- Hardcover: 320 pages
- Publisher: HarperOne; 1st Edition edition (May 15 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0060173092
- ISBN-13: 978-0060173098
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 15.2 x 22.2 cm
- Shipping Weight: 363 g
- Average Customer Review: 18 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,342,979 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Ecstasy Club: A Novel Hardcover – May 15 1997
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The end of the millennium is just a couple of years away, and folks, it's getting squirrelly out there. Survivalists are stockpiling weapons in the hills as they wait for black helicopters and a new world order; Heaven's Gate cultists returned to the mother ship via poison-laced applesauce while members of the Solar Temple believed their suicides on earth would result in a better life on the planet Sirius. Can it get any stranger? In Douglas Rushkoff's novel, Ecstasy Club, it can and does. Rushkoff's club is an abandoned piano factory in Oakland, California, where members of a small group of idealists hold round-the-clock raves even as they seek to combine computer technology, mind-altering substances, and New Age spirituality to create a method of time travel.
Along with end-of-the-world scenarios, the millennium brings with it a heavy dose of conspiracy theory, and Ecstasy Club has its fair share. Once narrator Zach Levi and his merry band actually succeed in "breaking time" online, they are beset by menacing government agents, religious zealots, and a host of other special interest groups who are out to shut them down. So while we're all waiting for 1999, what better way to pass the time than with Douglas Rushkoff's Ecstasy Club?
From Kirkus Reviews
Rushkoff, author of such books on the emerging cyberculture as Playing the Future (1996), etc., applies his Faith Popcornlike sense of the zeitgeist to his first fiction: a high-tech conspiracy tale that ends up as a conventional melodrama despite its next-wave flair. In an abandoned factory in Oakland, a group of drug-munching techno-nerds and cyber-geeks, along with a guru wannabe, set up their experiment in communal living: a huge, fully wired environment for moneymaking parties and performances. With their virtual reality toys and visionquest drugs, the motley group of eight or so full-time residents hope to discover a higher level of consciousness and evolve as a select group of psychic travelers. Duncan, the leader of the rave cult, is a master of situational psychology, capable of bending his minions to his will--except for the narrator. Zack Levi, an Ivy League grad, seems to know that he's just slumming on his way to becoming a suburban shrink. Zack, after all, recognizes the cultic dimensions of the group's experiment as some sort of Zen nazism, a yin-yang adventure in tribe-think. Lauren, Duncan's lover, is also Zack's true love, despite his cohabitation with a hippie chick named Kirsten. When things go haywire, Lauren helps Zack pull out and retreat to domestic bliss in Ohio. Along the way, Duncan focuses his paranoia on one E.T. Harmon, the leader of Cosmotology, a kind of cross between L. Ron Hubbard and Bill Gates. And, like many paranoids, Duncan has real enemies: All the troubles that befall the naive space-trippers are in fact engineered by a grand conspiracy involving Cosmotology, the government, and some characters who resemble such famed space cadets as Timothy Leary and John Lilly. Full of the buzzwords valued by advertisers and marketers, this hyped-up fiction proudly proclaims: ``This demographic belongs to us.'' Enough cyberpop sociology to keep the Internet chatting; others will log off. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.See all Product description
Top Customer Reviews
Sure, a lot of the book is also pop psychology and pop psychedelica, but it was fun reading. And the rave ideology was interesting, even though I'm not certain the energy should be attempted to be directed, I like the idea of it coalescing much more.
(this review got accidentally posted to another Rushkoff book)
This novel was the first I have ever read about the current club scene: raves, drugs, sex, and Rock 'n Roll (or in this case Techno). One may think that this novel is strictly written for the teenager, but I believe that it may attempt to explain the culture of teenagers to any adult who is interested. I believe, though, that if an adult attempts to read this novel, it will have an "all or nothing" effect; either the adult will grasp the idea completely or reject it out of ignorance.
The novel contains a journey theme. This journey consists of a group of kids traveling to throw raves for their enjoyment as well as their profit. On the symbolic level, it is a quest for the truth about life; an answer to all the questions concearning the fate of our world. In the end, the truth is not uncovered by the "deprogrammed" (Ecstasy Club members and alike) outdoing the "programmed" (cultists and fascists), but by an evolution into a mutual understanding between both groups.
When this novel was first recommended to me by a friend, I expected it to be good, but definitely not this powerful. The Ecstasy Club had me overwhelmed with the most complex thinking concearning the realites of our world that I will ever grasp. It takes a very smart, open-minded person to enjoy the novel in its entirety.
"So do we need an educated elite to censor out the bad information, or are we evolved enough to accept or discard prescriptions for change using nothing other than our intuition? Maybe it's YOU who are unduly afraid of the dominance of favored, state-sponsored memes. If we accept the basic premise that out mindset extends, eventually, to the reality we inhabit, then wouldn't your attribution of the psychedelic revolution to a fear-mongering elite and subsequent admission of your own powerlessness in the face of such adversity ultimately result in the full manifestation of the very forces you hope to quash?" This quote was the first realization of the truth regarding reality that I was in the process of revealing. Sadly, though, the truth is not easy enough for me to just simply tell you; it must be uncovered by diving into the deep, complex dialogue Rushkoff uses throughout the novel's multi-level development.