Winter Driving Best Books of the Month Men's Leather Watches Learn more nav_sap_SWP_6M_fly_beacon Chi-Raq Explore Home Audio All-New Amazon Fire TV Subscribe & Save Valentine's Day Cards Knock snow out cold Amazon Gift Card Offer girls2 girls2 girls2  Amazon Echo All-New Fire Kindle Paperwhite Shop Now Sale

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars26
Format: PaperbackChange
Price:$17.27+ Free shipping with Amazon Prime
Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

on March 27, 2002
Robert Anton Wilson uses the two greatest scientific and artistic minds of the 20th Century to solve a mystery whose roots may reach back for millenia. Are they up to the task? Well yes and no. The important thing is Wilson is able to show us, in a very exciting and terrifying manner, quite believable and comprehensible insights into the minds of Albert Einstein and James Joyce as they ettempt to tackle that mystery of mysteries... "who are the Illuminati and what do they want?" In this book are mind boggling-ideas, brilliant nonsense and frighteneing notions that are that much scarier for seeming to make sense. This book scared the heck out of me.
0Comment29 of 31 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 12, 2000
This book has something lacking in most Wilson books, namely a linear plotline and fairly believable characters who aren't merely stand-ins for the author's philosophy. Granted three of the characters are real people but that's besides the point.
An amateur Kabalist who is related to the Hagbard Celine of the original Illuminatus trilogy (and the other Celine of the Historical Illuminatus trilogy) finds himself driven mad by the machinations of Aleister Crowley. On a train he runs into Albert Einstein - the scientist who approached science as if it were art - and James Joyce - the artist who approached art as if it were a science. As he retells his story, Einstein and Joyce slowly unravel the trail of deceit and mindgames sponsored by Crowley.
It's fairly obvious by the second chapter that not only is this not much of a thriller, but Robert Anton Wilson is a major Aleister Crowley fan. Much of this book is a homage to Wilson's favorite historical figures with "Uncle Al" as the star of the show. That may take away from the whole mystery aspect of the book, but you find yourself cheering on Crowley soon as well.
This is not only a great book but a nice controlled storyline. The only complaint is that it doesn't have much to do with the world of the Illuminatus! Trilogy, and the word Illuminatus seems to be tacked on in order to sell this book to fans of that series. However, in many ways this later work surpasses the original trilogy.
0Comment34 of 40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon December 28, 2001
Masks of The Illuminati is a fast-paced Adventure and Detective Story, with Albert Einstein & James Joyce playing Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson, in the historical setting of The Real World. However, the characters also spend a great deal of time in the Metaphysical world, as well. The average reader will not comprehend half of this book--but, that is the excitement of the adventure! Only the Illuminated truly "get it." ;)
Seriously, Students of "The Mysteries" will have a field day (or an Astral Field Trip) with this thrilling "fictional" novel.
Robert Anton Wilson must be a genius to have incorporated so much historical and metaphysical Truth, into this "story" of a young, wealthy, well-educated Englishman being Initiated into a branch of The Golden Dawn, while trying to investigate a series of strange "occult" attacks in Scotland, against a Presbyterian minister....fighting both the forces of Darkness and his own repressed sexual tendencies, simultaneously !
This is a fascinating journey into the world of occult organizations and Initiation, climaxing in a most unusual and exciting manner....leading the reader to strongly desire clapping Aleister Crowley on the back while saying, "Well-done, 'ol chap!"
I strongly doubt that non-occultists will understand this great novel--but, the Story holds it's own and being a student of The Mysteries is not a Prerequisite. For those in the dark, a quick online search can fill in the gaps, as you read.
This book is more fast-paced than Focault's Pendulumn and the scenes with Einstein & Joyce as Sleuths are very well-constructed. You will feel that you are in the room with them...listening attentively and anxiously awaiting the Conclusion !
0Comment25 of 29 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 23, 1999
Well, this one isn't quite as twisty as some of RAW's other work (ie Illuminatus), in fact, its remarkably linear, a single major plotline. I would definitely recommend reading RAW's "Coincidence", a book of essays, I read Coincidence before reading this book, and it gave me a lot of insight into the symbolism and the way that we could analyze parts of the dream sequences and things (I was so proud when I noticed the ROYGBIVs...). Even if you haven't read Coincidence, this book is enjoyable.. you can skip right over the gnomic and complex dreams and philosophical symbolism and get right into the overt and fun plot.
0Comment7 of 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 29, 2007
This is one of the most informative and thrilling books I've ever read in my life. It's a wonderful place to start for anyone who's heard of Wilson and wants to hear learn more. This novel is also exceptional for those who want to find out about Aleister Crowley from an informed opinion, someone who's generally near impossible to find good information about. His ability to take his knowledge of Joyce and Einstein and use both of their egos is absolutely brilliant. In my opinion, this is the greatest historical fiction novel regarding the occult. Dan Brown is a joke compared to Wilson in every way.
0Comment5 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 14, 2003
this is the only wilson book i have read thus far. let me say first of all that it TERRIFIED the living daylight out of me until the solution to the mystery was revealed. i was scared to be in a fully lit room by myself.
the esotericism of this book made it a very fun read; i found it hard to stop (except when it got too frightening)! reading masks of the illuminati was definitely worth my time, paranoia, and sleepless nights!
0Comment7 of 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 16, 1997
Set in early 20th century europe "Masks of the Illuminati" thrills the reader with Robert Anton Wilsons unique blend of conspiracy, terror, and humor. The only heir to the Babcock and Greystoke fortunes gets involved in metaphysical studies only to find himself wrapped in conspiracy and plot. His journey into madness is a theme beutifully woven into the story along many aspects. Wilson has an uncanny ability tho transort the reader's mind into another paranoid reality that lingers long after the book is put down
0Comment3 of 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on January 11, 2007
Having read both Illiminatus! and Schrödinger's Cat, I had to get my hands on Masks Of The Illuminati. I will mention that I do consider Robert Anton Wilson to be my favorite writer, so I may have just a twinge of bias for his work, but anyone who reads his work will understand that he's definitely not your average writer, and you have to be prepared to follow "Mad Bob" wherever he leads you, even into "chappel perilous" itself! He has a way of bringing the reader into his stories, like a fly on the wall, weaving you in and out of waking "reality" and dreamscapes - the reader is never sure what is really going on most of the time...

If you know your Crowley, you may be slightly disappointed, because you will have already uncovered part of the mystery. I will say no more, because I don't want to spoil anything.

Score one for the master, R.A.W.
0Comment2 of 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 14, 2003
this is the only wilson book i have read thus far. let me say first of all that it TERRIFIED the living daylight out of me until the solution to the mystery was revealed. i was scared to be in a fully lit room by myself.
the esotericism of this book made it a very fun read; i found it hard to stop (except when it got too frightening)! reading masks of the illuminati was definitely worth my time, paranoia, and sleepless nights!
0Comment4 of 5 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on February 12, 2006
You'll have to read the book to understand the title for this review.

This book started off in a rather puzzling way. I had a tough time getting into the book, until it got to the heart of the story. Overall, Einstein and Joyce untangle a rather perplexing mystery, with rather terrestial reasoning. It was a mystery that was unraveled in a rather clever, and interesting way.

The final 30 pages, however, have to be read to believed.

Honestly, I don't really know how I feel about this book. I liked most of it, but the ending left a rather bad taste in my mouth. Really it just comes off as useless jibberish, and its inclusion in this novel went way over this reader's head.
0Comment1 of 1 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.