• True Hallucinations

  • Being an Account of the Author's Extraordinary Adventures in the Devil's Paradise
  • By: Terence McKenna
  • Narrated by: Al Kessel
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (530 ratings)

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True Hallucinations

By: Terence McKenna
Narrated by: Al Kessel
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Publisher's Summary

This mesmerizing, surreal account of the bizarre adventures of Terence McKenna, his brother Dennis, and a small band of their friends, is a wild ride of exotic experience and scientific inquiry. Exploring the Amazon Basin in search of mythical shamanic hallucinogens, they encounter a host of unusual characters - including a mushroom, a flying saucer, pirate Mantids from outer space, an appearance by James and Nora Joyce in the guise of poultry, and translinguistic matter - and discover the missing link in the development of human consciousness and language.

©1993 Terence McKenna (P)2019 Tantor

Featured Article: The Best Audiobooks About Psychedelics to Take You on a Trip


In recent years, the use of psychedelics and hallucinogens has been objectively researched and even included in talk therapy and guided meditation. After all, inducing a different state of consciousness can expand our understanding of ourselves. Learn more about the use of these drugs throughout history and explore the potential health benefits with the best audiobooks about psychedelics to take you on a fascinating listening trip.

What listeners say about True Hallucinations

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I didn't like the narrator.

It is a shame Terence could not have recorded the audio himself. It's an interesting story, let down by the wrong voice.

14 people found this helpful

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A Good background of Terence’s life

I enjoyed this story, it went into depths of their voyage in la churera that I had never heard. I can’t give the narrator 5 stars because I’m so used to hearing Terence talk and no one can really fill his shoes.

8 people found this helpful

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Eloquent Pseudo science

For skeptics, this book will only affirm your suspicions that psychedelic enthusiasts are grown children who believe in elves, UFOs, and the power of crystals. For believers, this book will provide more fuel to justify your belief in tarot cards and magic... “How to Change Your Mind” is a much more sane examination of the science behind psychedelics and how they may help the human mind.

5 people found this helpful

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McKenna was a crazy person.

Now I know die hards won’t like my assessment, while I rate the book highly, I’m rating the book. Not Terence. This book is a roadmap to what happens when crunchy hippies eat mushrooms in the jungle for several months. After reading I have no choice but to view certain aspects of psychedelic culture with a really large grain of salt.

5 people found this helpful

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Great book, initially annoying narrator

The narrator was hard to listen to at first because he seemed to be trying too hard, having a clearly perceptible pattern of tones in his speech, but after a few chapters, he settles into a more natural pattern. Terence Mckenna, of course, was a brilliant guy whose words are always a delight

5 people found this helpful

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not appreciable unless on shrooms

it's a hippie recall of young adults trying to justify altered perceptions via pot, shrooms, acid, hash or heroine.. trying to make valid science while note taking high... not even sure why it's a book. nothing to learn here.

4 people found this helpful

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Incredible

Terence McKenna has lived such an amazing, contemplative roller coaster of a life (as told in this book) that it'd be a sin to not write about it. On top of the fun exciting and entertaining main storyline and all the other little storys and life experiences that were told along side it, there's the main idea Terence is trying to share with the world that's intriguing and interesting if nothing else. I'd be completely lying if i said I myself have never heard that inner dialog and guiding voice while experiencing a Psilocybin induced trip, never to the extent he speaks of but i understand completely what he speaks of. Regardless of your views on such matters or if you believe in the Alien theory or not, it has to be said that its a damn fascinating and interesting idea that is definitely in the realm of possibility. Thanks for sharing your story i hope there's more to come to audible✌

3 people found this helpful

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This is the way

I have listened for many many years the Legend of Terrence he has born a part of my journey in good and bad. I think this book has found me they are with me 👽🛸 they always have been . I too have a purpose will all do remember me I will show you the way....

2 people found this helpful

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Unbelievable! and yet...

Um. Wow. Gotta say I totally recommend listening to this book... Is it a description of possibility, cutting through a few too many veils, ethnobotany, anthropology of consciousness, a view of the close past and future, an adventure tale, partial eclipse of madness returned with gifts...I don't know how many people could get through a written version of this...I listened with my mouth frequently hanging open or saying whaaaaatttt even though I am familiar with most of the key words in here. Uhhhh. Wow. If anything, Terrence McKenna is a frontiersman in Western culture. Jingies!!!!

2 people found this helpful

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Pseudoscientific Word-Salad

The part of the book that recounts the author's adventures is fine, but most of the book is filled with scientific-sounding word-salad. McKenna tries to weave psychopharmacology, quantum mechanics, music theory into some grand theory of everything that lacks even the slightest hint of evidence. I had to give up half-way because it was a total waste of time.

1 person found this helpful

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  • eve martin
  • 06-19-21

Read by a newsreader?

Difficult to take in, due to the totally inappropriate narrator. I’m sure the story would be way more interesting if it wasn’t read so unnaturally. What were they thinking?! Incredibly frustrating. Don’t bother...

3 people found this helpful

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  • Mark James Green
  • 09-09-20

Loved it

I really enjoyed this and the only negative I can give is on the narrator, though please do not let this stop you. The story of how it all began was awesome.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Liam C
  • 07-01-20

Didn’t like the narrator and the story

The story starts great and there’s a real sense of adventure,,...however around 15pc in the book becomes a bore fest. The last 5pc was the most interesting part. I wouldn’t bother purchasing. I expected great things from this book and will now be returning it. Also the narrator is a bit drone-like.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-24-20

Insightful

I could not have read the physical book but listening to the audio book was interesting, unsettling and insightful

1 person found this helpful

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  • JD
  • 10-06-19

bloody crazy

if you have taken large doses of magic mushrooms you will probably be able to relate to some parts of these spectacular stories, rest in piece Terrance, a true pioneer

1 person found this helpful

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  • Daniel Malone
  • 11-12-22

Listened after a long ponder

long time fan of McKenna, never read this and was put off by the narrator, but it's worth perseverance and the tale wins out in the end.

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  • Christian Stephens
  • 09-27-22

Good book but narrator not my cup of tea

Really enjoyed the story and content, found the voice of the narrator a bit monotone and took away from my enjoyment

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-02-22

Voice is irritating

Really found the voice of the reader to be tough to listen to.
I personally found the pacing and cadence of his voice to be all off and jarring.

Could not finish, shame as the story seemed to be good.
My advice would be to listen to the sample and imagine if you could bare it for the full length.

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  • Louis Raubenheimer
  • 04-21-22

Magical madness!

A wild, surreal odyssey undertaken by an ambitious and curious band of young people, barely out there teens sees the formation of some of the most outrageous, yet viable theories on alien life, the nature of time, space and sound and the future of the species. It was a wonderful, illuminating ride. An incredible book by a brilliant and courageous thinker.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-18-22

Amazing but..

Truly amazing and inspiring story for Terrence but the narrator is so robotic it makes it hard to listen to

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  • brandluci
  • 05-30-21

a whole new perspective

I've listened to McKenna for a while and always thought he was deep and introspective on the topics of psychonautic exploration;
and then I listened to this and realise he's actually pretty much the stoner friend you think might have some schizoid disorder and lean a bit hard into substances while your trying to get shit done. This is further enhanced by his writing, it is egocentric enough to ponder if he's actually really insightful or effected. then his "theories" start and you just.kind of go "ohhhh...effective." meaning "schitzoeffective". this is a rambling, long, sometimes but not very often and certainly not enough, of an interesting tale. mostly. and then it gets caught up in personal beliefs from a drug addled mind being passed off as insight into universal truths and secrets. which, after you hear his time wave, alien and other ideas, you are left with impression that this is someone with a leaning towards mental health issues and who overdoes mushrooms far, far too often.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Warwick
  • 06-10-20

loved it

a true Pioneer of the evolution of human to spirit. i missed hearing it read by Terrence

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-26-22

Earth shattering

What a ride this book was. Highly recommend it to all explorers. Couldn’t put it down

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  • Jonathan D
  • 08-13-22

Loved it

Did the strange tale stir the cosmonaut within? Somehow all this memory of McKenna and psychedelics hovers at the edge of prophecy and delusion but how else could it be. Viva Logos.

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  • Seb
  • 04-22-21

ravings of madman

I'm pretty open minded and enjoy psychedelic culture. but honestly this is just a stream of consciousness of a madman. Entertaining at times, but utter nonsense.

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  • Layne Carroll
  • 01-07-21

Awesome stuff

narrator took me a little bit to get used to. the stories of real life events that happened were very interesting, and fascinating. I definitely recommend this one. I wish everyone was as open minded as this fellow.