Psypress Uk - a great place to go to find out more about psychedelic literature

Book Reviews


Introducing Psypress - the Psychedelic Press UK

The SLF has been delighted to introduce Psypress - a leading reviewer of books related to all things psychedelia. We invited Psypress to provide us with what they think are the most interesting and important book reviews that our SLFers should be reading to compliment our own reviews.

small thumbnail image of the book Shroom - A Cultural History by Andy Letcher - a controversial shroom read
  • Book title: Shroom - A Cultural History of the Magic Mushroom
  • Author: Andy Letcher
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link:
  • Preview: Originally published in 2006, 'Shroom: A cultural History of the magic mushroom' is one of the finest secondary works of psychedelic literature available. It examines a traceable history through what we can know to be sure about the cultural use of psilocybin mushrooms, to what smacks of cultural story-telling and movement fantasy. For any serious students of the magic mushrooms; this is an important the starting point.

SLF Comment: Ok, hmmmm - tricky, very tricky - it seems to have the whole shroom community split right down the middle - in fact more people seem against it then for it, often giving it vitriolic responses. Personally we think this book should be applauded - whatever one thinks of Letcher, he has put a lot of effort putting together a comprehensive analysis of shroom history from the research he has found - it would have taken a long time and dedication, which is something we can't help but admire. We also think he raises some important and interesting points which have to be considered. Anyway, anything that stirs up discussion and interest in shrooms is a good thing by us. And you know what - sometimes the truth hurts - but rather then run from what Andy challenges us with, we feel embracing it makes the importance of our time and moment as special in the age. Maybe, just maybe we are the Shroom Generation. Make your own mind up, and give the book a read.
Shroom Tiger

Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World by Paul Stamets

small thumbnail image of the book Psilocybin Mushrooms of the World, by Paul Stamets

This is by far the most descriptive and complete guide to psychoactive mushrooms and their deadly look-a likes I have ever read. LOTS of cool, detailed color pictures to help with both identification and leisure entertainment. The book is comprised of the following:

  • -5 pages on the history of them
  • -6 pages on their distribution around the world
  • -8 pages on general places they like to grow (e.g. under a bush or something)
  • -12 pages on tips for good trips
  • -20 pages on identification & collection techniques
  • -123 pages on just about every species of psychoactive mushrooms known to man (pics, description, habitat, etc.) both highly active and relatives that have low chemical content
  • -10 pages on deadly look-a likes
  • -includes a glossary, recommended reading, bibliography, and index

This is the best all-around book on this subject! Buy it now!
(Review by Burnt Rice, an Amazon customer)

SLF Comment: This book has been a trusty companion on many of our walks in the countryside. It has probably introduced thousands of shroomers to the magical world of fungi since it's first publication. It's a book, that you'll always find yourself digging out to learn more about a particular type of mushroom, or just to read Paul's excellent advice, or interesting stories. Has some lovely pictures in of virtually every shroom you could think of, plus loads you never even knew existed.

small thumbnail image of the book Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
  • Book title:Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
  • Author: Carlos Castaneda
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link:
  • Preview: Every so often a book comes along that has the power to divide people, not because it has gone out of its way to be contentious, but because the prose itself has such a powerful effect on those who read it. Carlos Castaneda's first book 'The teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui way of knowledge', originally published in 1968 by the University of California Press, is one such example.

small thumbnail image of the book Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
  • Book title: Magic Mushroom in Religion and Alchemy
  • Author: Clark Heinrich
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review : None currently
  • Preview: Originally published in 2002 'Magic Mushrooms in Religion and Alchemy' is a scholarly and detailed examination into the role that magic mushrooms have played in the two major esoteric traditions of religion and alchemy. Mainly dealing with the Fly Agaric, Heinrich takes a look at all the major contributors to the area including the works and ideas of R. Gordon Wasson.

small thumbnail image of the book Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge
  • Book title: Soma: Divine Mushroom of Immortality
  • Author: Robert Gordon Wasson
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link: None currently
  • Preview: Originally published in 1968 'Soma: Divine Mushrooms of Immortality' is now widely regarded as one of the classic investigations into the historical use of psychedelics. Wasson takes us on a tour of evidence as he tries to prove that the ancient Vedic 'Soma' was none other than the red n' white mushroom of the fairy tales – Fly Agaric.

small thumbnail image of the book The Holy Mushroom
  • Book title: The Holy Mushroom
  • Author: Jan Irvin
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link: None currently
  • Preview: Originally published in 2008 'The Holy Mushroom – Evidence of Mushrooms in Judeo-Christianity' by Jan R. Irvin, with Jack Herer, is a fine addition to a very much under-researched area; the entheogenic relationship with religion. It critically re-evaluates the schism between the theory's two greatest proponents – R. Gordon Wasson and John M. Allegro – and introduces new pictorial and textual evidence to add weight to the contemporary arguments.

small thumbnail image of the book The Holy Mushroom
  • Book title: In Search of the Magic Mushroom
  • Author: Jeremy Sandford
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link
  • Preview: 'In search of the magic mushroom' by Jeremy Sandford, first published in 1972, is somewhat of an oddity in the grand scheme of psychedelic literature. Partly a reactionary book to the works of John M. Allegro and Carlos Castaneda and partly a cultural look at the workings of southern Mexico in the late 1960s and early 1970s, it crosses the boundary of psychedelic literature and travel writing.

small thumbnail image of the book The Holy Mushroom
  • Book title: The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross
  • Author: John M. Allegro
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link
  • Preview: 'Originally published in 1970 to widespread and popular disapproval 'The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross' by John M. Allegro attempts to establish, through the medium of philology, the origins of Christianity in fertility and magic mushroom cults. Whilst as a work of philology it is difficult to follow, the story Allegro weaves around his evidence is both enlightening and controversial.

small thumbnail image of the book The Holy Mushroom
  • Book title: Mushroom Wisdom
  • Author: Martin W. Ball
  • No Psychedelic Press UK Review Unfortunately
  • Preview: 'Originally published in 2006 'Mushroom Wisdom' by Martin W. Ball is an entheogenic treatise on psilocybe mushrooms, consciousness and their application as entheogens. Ball explores the many levels of the psilocybin experience from heaven to hell and relates how they are all form part of the same intrinsic experience.

small thumbnail image of the book The Holy Mushroom
  • Book title: The Invisible Landscape
  • Author: Dennis & Terence McKenna
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link
  • Preview: When this book was first published in 1975 it remained for a long time an obscure and little known pseudo-scientific oddity looking at 2012, Novelty theory and shamanism. In psychedelic circles however it gained an increasingly mythical status and as rumour of this rare book spread, alongside an increasingly vocal Terence McKenna, the pressures for a re-publication finally broke in 1993, when HarperCollins took the job on.

small thumbnail image of the book The Holy Mushroom
  • Book title: True Hallucinations
  • Author: Dennis & Terence McKenna
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link
  • Preview: Published in 1993 'True Hallucinations' by Terence McKenna tells the tale of his adventures in the Amazon roughly 20 years previously, where the ideas contained in 'The Invisible Landscape' first formed. On the hunt for Ayahuasca Terence, his brother and a small group of adventurers find instead a wealth of psilocybes and embark on an experiment that helped shape the psychedelic culture we know today.

small thumbnail image of the book The Holy Mushroom
  • Book title: The Seven Sisters of Sleep
  • Author: Mordecai Cooke
  • Psychedelic Press UK Review Link
  • Preview: Originally published in 1860 'The Seven Sisters of Sleep' is a classic of Western drug literature. In over a hundred years, with no reprints until the end of the 20th century, the transformation in the importance of Mordecai Cooke's book is exceptional. Titled in its first edition with a 'popular history of the seven prevailing narcotics of the world' it now carries the tagline 'the celebrated drug classic'. And with good cause.