A novel about faith, spiritual enlightenment, and marijuana.
In his fiction debut, Walker reveals that he was given a medical diagnosis of severe bipolar disorder and characterizes himself as a “bipolar stoner” who uses drugs to touch “the fire” that is his consciousness. He presents an “interactive novel” in which readers are given cues in parentheses that serve as prompts for deepening their enjoyment of the narrative, like playing a certain kind of song (Blinded by the Light, for instance, either by Bruce Springsteen or Manfred Mann, your choice). The crucial prompt, at the center of the book, is to smoke marijuana. The author suggests this not only enhances the reading experience, but also, as the unfolding narrative makes clear, deepens the spiritual experience of the work. The book’s thin plot revolves around a young two-tour Afghanistan veteran named Jack who visits a strip club with friends George and Dale. He meets a stripper named Trinity, and in a series of long after-hours conversations—in a diner, at a beach house—she details an elaborate philosophical worldview. Some ideas are standard-issue New Age pabulum, like when she tells Jack that all religions are right about their views on God (“They all basically preach the same idea, just in different languages, customs, and traditions”), and all are intensified by using marijuana. She refers to weed as “a wonderful gift from God” that hyperstimulates the pineal gland and allows users to achieve a oneness with God that would otherwise require a lifetime of dietary changes and personal discipline. Through a combination of sexual allure and drug use, Trinity opens Jack’s eyes to wider realities, and Walker is often a deft enough hand at what is in many ways an old-fashioned didactic novel (his ear for dialogue, for instance, is at times quite good) to make it all interesting.
An engaging cannabis-infused metanovel about stoning your way to God.