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Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite
The Art of Pranksterism: A Visual Journey with the Merry Pranksters is a short work of non-fiction based around a specific group, penned by author Sarah Fisher. Examining the culture of the deliberately odd and different, this book celebrates the rejection of conventional society through the acts of a group known as the Merry Pranksters, who find their roots in the 1960s. This academic and well-considered work explores the nature of those who abandon conventional society in favor of this colorful, outlandish subculture, but also seeks to find the bonds that keep it together in the modern age, particularly through the art and festival worlds.
Author Sarah Fisher presents a celebratory look at a very interesting cultural phenomenon which has been running alongside mainstream society for over fifty years. Her prose is sharp, concise and academic, fitting a lot of content into the low page count of the work, and the writing is well organized into sections which explore some of the conceptions of the Merry Prankster culture before delving into the deeper social issues at hand in the present day. Fisher writes with clear warmth for the subject, and an enthusiasm that inspires her readers to pick up her fascination with societal dropouts, and what draws them into a life of DayGlo and spiritualism despite the mocking ways of their peers. Overall, The Art of Pranksterism: A Visual Journey with the Merry Pranksters presents both physical and literary imagery to bring the culture to life and unpick its workings for all to explore.