Uncle Ramsey’s Little Book of Demons – Ramsey Dukes
Fairly fascinating argument for anthropomorphising life’s troubles as demons and engaging with them, from one of modern magic’s great philosophers. Hilarious slaying of any number sacred cows. Incidentally contains the most virulent and vicious offhand Thatcher bashing ever. (eg dropping occasional bombs like “British society is on its deathbed thanks to the Thatcherite cancer rotting its organs while maggots like Blair gorge themselves on the gangrenous residue of her destruction. It is probably too late to save our country, or the world, but this book can at least teach you how to put on a condom and hold your nose before you fuck the corpse.” in what is an another wise witty and genteel ride. 🙂 )
Don’t Sleep, there are snakes! – Daniel Everett
Missionary/linguist went to the Amazon, discovered the tribe he was with were a) unconvertable due to their language/consciousness and b) their language has features which defy Chomskyian grammatical theory.
Hands on Chaos Magic – Andrieh Vitimus.
Best practical book on magic I’ve ever encountered. By miles. To the point that I’d recommend reading some more theory oriented stuff first, just to have more grounding.
The Eight Circuit Brain: Navigational Strategies for the Energetic Body – Antero Alli
20 years on, Alli updates his take on Timothy Leary/Robert Anton Wilson’s 8CB model. The bulk of the book is a practical course dedicated to gaining experiential understanding of the circuits. His key notion of development of the lower circuits being necessary to anchor energetic shocks/experiences on the higher circuits rings true, and accords with my experience. Good shit.
Daemonomania – John Crowley
I am in utter awe at what he is doing. Dude is an absolute master. With this he is now elevated to my pantheon of favourite authors ever, and the Aegypt Quartet (of which this is book 3 (books one and two reviewed back here)) seems like a defining literary event of the age. Of course, it feels like he wrote this just for me…
The Aegypt Quartet is a novel of staggering ambition, split over four novels, that has taken about 24 years to complete (despite the action so far taking up less than a calendar year.) The characterisation and quality of the prose is simply astounding.
This book has given me chills, blown me away intellectually, and scared the crap out of me. For starters. I don’t really have the words to express how impressed I am with what he has achieved; I suspect that will wait until after the final book is read, and I have let it all settle in. But ultimately, what it deals with is the fundamental nature of the mystery of existence, how we create meaning, and the stories we tell ourselves. And it does these things better than anything else I have encountered; uncannily well.
I have the final volume lying around, but am a little afraid to start it.
The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch – Philip K Dick
Felt an urge to read a PKD novel. It happens every now and again. Fun but sort of a let down. Easily one of the weakest of his I’ve read, along with Radio Free Albemuth. The ideas are pretty wild/interesting, and he is using them to explore his usual post-Valis themes, but it somehow didn’t work so well as a narrative – a bit half assed and disinterested.