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Endless Things: A Part of Aegypt Hardcover – May 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 341 pages
  • Publisher: Small Beer Press; First Edition edition (May 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1931520224
  • ISBN-13: 978-1931520225
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,038,919 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Crowley's eloquent and captivating conclusion to his Ægypt tetralogy finds scholar Pierce Moffet still searching for the mythical Ægypt, an alternate reality of magic and marvels that have been encoded in our own world's myths, legends and superstitions. Pierce first intuited the realm's existence from the work of cult novelist Fellowes Kraft. Using Kraft's unfinished final novel as his Baedeker, Pierce travels to Europe, where he spies tantalizing traces of Ægypt's mysteries in the Gnostic teachings of the Rosicrucians, the mysticism of John Dee, the progressive thoughts of heretical priest Giordano Bruno and the "chemical wedding" of two 17th-century monarchs in Prague. Like Pierce's travels, the final destination for this modern fantasy epic is almost incidental to its telling. With astonishing dexterity, Crowley (Lord Byron's Novel) parallels multiple story lines spread across centuries and unobtrusively deploys recurring symbols and motifs to convey a sense of organic wholeness. Even as Pierce's quest ends on a fulfilling personal note, this marvelous tale comes full circle to reinforce its timeless themes of transformation, re-creation and immortality. (May)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

There are three major plots and one minor one in the last of Crowley's four Aegypt novels, and developments regarding two secondary characters bulk so large that they almost become two more. Two of the major plots concern series protagonist Pierce Moffett. In one, 1990s Pierce is on a working retreat at a Trappist monastery; in the other, 1970s Pierce retraces historical novelist Fellowes Kraft's 1930s European journey researching the gnostic heretic Giordano Bruno (1548-1600). The third major plot is the tale of how Bruno's soul migrated from his about-to-be-burned-at-the-stake body into that of an ass and what transpired thereafter, a sort of Renaissance take on Apuleius' Golden Ass. That plotline is the one those unfamiliar with the other Aegypt books (The Solitudes, 1987; Love & Sleep, 1994; Daemonomania, 2000), uninterested in Pierce Moffett's woolgathering, and unimpressed by Crowley's anaphoric rhetorical flights will probably warm to most. Such Aegyptian neophytes may indeed be so bored by the rest of the book that they quit it before reaching its impressive and moving, homeyconclusion. Ray Olson
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

More About the Author

John Crowley was born in the appropriately liminal town of Presque Isle, Maine, in 1942, his father then an officer in the US Army Air Corps. He grew up in Vermont, northeastern Kentucky and (for the longest stretch) Indiana, where he went to high school and college. He moved to New York City after college to make movies, and did find work in documentary films, an occupation he still pursues. He published his first novel (The Deep) in 1975, and his 14th volume of fiction (Lord Byron's Novel: The Evening Land) in 2005. Since 1993 he has taught creative writing at Yale University. In 1992 he received the Award in Literature from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He finds it more gratifying that almost all his work is still in print.

Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 24 people found the following review helpful By The Ginger Man VINE VOICE on May 10, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This book is the final volume of 4 in the Aegypt series written over the last 20 years. It weaves together the story of writer Pierce Moffett's search into the past and a battle in 1614 that changed our world into one in which Descartes' division of subject and object is preserved and magic is banished.

Endless Things can be read without the prior volumes but the reader's experience is greatly enriched if the books are read in order. Sections of Endless Things dealing with the present are quick and engaging. The historic chapters are dense, erudite and even more interesting. At bottom, the authors (Moffett, Crowley and Fellowes Kraft) are trying to figure out "why is everything the way it is and not some different way instead?" This leads to a more personal question asked by unsuccessful searcher Moffett: "Why was he what he was and not better?"

Along the way, we see an earlier world where alchemy and magic have as much claim to an unknown future as do science and reason. We hear Crowley's conclusion that gods are but stories and that every age must find the stories that correspond to its unique reality.

The author creates words which, according to the secret of the Cabala, can change the nature of things.

This all can be heavy going at times but Crowley is our best contemporary writer of the fabulous, making the unreal seem a solid basis for a far richer reality. It is worth the reader's effort as he finds how "the gods, angels, monsters, powers and principalities...began their retreat into the subsidiary realms where they reside today, harmless and unmoving, most of them anyway, for most of us, most of the time."

At least while you read Crowley, you can feel the sense of wonder you had as a child when possibility was almost endless. Those angels and monsters come briefly alive as the author fights for and embodies the transforming power of language.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Crowley Fan on April 27, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Crowley ends his four-volume novel poignantly and satisfyingly. The theme of the entire book is our knowledge that life is different than it seems--a knowledge inspiring, in our great need, our gods, utopias, spirits, magics, conspiracies, true loves. The ultimate inadequacy of these dreams' every flicker, yet the final truth of the flame, is my flickering take on the message. But, fittingly, life is even more pervasive here than thoughts above life.

Much should be compared with his earlier masterpiece Little, Big, the end especially.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Myers VINE VOICE on August 10, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
So, here we have the final volume of the Aegypt Tetralogy, which it has taken Crowley twenty years of his life to compose. The third volume, Daemonomania, remains the masterwork of the tetrad, but a strong caveat, it won't seem to any reader like the chef d'oeuvre that it is unless one has read The Solitudes and Love & Sleep. Endless Things is a lilting away, a diminuendo after the crescendo of Daemonomania.

Here, at least in the first two sections - Regnum and Benefacta - you will find the same obsessions with Giordano Bruno, Gnostic arcana and multifarious occult literary allusions as you find in the other works. These sections - as I've written in my reviews of the other three works - are not really where Crowley shines. Rather, it is in his lilting, lyrical descriptions of the magic of the world around us.

The third, and last, section, Carcer, presents a few problems. The section titles, in Latin, are not such as one who has never as much as cracked a first year Latin book can't twig the meaning out of from the English derivatives. Carcer's primary meaning is easy enough: prison. And I think Crowley, here, with Pierce accepting his place in world, space, time, does mean this sense, the sense in which the Gnostics regarded the world, as a prison. But, having spent four years of my adolescence in an English boarding school, up to my ears in Latin, I happen to know that the word has many secondary and tertiary meanings. A carcer was also the gate at which horses were held back before the start of the race and thus came to mean the beginning of something. I think it would probably be the third or fourth definition of the word if one bothered to look it up in a lexicon.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on February 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The fourth novel and dearly-anticipated conclusion to the Aegypt series, Endless Things finishes the saga of historian Pierce Moffitt, whose far-reaching theory that, at infrequent times, the essential nature of the world alters; for example, a world that is (and always has been) regulated by the laws of physics can suddenly and transform into a world that is (and retroactively, always has been) regulated by the laws of magic. Endless Things wraps up the many side effects of one such transformation that unfolded in the previous novels, yet Pierce's theory of cyclical historical change is ultimately a source of hope - since if the universe itself is capable of endless change, so too are the downtrodden individuals living within it. A multifaceted, humanizing, and magnificent sendoff to an epic saga.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Pureresearch on January 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
This is a story that didnt really happen. I know what you're thinking: It's fiction, right? Of course it didnt really happen. Well... not so fast...

When the author first introduces the main character, he is literally "just a gleam in his Daddy's eye." He hasnt been conceived. His parents arent even married yet. The father has not come to terms with his homosexuality which, being the 1930's, is not surprising. This fact is artfully foreshadowed in the word's of his future brother-in-law, "He's not the marrying kind."

The fact that the author handled this with such aplomb, along with his subsequent descriptions of being raised by a single parent, coming to terms with a BDSM relationship, and a book which he doesnt want to write, made me think this book was a sleeper. In other words, it wasnt boring, but it wasnt grippingly interesting either. I kept going back and reading more, hoping that when the protagonist finally got moving, so would the narrative.

He had me right up until he met with a scientist/idol from his youth, and had a long conversation with her and her sister, punctuated by meaningful sideways glances and partially vocalized theories and epiphanies. Just then the author pulled the rug out from underneath me, in that it really and truly Didn't Really Happen. That's it. Done. "Fool me once..." and all that blather. I wont go back and finish the story.
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