and other fringe dwellers. He delves into underground comics, psychedelic rock, Western ceremonial magic and lots and lots of tripping. Along the way, Bebergal presents a primer on the psychedelic era, discussing in extended non-memoir passages the history of LSD, the I-Ching, the Silver Surfer, Pink Floyd and more." --Metro

"Told with compassion and understanding . . . [Bebergal's] analysis of addictive behavior provides material for thought and discussion. In the end, Bebergal offers hope that his addictive behavior can rest, and that he's discovered the bliss of the everyday." --Publishers Weekly

"Too Much to Dream makes Catcher in the Rye look like a Boy Scout manual. With honesty and insight, Peter Bebergal, ever hard-up for mystical experience, reveals the underbelly of the countercultural slogan Sex, drugs, and rock 'n' roll, where festered a deep spiritual quest. Lenny Bruce once said that people were leaving the church and looking for God; Bebergal's particular journey extends that concept by taking the universe personally but finally surrendering his demons of drug addiction to the ultimate, inconceivable Mystery, while managing to keep one foot in the fantasy world." --Paul Krassner, author of Who's to Say What's Obscene: Politics, Culture and Comedy in America Today

"Too Much to Dream is at once an examination of American drug culture and a deeply personal journey of self-reflection and addiction. In Bebergal's search for spiritual enlightenment, he dispels the myths surrounding the use and abuse of psychedelics and other mind-altering substances. This is a wonderfully powerful story that teaches us that transcendence is best found with our feet firmly planted on the ground and our 'eyes toward heaven.'"
--James Brown, author of The Los Angeles Diaries and This River