Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson

“Colin Wilson came to a sudden and unparalleled celebrity with his first book, The Outsider, in 1956, and after that was strenuously ignored by every respectable critic. So much for respectability. Gary Lachman has written an intellectual biography of a writer who might be called the only optimistic existentialist, and done him justice. Wilson was always far better and more interesting than fashionable opinion claimed, and in Lachman he has found a biographer who can respond to the whole range of his work with sympathy and understanding, in a style which, like Wilson’s own, is always immensely readable. I enjoyed Beyond the Robot very much.” —Philip Pullman

“An enthralling account of the life and work of Colin Wilson, the often controversial writer who explored the nature of human consciousness in dozens of books … Lachman writes about philosophical and mystical ideas with exceptional grace, forcefulness and clarity.”—The Washington Post

“Gary Lachman’s biography Beyond the Robot… is likely to be both the most comprehensive and the most favorable treatment Wilson will ever receive. Lachman treats Wilson’s oeuvre as integral to his life, which it certainly was, and takes great pains to express the main themes of his work…Lachman’s biography does a great service not only in summing up the life of Colin Wilson, but in taking his ideas and setting them out in an accessible form. Wilson was a lucid and engaging writer, but his ideas are spread across so many books that only the most patient inquiry is going to unearth them. Lachman, in presenting them here, has made sure that they will continue to live.” – Parabola

“In Beyond the Robot Lachman not only tells the story of Wilson’s life in unprecedented detail, he also interprets Wilson’s major works and, in a number of cases, extends Wilson’s analyses of phenomena in new and original ways. Lachman’s long personal acquaintance with his subject lends vital and intimate qualities to his discussion. In this way, Lachman takes to heart Wilson’s principle that thought and the thinker cannot be separated, and also that every artist or philosopher is first and foremost an individual person in a particular historical and cultural situation.” – The University Bookman