Review of The Pump House Gang and The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test. C.D.B. Bryan, New York Times, August 18, 1968.
Tom Wolfe’s first book, “The Kandy-Kolored Tangerine-Flake Streamline Baby” was a success when it was published in 1965, not so much because of what he said about publicity-seeking social climbers, stock-car racing drivers, teen-recording entrepreneurs and lonely divorcee mothers intimidated by the “Nanny Mafia,” but how he said it. Wolfe’s style of journalism was something new, entirely his own, as young and exuberant and frenzied as the period he was depicting.
He intimately knew and wrote about what was happening–not just now, but NOW!, with an explosion of asterisks, exclamation points, italics and puppyish enthusiasm. So what if occasionally he seemed almost to parody himself? When Wolfe was good, he was very, very good. . .but when he was bad he took on The New Yorker in a two-part article for Clay Felker’s New York Sunday magazine supplement of The Herald-Tribune. And, oh God, the arteriosclerotic old boys, as Wolfe would call them, slapped his wrists right up to his epiglottis–not so much because his New Yorker article was filled with gross inaccuracies (which it was), but because he had been rude (which he had been).
New York Times