In recent months I’ve noticed Stephen Greenleaf’s reviews and tweets about my work and have come to appreciate his considered, insightful appraisals and criticisms. So I was chuffed, as they say in the UK, to see that he had written a long, intelligent, and honest review of Beyond the Robot: The Life and Work of Colin Wilson. It’s the kind of review that Colin Wilson himself should have got for some of his books. Notwithstanding Stephen’s reservations about the occult and the afterlife – not to mention Wilson’s own cautious acceptance of them – I feel that if he is not busying himself with more important matters, Wilson may be chuffed – or however one gets on ‘the other side’ – to read what Stephen thinks of the book and its subject himself.
Here is an excellent review of my book Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World, if I do say so myself. It gets the essential point of the book and recognizes that I take Crowley seriously enough to raise important criticisms about him. It is encouraging to see that some readers get what you are aiming at. It makes all the trouble you put into writing worth while. And I bet Crowley would like it too!
I’ve posted another excerpt from my Aleister Crowley: Magick, Rock and Roll, and the Wickedest Man in the World on my blog at The Daily Grail. It’s from Chapter One, “The Unforgivable Sin,” and suggests that far from being seen as mad, bad and dangerous to know, Crowley today has mellowed into a British national treasure, rather like Sir Mick Jagger.
I’ve written an Introduction to Colin Wilson’s mind-and-other-organ-expanding novel The God of the Labyrinth, the third and last in his Gerard Sorme series, following Ritual in the Dark and The Sex Diary of Gerard Sorme. If you haven’t read these you are in for a treat. Wilson can make the telephone book exciting and his ability to analyse the mechanisms of higher consciousness while using the genre of the erotic novel to write gripping prose is nowhere more evident than in this page-turner from the early 70s. In the course of researching the life of eighteenth century philosopher-rake Esmond Donnelly Wilson’s alter-ego Sorme encounters nymphomaniacs, sadists, fetishists, pyromaniacs, sex gurus and a lot more. But the real heart of the book is Sorme’s quest for the secret powers of the mind and his search leads him to the mysterious secret society known as the Cult of the Phoenix. Great fun, great ideas, and enough steamy episodes to keep you up at night.
Here’s an interview with me on Electric Politics about everyone’s favourite Swedish mystic.