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PIHKAL  By  cover art

PIHKAL

By: Alexander Shulgin,Ann Shulgin
Narrated by: Fred Sanders,Petrea Burchard
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Publisher's Summary

Alexander (better known as “Sasha”) and Ann Shulgin’s PiHKAL: A Chemical Love Story has become a foundational work in the genre and was the first book to fully impart the how-to chemistry, and convey the effects, of many of the entheogenic drugs that are currently being studied and used to heal trauma and deal with death. 

An acronym for “Phenethylamines I Have Known and Loved”, the book spans autobiography, organic chemistry, politics, ethnobotany, and psychopharmacology, and the cultural impact is likely to be profound for decades to come, as it has already. PiHKAL is divided into two parts, the first of which is a fictionalized autobiographical "novel" - the main fiction is that it is fiction. This first half of the book is The Love Story, about two people named Shura and Alice who fall in love, though one of them is already in love with someone else. This love triangle is a painful ordeal they must go through, and that process unfolds before the listener with grace and great insight into human nature. Shura is a brilliant chemist who has dedicated his career to making psychoactive drugs. In the story, they go through many experiences with the psychedelic compounds that Shura has discovered and has made in his lab, all of which have been bioassayed himself. The listener will find themselves going on this journey with them, experiencing what they experienced, both in their hearts and in the psychedelic journeys they have. 

The second half of PiHKAL is called The Chemical Story, and it contains detailed instructions for, and effects of, the synthesis of 179 psychedelic phenethylamines which were mostly discovered by Shulgin himself. For each substance there is information on its synthesis, suggested effective dosage, duration, and detailed commentary on the subjective effects that were experienced. This book appeals to adults of all ages and cultures, and to the psychedelically experienced and inexperienced alike.

©2021 Alexander and Ann Shulgin (P)2021 Transform Press

What listeners say about PIHKAL

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Very Insightful

If you only read one chapter, read the last one. But the whole book is very interesting. Highly recommended.

Superbly narrated.

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Amazing 24hrs

Amazing book truly insightful. I wish they had more like it and I can't wait to learn more.

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Great read, I would recommend to curious people

A very real life lived and written down in the pursuit of the ever expanding dream of human experience explored

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Loved it from start to finish

Sweet souls pour themselves out onto the pages for us as we are invited on an adventure unlike any other. I loved listening to the wild tales of alchemy, love, traveling abroad and within, friendships, emotions and entities. Thank you for a wonderful book of wisdom and knowledge but also only of beauty and humanity.

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An absolute must read.

A great book, beautifully performed. don't hesitate if you're interested in drugs, chemistry, or a good bit of history of psychedelics.

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A book that changed history

Shulgin's magnum opus, it sheds light on a period of history lost due to social stigmas. Reading this along with many other books created by related authors paints the picture of a movement in science and culture that changed the world in unimaginable ways. I could say so much about this man and this title but it will never do true justice to what he and and his work have truely done for the world.

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One of a kind, most important!

By far one of the most crucial books for anybody interested in the freedom to explore one’s own consciousness, and the history of pioneers of consciousness exploration. A fascinating and entertaining story of psychedelic substance examinations.

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listen to what's being denied us.

I really enjoyed this book and listen to several sections repeatedly. it makes me wonder how much different our world would be if the US government would accept Nationwide what they accept from the indigenous population as Ayahuasca being part of our life's ritual and psychedelics being used for PTSD and simple human growth.

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Wow !!!

First , let me thank the Great experience sharing, and amazing documentarian (Hamilton Morris the- 1st ) if it not for the numerous times you have mentioned this book I don't know if it would have made it onto the list of books I should read.

Next, the way this whole book is written is amazing , and his and her own writing styles are so descriptive, and yet the personalities are very much each their own. After reading this, I almost felt like I was a great unspoken character in the story of their lives.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 04-12-22

Only the first half of the book

Both narrators were strong and I loved the story of everything in Pihkal but thrle whole second half going through different drugs and their syntheses, doses and experiences is not included. I understand it may not be so audiobook friendly but I was disappointed in that. Will have to purchase a hard copy or erowid that when needed.