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Moonchild Paperback – December 1, 1970


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Moonchild + The Diary of a Drug Fiend + The Book of Lies
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Aleister Crowley (1875-1947), who claimed to be the re-incarnation of Dr. John Dee among others, lived in England from 1875 through 1947. He is the author of several Weiser Books titles, including Book of Thoth, Diary of a Drug Fiend, Magick, Book of Lies, Book of the Law and 777 & Other Qabalistic Writings.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Samuel Weiser (December 1, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877281475
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877281474
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,018 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

This was an . . . interesting book.
K. Sozaeva
Except for the torture of some cats and the mutilation of a goat around page 200, there really wasn't much diabolical or black magical stuff.
Thurston Wilfred Hildebrand, III
This book entertained and that is why I have given it the rating I have.
TJ

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By TNH on August 28, 2009
Format: Paperback
Moonchild is an entertaining book, but structurally it's like a car with a badly wrenched frame. In the early portions, Crowley mostly sticks to his story and develops his plot and characters. Then he hits the stretch just past the midbook where he needs to shape the existing material into a climax and conclusion. That part is harder than it looks. Most people who've read novels but not written them don't realize how difficult it is, because a properly constructed novel will start picking up speed at that point. This tends to keep the readers' attention focused on the story rather than its architectural supports.

You can see where Crowley got frustrated. He trashed the plot he'd been developing, threw in some colorful but underdeveloped and poorly integrated episodes, and revised his characters on the fly with no regard for their prior logic. Then, instead of bringing the story to a proper end, he suddenly announced that WWI had started: lots of noise, lots of urgency, but very little continuity with the earlier parts of the book. The biggest connection is that the denouement features characters who have the same names as characters who appeared earlier. In the last reel they go rushing off in all directions, and the book ends.

Crowley had a lot of talent, but what Moonchild needed was thematic continuity, a coherent storyline, and a couple of solid rewrites.

The reason I referred to it as fanfic in my title is that the main character is Crowley (or rather Crowley as he'd like to be), and many other characters are identifiable members of the occult community of the day. Crowley spends a lot of time scoring points off occultists with whom he'd quarreled. Those parts are amusing at first, especially if you know who he's talking about, but they're also cheap shots.
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36 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Brian Wallace (Co-author of It's Not Your Hair) on April 9, 2003
Format: Paperback
Moonchild is a visionary, metaphysical novel of the highest order. Crowley provides an elegant and mysterious exploration of the realms of magick, love and psychology. Reading Crowley's book is like getting equal doses of poetry, academia and enlightenment.
In the days long before The Celestine Prophecy and others, metaphysical fiction was raw and edgy but also beautiful and wondrously haunting.
Crowley was many men wrapped up into one and certainly a writer of fiction worthy of the highest praise.
Wherever you are you crazy shining diamond, we thank you for this book.
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24 of 28 people found the following review helpful By Alan Draven on May 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
Crowley was an occultist and a practitioner of Magick (no, the "K" is not a typo) and was often dubbed a Satanist. I think maybe people labeled him as such because it's human nature to fear what we do not comprehend. He was wise and this book proves it; he knew about the "Law of Attraction" which is now gathering a lot of attention with the release of The Secret DVD and book. He himself, wrote a book titled "The Book of the Law" while under trance.

Moonchild is certainly not light reading; it's a bit disjointed and reads more like a handbook on magick, featuring many insights into this fascinating secret world (dare I say secret society?). If I had to classify it, I'd say this book belongs in the Dark Fantasy genre. It chronicles the adventures of a young magician named Cyril Grey and his mentor Simon Iff, along with Lisa La Giuffria. She will be drawn to both the good and dark sides of a magickal war. We follow Grey as he initiates Lisa into the mysterious practices of Magick and we witness Lisa's anguish grow in reaction to the lack of reciprocal feelings from Grey and watch her stand by Douglas's side, the leader of the Black Lodge, Grey and Iff's sworn enemies.

I enjoyed much of the various lessons on Magick and the parody of the higher class, society's rich and self-important folks who think themselves the centre of the universe. I did find it a bit distracting from the overall story; the book's main plot often gets lost in all the characters' discussions and gossiping. Although most of the distractions are surprisingly interesting (this says a lot about Crowely's ability to spin an engaging yarn), I wish he would've stuck closer to the central intrigue. Nonetheless, it makes for an entertaining and educational read.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By "toxicomaniac" on February 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
Yes, there's some wisdom in it as well, but I think this novel reads more like an old slapstick movie. Crowley cleverly makes fun of the fad among the rich at that time: fooling around with the occult. The black magicians are hilarious, the Great Beast at its silliest.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Leon Reino (leonreino@hotmail.com) on July 28, 1999
Format: Paperback
I've read this book at least ten times and I've never seen the name George Gamow before. This is an excellent book. If you are unfamiliar to Magick you will still enjoy it. You may enjoy it even more than I did the first time. If you are a novice I feel obligated to tell you the characters are based on real people. Edwin Arthwait is Arthur Edward Waite; you should be able to figure out the rest. Arthwait is my favorite character. His use of the English language is hilarious. This book is extremely well written and like Diary of a Drug Fiend you need not be interested in the subject matter to appreciate Crowley's beautiful writing. There are a few footnotes and some obscure names but these shouldn't ruin your enjoyment of this novel.
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