The things of interest one receives in the mail these days oftentimes outweighs the junk mail! So I was surprised when I opened the packet from England and found this gem of a book that can also be found in the United States. This is certainly a book of interest for readers who are interested in Aleister Crowley. This book was published in England during 1999, and due to sales, was again reprinted in another edition during 2003. It is a biography without photos of Aleister Crowley.
That Aleister Crowley continues to fascinate readers and the general reading audience is no surprise. Nicknamed the “Beast,” and “The Great Beast,” and various other names to put him in a horrible moral light by contemporary Christian standards, he nevertheless went on to become famous and a prolific writer of occult material, fiction, and poetry. That he was seeking to found a religion based on sound scientific facts, among other themes, was his vision to replace not only Christianity but all known organized religions. It appears his followers gain in number with the passing of years.
What Roger Hutchinson succeeds in doing with this creative biography, is simply this: Give an accurate and honest attempt at an appraisal of Alesiter Crowley’s life. What he does succeed in doing is revealing an astonishing figure behind the Crowley myth!
The book is nicely ordered into sections which deal with a defined area of Crowley’s life. The ten sections in the book include “Afterlife,” “Early Life,” “Salad Days,” “I Can Call Spirits from the Vasty Deep,” “Up and Up in Paris, Strathpeffer and the Himalayas,” “Publisher and Entrepreneur,” “The Renegade Englishman,” “Addicted, Assaulted and Abroad,” “The Long Descent,” and “To Ashes.”
For those interested in an updated look at the individual named Aleister Crowley, this is without doubt an interesting approach and one which will hold the reader’s attention. Much information is covered, and it is more enjoyable reading than doing library or computer research.
Alesiter Crowley has become a man for all seasons since his death in 1947. This biography is a finely written, well-researched biography of a charismatic literary and occult figure. It is well worth your time to read. The book explains why Aleister Crowley continues to have lasting influence and impact in occult areas of study.
As a biographical approach to a figure larger than life, it is topnotch. As a reference guide, it would make for an intimate movie or documentary film of Alesiter Crowley’s life. Highly recommended biography.
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