Charlotte Shane at Bookforum:
TAO LIN’S EIGHTH BOOK, Trip, is his best yet, and it’s all thanks to drugs. Well, perhaps not entirely thanks to drugs. With exercise comes mastery, or at least competence, and Lin has been practicing his idiosyncratic craft for over a decade. His first book was published in 2006, when he was twenty-three; improvement during the intervening years may have been inevitable. But Lin—whose authorial voice, notoriously, is so assiduously literal that it sometimes seems transcribed from a robot failing a Turing test—has never been more creative, precise, or inspired than when he details psychedelics-begotten behavior and theories. The behavior is mostly his own, while the theories are often borrowed from Terence McKenna, the late psilocybin advocate whose YouTube videos started Lin down the path to revitalization. While studying McKenna, Lin began to make radical adjustments to his daily drug routines, which in turn radically affected his mind-set.