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Portable Darkness: An Aleister Crowley Reader Paperback – July 17, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Solar Books; Revised edition (July 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971457875
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971457874
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,449,571 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 35 people found the following review helpful By brian j on June 4, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I can't believe I have to be the first reviewer of this book. This is, in my opinion, the best place to start if you want to know what Crowley was all about. It has a very wide sampling of his voluminuos writing, with academic commentary. Much of Crowley's work is difficult to understand because he assumes you are as educated as he is, and because he frequently makes jokes designed to misleed and outrage those with a puritanical leaning. Having someone who has obviously spent some time studying Crowley and his ideas as a guide is an excellent benefit. Even though this book is out of print it seems to be widely and cheaply available, so buy a copy already.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By MWebb TOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 1, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I looked at this book in first edition printing back in 1989, I thought it was a terribly skimpy selection of Crowley's writings. I was also concerned that the heavy editorial content interwoven with the selections would skew a natural, spontaneous reading of Crowley's work. At that time I felt that reading Crowley in situ instead of in anthologies was a much better approach. Now I have come around to see "Portable Darkness" not so much as a selection of Crowley's work, but as an extended critical essay on Crowley with sufficient original source material (Crowley's own words) thrown in to make an informed judgment on whether you like Crowley, and on whether the editor/commentator is making good points. As such it is completely without precedent and invaluable. The author is an extremely intelligent man.

I should also add that the material on so-called western tantra is very complete in itself and includes some works simply not available elsewhere, unless you are a member of an occult group. For this reason alone, it is an invaluable addition to any occultist's library, particularly occultists with a respect for Crowley.

If you want to round out your Crowley library, I highly recommend "Book 4, Magick in Theory and Practice," in the very usefully annotated edition prepared by the OTO head Hymanaeus Beta; "Magick without Tears," less profound that Book 4, but easier to read; "Gems from the Equinox" which purportedly (but does not quite) includes all the magickal writings from Crowley's original opus "The Equinox;" and "Holy Books of Thelema" which includes all the "revealed" or transmitted, Class A writings.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 8, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I too am surprised at the lack of reviews. This is one of the best collections and discussions of Crowley's work from an intellectual point of view that I've ever seen. I purchased my copy when it was first published and it remains one of my favorite books on the subject of "Uncle Al". I'd easily give it 6 stars out of 5!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By XIII Warrior on May 22, 2009
Format: Paperback
The Beast was an iconclast. In this handy volume you have a flavour of his idea: whatever the source, whatever the reason, whatever the idea, smash it up then put it back together. If it's really strong it won't break. It'll bounce off the floor and smash you in the face. Crowley was notorious for abusing his disciples. The reason he did this was he did'nt want disciples, he wanted empowered fearless individuals like himself capable of exploring the heights and depth of humanity and beyond. He 'broke on through to the other side' and in doing so actually broke himself. He was a pioneer for the rest of us. This is a sketch map not a treasure hunters guide to his pilgrim's progress.
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