When an undeclared Acid Head War breaks out, Britain is the first to be devastated by Psycho-Chemical Aerosols--tasteless, odourless, colourless psychedelic drugs, which distort the minds of thousands of civilians into extreme terror or extreme joy. When the warped citizens of Europe proclaim Colin Charteris their hero, he finds himself leading an unfathomable crusade in a devastated world.
Perhaps Aldiss's most experimental work, this first appeared in several parts as the 'Acid Head War' series in New Worlds. Set in a Europe some years after a flare-up in the Middle East led to Europe being attacked with bombs releasing huge quantities of long-lived hallucinogenic drugs. Into an England with a population barely maintaining a grip on reality comes a young Serb, who himself starts coming under the influence of the ambient aerosols & finds himself leading a messianic crusade.
The narration & dialog reflects the shattering of language under the influence of the drugs, in mutating phrases & puns & allusions, in a deliberate echo of Finnegans Wake.--Wikipedia