A product of the hippie, psychedelic, counterculture wave of experimentation, Nog is a stream of consciousness cult novel that was originally published in 1968 to represent the generation of substance-abusing, free-thinking youth.

The story follows an unnamed narrator who christens himself “Nog” after he crosses paths with a stranger of the same name. However, like the entire 168-page narrative of this book, Nog’s memory cannot be trusted – he may be several people or no one at all as he flits across the country in a haze of surreal encounters with peculiar characters.

Though the mysterious narrator makes very little sense to the people around him, he is viewed as a wise man at a commune of similarly eccentric personalities including Meridith, his love interest.

The narrative itself may make perfect sense to someone under the influence, which is fitting as the entire novel is one man’s expedition for drugs. However, the jumbled sentences and unfinished thoughts are less prolific and act much more as a testament to the time at which the piece was written.

In fact, the universally acclaimed book by author Rudolph Wurlitzer is about as comprehendible as the Rosetta Stone. Though Nog’s character has some Holden Caulfield moments of clarity and insight, the rest of his thoughts do not make for an engaging and reader-friendly piece of literature.

Grade: B-

Nog is currently available.