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Pronoia Is the Antidote for Paranoia: How the Whole World Is Conspiring to Shower You with Blessings Paperback – May 24, 2005

4.7 out of 5 stars 277 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


"I've seen the future of American literature and its name is Rob Brezsny."
- Tom Robbins, author of Another Roadside Attraction, Jitterbug Perfume, and Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates

"Brilliant! Absorbing! Wildly useful! Rob Brezsny gets my nomination for best prophet in a starring role. He's a script doctor for the soul."
-Marisa Tomei, Academy Award-winning actress

"I am deeply inspired by the illuminated words of Rob Brezsny. He is a word wizard for the soul."
-SARK, bestselling author of Succulent Wild Woman and many other books

"What's amazing is how Brezsny's prose remains invigorating in the transition from weekly astrology to larger scope writing. The prose is still poetic, circular, almost dancing, combining the narrative voices of Anais Nin, Tom Robbins, David Ignatow, and a host of ancient mystics."
-Rain Taxi

"Brezsny holds his own place next to other cultural shamans such as Robert Anton Wilson, Timothy Leary, Reverend Ivan Stang, William S. Burroughs, and Ken Kesey."

"Like a mutant love-child of Jack Kerouac and Anais Nin, Rob Brezsny writes with devilish humor, spiritual audacity, and erotic intensity. The Televisionary Oracle is a kick-ass gnostic tale. Prepare to be astonished."
-Jay Kinney, author of Hidden Wisdom

"A book so weird it might drive you stark raving sane."
-Robert Anton Wilson

About the Author

Rob Brezsny writes "Free Will Astrology," a syndicated weekly column that reaches nine million readers in over 100 publications, including the Village Voice, where it has appeared every week since January 1999. It is also published on his website, www.freewillastrology.com, and is distributed through a weekly email newsletter with 26,500+ subscribers.

When Utne Reader named Brezsny a "Culture Hero," it observed: "With a blend of spontaneous poetry, feisty politics, and fanciful put-on, Brezsny breathes new life into the tabloid mummy of zodiac advice columns."

In its profile of Brezsny, The New York Times quoted a reader who compared his writing to that of Tom Robbins. The horoscopes "are like little valentines, buoyant and spilling over with mischievousness. They're a soul prognosis."

Before his other book, The Televisionary Oracle, Brezsny's enduring artistic artifacts were music albums, one created as a solo artist and three with the band World Entertainment War, which recorded for MCA. World Entertainment War's albums was nominated for a "Bammie," California's version of the Grammies, and benefited from the promotional wizardry of rock's top impresario, Bill Graham, who managed World Entertainment War until his death.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: Frog Books (June 3, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583941231
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583941232
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 0.9 x 10.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (277 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #566,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By O. Merce Brown HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 13, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I don't think I've ever come across a book anything like Pronoia before. It is large, chock full of information of the positive sort (as opposed to of the negative sort). This is because "pronoia" is the opposite of "paranoid" (when you think everyone is out to get you)---you think every is out to shower you with blessings! The book is written to celebrate pronoia is a variety of ways, all of which make you feel good.

The author, Rob Brezskny, writes in a lyrical, irreverant, wildly unconventional and beautiful style. I've never seen anyone else write like that---he is unique. The book sort of reminds me in a way of Ram Dass' "Be Here Now", a cult classic, and an amazing consciousness book of the time that is still in print today. I think that Pronoia will be as popular as that classic book.

Pronoia is an experience, not just a book. And you can GET the experience from just reading the book! It can be read linearly, or bit by bit from time to time, with equally good results. There are many interactive sections, provocative questions, exercises to try, ideas for journalling, etc. throughout the book. These interactive things aren't traditional exercises you'd find in a "normal" book, though. They are wild, wacky, and wonderful---just like the book!

The book is quite irreverent, yet it beautifully captures the God I worship in its pages---not the God of any one religion, but of all of us. He thinks up interesting new names for this supreme being like "the Divine Wow"...and you experience the love of this higher power throughout the book, not in ways you'd expect. There is much humor throughout too---it is a laugh-out loud kind of book.
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Format: Paperback
Pronoia is a philosophy book of a most unusual stripe. It takes a lot of the ideas that Breszny has developed on the Free Will Astrology site and particularly that he included as themes in his amazing novel, The Televisionary Oracle, and expands on them, shaping them into a chaotically coherent philosophy of life. The style is undeniably Breszny-- quirky, irreverent, soulful, linguistically athletic, challenging, hopeful.

This is not your college Philosophy 101 class's philosophy book. It's structured rather freewheelingly, part creative workbook (including spaces for you to write your own thoughts and even your own chapter), part essay collection, part word art (noting the inclusion of "homeopathic medicine wheels" that cram negative information in a circular paragraph enclosed by healing symbols and words), part exuberant poetry slam, part instruction manual for the inner development of "rowdy bliss". Big and packed full of interesting information and musings, illustrated lavishly with quirky graphics and nifty fonts, it is the kind of book that you can either read straight through or flip around, seeing where the pages fall in a somewhat bibliomantic attempt to receive an eccentric oracle. One thing's for sure, one reading is not enough to completely absorb everything this book contains, but it will be a pleasure to go back and re-read many times in the future.

No doubt the less whimsically inclined would regard this book with a raised eyebrow and no little incredulity; Breszny's a holy fool, a sacred clown, and he can be downright outrageous and goofy even when he's at his most heartfelt and profound. Cynics may find his relentless optimism over the top.
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2 Comments 118 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Paperback
Rarely am I inspired to jump in here and review a book. "PRONOIA" leaves me no choice. The book is amazing. Rob Brezsny has created a manifesto for those of us who have always doubted that we are doomed by Original Sin. "PRONOIA" affirms that the Universe is fundamentally friendly and conspiring to give you exactly what you need.

Rob Brezsny slays the cult of doom and replaces fear with joy.

There should be more books like "PRONOIA" published today, but so far there aren't: this is the only one.

You don't need The Church, A Savior, A Guru, Ayahuasca, DMT or Psilocybin Mushrooms to "break on through to the other side." Brezsny takes you there in the pages of "PRONOIA."

It's one of those books that you don't even have to read lineary at all: flip it open to any page and know that the Universe has directed you to this specific thought!

Bravo, Brezsny! You created something exceptional here.

"PRONOIA" is the best book I've read in the 21st Century!

Chris Duel
News-Talk 550 KTSA
San Antonio, Texas
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Format: Paperback
It's like dreaming in a sunbeam being bombarded with visions that soak into you and change your outlook for the better. I've been reading it for days now and always finding new things. It's not necessary to read it in a linear fashion. Get this book, it's refreshing and good.
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The premise of this book is to look at your interactions with the world from a different perspective than what most people exercise. Rather than thinking that the whole world is out to get you, the author suggests the idea that maybe the universe is working in a vast conspiracy to help you. When you get right down to it, the thought is both liberating and uplifting. As someone who is still trying to shake off the prudishness of 20 years in the Lutheran Church, portions of the book concerning sexuality were a little disturbing, but not so much as to sour the whole experience. This is an innovative piece that isn't really easy to characterize. Sometimes it rambles a little, but it still ranks highly as a uniquely exhilarating book. If you are weary of news of war and destruction, this is the antidote.
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