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Pharmako/Gnosis Paperback – January 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-1562791308 ISBN-10: 1562791303

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Mercury House (January 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1562791303
  • ISBN-13: 978-1562791308
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 1.1 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,712,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Essential reading, a modern classic."
—Stephen Silberman, Wired Magazine

"The poet of plantsÉPendel may be America’s answer to Blake, Coleridge and Wordsworth…."
—Emily Green, Los Angeles Times

"Whereas all other drug encyclopaediaists are accompanied by excessive slyness, the seemingly free verse of Dale Pendell is constrained by compulsive accuracy, to paraphrase Zarathustra's Hom Yost, by the (scruples) that drive forth truth."
—David Flattery, author of Haoma and Harmaline

"A beat alchemist working textual DJ decks."
—Erik Davis, Bookforum --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

Cynthia Hogue is the Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry in the Department of English at Arizona State University. Her other collections are Flux, The Never Wife, The Woman in Red, and Where the Parallels Cross.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

55 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Silberman on April 15, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Pharmako/Gnosis" is the crown jewel of Pendell's superb trilogy, and indispensable reading for anyone interested in psychedelics, botany, anthropology, and earnest inquiry into the nature of existence. Covering LSD, mescaline and peyote, DMT, psilocybin mushrooms, esoterica like Syrian rue and even xenon inhalation, as well as other signposts on what he calls "the Poison Path," Pendell continues his profound investigation of mankind's relationship with plants and chemicals that can seem like helpful teachers, demons, pernicious addictions -- or all three at once. (The truly addictive substances are mostly discussed in the previous two volumes of the trilogy, "Pharmako/Poeia" and "Pharmako/Dynamis.")

Even if you never touch the stuff yourself, Pendell's trilogy is worth reading as one of the most graceful and powerful breakthroughs in prose in many years. Combining poetry, deep history, science, psychological insight, and Zen-style humor in the face of "the Great Matter," Pendell has created a voice that is wholly his own. He can be radiantly tender in one passage, saltily irreverent in another, and certain sections of this book -- such as "Splitting the Hair" and "The Two-Dragon Problem" -- come as close to saying the Unsayable as any literature I know, outside of such Zen classics as "The Blue Cliff Record." A section called "The Hallucinogenic Properties of Maize" is a brief tour-de-force that should bring a knowing smile to fans of "The Matrix" and other works that suggest that what we call normal waking consciousness is worthy of closer scrutiny.

Like the Poison Path itself, Pendell's books are not for everyone.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Byron Cale on January 30, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have read, from the bible, the koran, the bagdavad gita and many other religious tomes
Dale Pendels trilogy is the first to have touched my soul and I'm not even sure that was his intention in the first place. I have purchaced two sets of these books, one to lend out and one set to have close by. I loved them. Great work Mr Pendell. Should be in the school curriculum.
Skeet
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By JoBethSexton on January 16, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is quite an adventure and a wonderful book for those who already have some knowledge of plants and their Latin names, uses and history. I highly recommend it to the intermediate student. A beginner may have a little trouble following but it is a well written text with a highly detailed section on each plant, genus, plant uses in history and in modern day times, as well as the occasional bit of trivia. In some places, it's almost as if the author has had a personal relationship with the spirit of each plant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Reader on February 21, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
These three books are beautiful.

Poetic, informative, sneakily subversive, and personal.

People looking for a straight textbook read might not like them as much, but I couldn't put them down.
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By Patrick Baies on March 21, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is poetry. I also did not expect to receive the Expanded Edition. That was a pleasant surprise. Kazoo.
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By Elijah on December 27, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
One of my all time favorite books. Highly informative, insightful, and a thrill to read. Dale Pendell has traversed some interesting mindscapes indeed.
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