The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Sustances by Richard Rudgley - review by Carlos Mavroleon

Carlos Mavroleon

Beware of Lettuce

The Encyclopedia of Psychoactive Sustances


Little, Brown 320pp £18.99 order from our bookshop

Have you ever wondered what keeps Father Christmas going? Apparently, it’s the reindeer. These noble creatures are partial to grazing on fly-agaric mushrooms. It’s an old Siberian tradition that whenever you encounter a reindeer staggering across the tundra, giggling uncontrollably, you tie it up and cook it as quickly as possible to consume the meat which remains psychoactive for a short time after death. Without wanting to upset any children who might be reading this review, I feel obliged to warn their parents that Santa is on drugs.  

If the idea of getting zonked on reindeer with Siberian shamans seems a little chilly, then how about a glass of Unm Nyolokh, the preferred tipple of the Humr tribe in Sudan’s Kordofan province? This hallucinatory beverage, prepared from the liver and bone marrow of giraffes, is the main reason

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