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Masks of the Illuminati Paperback – May 5, 1990
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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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 !
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Humorous. It will appeal especially to anyone who has an interest.in the occult. Wilson is extremely knowledgeable about the Western Esoteric Tradition, and it shows in this... Read morePublished 9 months ago by R. Saylor
This is absolutely as good as Illuminatus and Schrodinger's Cat, but not as long. I just read this for the first time and I have no doubt that I will be rereading it for the rest... Read morePublished 23 months ago by Juli Loveland
Shows so much as what is going on. i.e. Like the Tea Party. "The Revolution will not be Televised". The Cole Brothers own all the stations.Published on August 30, 2013 by MoDirect
There will be some spoilers here. I'll provide ample warning.
The author seems to really understand the ins and outs of these secret societies. Read more
For Robert Anton Wilson, this book is a little more straightforward. A
distant relative of Habard Celine encounters yet another conspiracy. Read more