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The Illuminatus! Trilogy: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
Well, the book has a surprise ending, that comes a couple months after you read the last page. I didn't want to ruin it for you, but here goes: ... Every twenty pages or so, Shea and Wilson try to win you over to a new belief system, only to tear it down a few pages later. If any of it makes you a true believer, then you weren't paying attention. Thinking for yourself has nothing to do with seeing fnords, finding erotic undertones in Catholic imagery, or getting yourself a Libertarian woman. It certainly has nothing to do with accepting the existence of a massive global conspiracy. Thinking for yourself is just that- maintaining a healthy skepticism, but keeping an open mind at the same time. You can decide what you want believe, but you must also remember that you will never have the complete picture.
Sure, this novel (trilogy) provides a taste of hallucinogenic mind-expansion on its most superficial level. But dig a little deeper and you'll find much more, not in the words of Shea and Wilson, but within (and possibly without) your own mind. The biggest mistake you can make is to assume that 'Illuminatus' is the end of your journey, when it is probably just the first step.Read more ›
The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a combination of philosophy, science, occultism, and obscure ideas that is unlike anything I have read before. It's also a wonderful combination of fact and fiction, so the wise reader will enter with a skeptical but open mind. I say skeptical because they should not BELIEVE any of the novel, but they should be open to ideas because the novel will appall them otherwise. I guess you could actually say that being skeptical but open is the whole point of RAW's philosophy.
The review from Rolling Stone on the page of reviews on the first page describes the novel as a "shaggy dog joke," and you won't really understand how true that is until you read the book. The basic storyline is the storyline that has been repeated throughout mythology and history: "good versus evil." Of course, being a RAW novel, sides get flipped and everybody seems to be a secret agent working for twenty four different conspiracies. It can basically be described as very funny and blasphemous in the best possible sense. Your basic view of "reality" will probably not survive this book.
And, as a word to the wise (or the foolish), don't buy the paperback version of Illuminatus! that is available these days. Get a hardback copy; an 800 page paperback gets destroyed fairly easily, as I've come to find out.
The story, or stories, hinge around a search for the truth about the Illuminati, a worldwide conspiracy that has apparently existed for centuries. Wilson complied a great deal of information, as well as tid bits from letters sent to him by crazies when he was working as the letters editor at Playboy magazine. The result is a book that leaves you wondering where fact ends and satire begins. That is, of course, the point. Wilson is out to blow your mind.
Professional cynics, who delight in nay-saying the creativity of others without producing anything of their own as an alternative, will find the book sentimental and a bit silly. For those with truly open minds, however, the Illuminatus Trilogy will be a book to read many times over. There is enough subtlety to keep you as busy as a thorough reading of Finnegan's Wake. The hidden messages and allusions seem to multiply each time you read.
You may even see the Fnords!
This trilogy (you need to read all three for it to make sense) is not an easy read, but a very rewarding one. The only problem is it can be confusing, and you have to stick with it before you get hooked. The first 100 pages or so may or may not seem slow or uninteresting, or just plain confused. Stick with it though. It's worth it. I enjoyed this book immensely. It's definitely not light or easy, but very rewarding.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I liked the more direct approach of Prometheus Rising and Cosmic Trigger, but these were fun to navigate as well.Published 14 days ago by Ryan W Brossette
True brilliance from RAW. This story is perfect conspiracy porn, designed to make you go "wait is this real" before immediately mocking you for believing it. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
read it. especially if you read it years ago; you need to get it back in your head.Published 3 months ago by Paul May
This book's plot is almost incomprehensible. It's characters are cardboard thin. It's one of the best books I've ever read.Published 5 months ago by Ross Taben
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