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Das Auge in der Pyramide (Illuminatus! #1)

3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,699 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
"If baseball can have a designated hitter, why can't science fiction have a designated underground classic? Well, apparently it can, and Illuminatus! is its name." - Booklist

It was a deadly mistake. Joseph Malik, editor of a radical magazine, had snooped into rumors about an ancient secret society that was still alive and kicking. Now his offices have been bombed, he's mis
...more
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Published 2001 by Rowohlt (first published 1975)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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J.G. Keely
A sprawling, many-faceted, satirical series, Illuminatus! is difficult to rate and more difficult to review. There are so many aspects which one could address, so many points of divergence, ideas, philosophies, and influences, but at it's heart, it's a rollicking adventure story that, despite it's many political and social themes, rarely takes itself too seriously.

I can certainly say I liked it, but it's hard to say how much. Some parts were better than others, but there are many parts to be con
...more
Faith
Mar 31, 2010 Faith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Take Douglas Adams, give him an unhealthy interest in conspiracy theory, then spike his water supply with acid, and you have an idea of the trippy deliciousness that is this book. I had expected a relatively serious Illuminati exposing mystery novel, and was happily surprised. Dan Brown fans should steer clear. Well clear.

I would like to throw in that I downloaded it from Audible.com, and while you hear background noise every now and then, overall the production is great, and the actors reading
...more
Chumbert Squurls
There are two responses to the Illuminatus! trilogy. You either really love it or totally abhor it. The people who love it say it changed their whole way of thinking. They say that this series opened the door to a philosophical journey. The people who hate this book say that it's just a bunch of of nostalgic hippie hooey. I think it's somewhere between these two polar opposites. There is no plot. The characters are thinner than the pulp paper the book is printed on. There are misogynistic depict ...more
Ana Syromenos
Jan 29, 2016 Ana Syromenos rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Is everybody screwing with me? Did I get a joke edition of this book and no one told me? Am I missing the joke?

Everyone has told me that Robert Anton Wilson was a hilarious, brilliant philosopher and that his Illuminatus! Trilogy was his magnum opus. Having read Prometheus Rising and found it entertaining, I decided that I'd delve further into his works and try out his "best work".

So what the hell is this? This incoherent, pseduo-spiritual, William Burroughs wanking to the Book of Shadows bullsh
...more
Ken Parkinson
Jan 28, 2010 Ken Parkinson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
My advice to authors everywhere: "do not drop acid while writing a book."
Bran
Aug 23, 2014 Bran rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: loaned
Tripppppppppy! Most all of the reviews I have read touch on the fact that it is a crap conspiracy novel and complain about the change in perspective without warning. The reason why I picked up this book was mainly due to Discordianism, of which I am a big fan. It has lots of juicy sexy scenes and lines from the Principia Discordia littered throughout. This makes for a great read, to me. The rapid change in perspectives is one that I've never seen before and has piqued my interest in this book. I ...more
Harry Rutherford
I got the Illuminatus Trilogy on my kindle ages ago, after reading a biography [bandography?] of The KLF (The KLF: Chaos, Magic and the Band Who Burned a Million Pounds). I finally got round to trying it, by which time I couldn’t remember what to expect from it.

At first I thought it was more enjoyable—funnier—than I expected, as well as more formally interesting: it switches between people, places and times from paragraph to paragraph. But after a while, all that switching just got confusing, an
...more
Evan
Aug 10, 2013 Evan rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
As the book says itself, it's "a dreadfully long monster of a book... The authors are utterly incompetent - no sense of style or structure at all. It starts out as a detective story, switches to science-fiction, then goes off into the supernatural... And the time sequence is all out of order in a very pretentious imitation of Faulkner and Joyce. Worst yet, it has the most raunchy sex scenes..." This is an assessment I'd have to agree with. The book is simply poorly wrought. It's almost entirely ...more
Brohanu
This appears to be a book that consciously avoids being understood in the way a reader wants to understand. To give you a hint of what I'm talking about, there's a scene where a book editor has to review the actual book that contains him, and it goes through his grievances with the book and his ultimate dismissal of the thing as pretentious and worthless. The book actually stops halfway through and tells you that it's terrible. Which is pretty funny, but I can't imagine I understand why it's the ...more
Chris DePoy
Feb 16, 2014 Chris DePoy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
We begin the story with an investigation into a random bombing of a pet store and the disappearance of their owners. However, what follows is a trail that reads like a greatest hits package of all conspiracy theories with heavy doses of Sex Magick. Although this sounds like a fun story to dig into, be warned that it can be difficult or a confusing read. It is wrote with beatnik stream of consciousness style which transitions from locations, perspectives, and narrators without warning or pause in ...more
Mandy
Feb 23, 2015 Mandy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow.
Maybe sometime I'll get around to more of a review but, for now, I'll just say that before I read the next parts of this trilogy I have the undeniable urge to read this first all over again and map out every character, place, and literary or philosophical reference. Sigh.
Paul
Dec 30, 2008 Paul rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absurdists and discordianists
The classic uber-conspiracy. If all the conspiracies you had ever heard of were true, then this is what you would have.

Dan Brown this isn't. This is not a conventional novel. This is discordian.

All Hail Eris!
Niina
This book tries very hard to come out as clever, I almost feel like I should give it more respect just for that. I won't, though.

Illuminatus! toyed around with time-space-continuum, stuck-up characterization, pornography, literary ideals and regulations in terms of paragraphs, smooth transitions and chapter-length and ingredients, so it's given I was a little confused while reading this. Looking back, I think I should have stopped after the first fifty pages as by then it was already clear the b
...more
Roman
Jun 03, 2015 Roman rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
It's slow, it's disjointed, it's basically a couple of authors letting down their hair by making a shitty book to appeal to people like themselves. If you only care for good prose, you're going to have some problems. To me, it felt like an inside joke by a bunch of people interested and amused by something that doesn't interest/amuse me - conspiracy theories. Personally, I feel like conspiracy theories aren't worth my time. Ergo, this book isn't worth my time. But if you like wit, snark and amus ...more
Sue
May 23, 2015 Sue rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
WHAT THE FUCK?! That is really the only appropriate reaction to this book. Douglas Adams meets Hunter S. Thompson and it is nothing but paranoid, nonsensical fun. This book made me think more than any other I've read this year and am definitely going to continue with this series, after I read something mainstream to reboot my reading mind. I wish I could go into detail about why I loved this book, but there is no way to do that and make sense at the same time. You'll either love it or loathe it, ...more
Megan Cutler
Dec 16, 2015 Megan Cutler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started reading this book. It's heavy; the constantly shifting perspective makes the narrative difficult to follow. It's like trying to braid several threads together while new ones crop up, and it's difficult to keep track of them all without doubling back. Even when you pay close attention to the details, some threads seem nonsensical. But each individual plot happens in more or less chronological order, which helps.

Don't let the amount of drugs and sex in t
...more
Kristian
Jan 24, 2016 Kristian rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hacer un análisis detallado a un libro como este, quizá no sea la tarea indicada para alguien como yo, pero haciendo el intento... Creo que el libro tiene muchas fisuras en su estructura. Por momentos la lectura parece cambiar radicalmente de un genero a otro. Lo que al principio se muestra como una novela pésima, se transforma luego en crípticas especulaciones y teorías ocultistas/conspirativas muy interesantes, es como si me dieran a leer de repente un folleto para unirme a los discordianos y ...more
Max Ostrovsky
Jun 27, 2007 Max Ostrovsky rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: pop, fiction
"It's a dreadfully long monster of a book and I certainly won't have time to read it, but I'm giving it a thorough skimming. The authors are utterly incompetent - no sense of style or structure at all. It starts out as a detective story, switches to science-fiction, then goes off into the supernatural, and is full of the most detailed information of dozens of ghastly boring subjects. And the time sequence is all out of order in a very pretentious imitation of Faulkner and Joyce. Worst yet, it ha ...more
J.j. Metsavana
Sep 18, 2013 J.j. Metsavana rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Kohati oli lahedaid ideid - kohati on aga raamat liiga hüplik, kus palju erinevaid liine ning tegevusajastuid ja kaugeksjäävat ameerikaga seotud teemat. Näiteks jäid esialgu üsna segaseks John Dillingeriga seotud vihjed. Hiljem vaatasin järgi, et üks kohalik Rummu Jüri oli. Kogu see sotsialismi, lsd ja kanepi ning mässava töölisklassi-hipide teema on ka liiga kauge, et väga sügavalt vaimustada. Mingihetk, kui üks tegelastest ronis kuldse allveelaeva peale, oli tunne, et "oh raisk, nüüd saab hoo ...more
Silvio Curtis
I've certainly never read anything like this book. In fact, it started out sort of like some of my more agitated dreams, then got way crazier. I'm guessing it's most like the hallucinations of a cynical and paranoid heterosexual male hippie, high on goodness knows what, early in the 1970s in the USA. There's a reason why it's divided into five trips instead of chapters. As a matter of fact, it's sometimes hard to tell what is the characters' own hallucinations and what (if anything) is their rea ...more
Tomo20
Mar 19, 2012 Tomo20 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

This book was refreshing, funny, clever, original and engaging. And unsatisfying, repetitive, lacking in credibility and infuriating. Perhaps I have a low tolerance for the quirks and failings inherent in any conspiracy story; the fact that after a while there is less point in believing anything, as it will be disproved soon enough, the necessary unreliablility of various points of view and the building of straw men to make a point further on.

Robert Anton Wilson is a charming presence throughou
...more
Mauro Brenna
If you think this confusing book will improve in some way after 80 or 100 pages, here an extract from page 275 of the trilogy version: "We accept Bugs Bunny as an exemplar of Mummu here, too, ...".
I mean, it is really all like this. It has a very thin plot, that you can hint by reading the whole book, but honestly it is not written well, nor it is witty or profound. Just a mass of random facts, sex, and nonsense.
Franco Vite
Come dice il mio amico "nero" su Pynchon (http://nero.noblogs.org/post/2007/03/...), è impossibile recensire questo incredibile romanzo, primo di tre, tradotto e pubblicato in Italia dai tipi della Shake Edizioni Underground (http://www.shake.it).
C'è tutto, in questo libro: la storia dell'uomo e quella del '900; la fantascienza e la sociologia; il complottismo e il taoismo. Ma, soprattutto c'è, sotto forma di romanzo, il più bell'esempio di cultura freak underground americana in cui mi sia mai i
...more
Wisnu
Apr 23, 2015 Wisnu rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's clearly that the way they wrote this book is different. I think this is the first time I read a novel that written using this kind of style. First time I read this book, I was confused. Then I started to understanding the author's writing style. It's fine actually. I just realize that I need to dig deeper about author writing style and read more books, because each of them has unique and different ways
Keith Peck
Sep 06, 2015 Keith Peck rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's got everything! Atlantis! Nuclear Weapons! Fernando Po! Singing Dolphins! Computer programming! Satanism! Rosicrucianism! Rastafarianism! Robert A. Heinlein! William S. Burroughs and Allen Ginserb!The Silmarillion! Read this book and you'll understand how IT ALL FITS TOGETHER! They might call me paranoid, but sanity is merely a state of mind.
Daniel Parks
Aug 04, 2013 Daniel Parks rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A reluctant four stars for the first novel in this poor man's Burroughs trilogy of jumbled, schizoid concepts and drug-induced musings on the hidden nature of reality. Undoubtedly I missed out on much of the book by listening to it while at work, so this review should be taken with a grain of salt, but for me there was little here that hadn't already been done much better by the likes of Burroughs and PKD. There were funny moments (the voice actor doing his version of the singing dolphin was esp ...more
Jessica
Mar 25, 2014 Jessica rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"Professor Timothy Leary is saying with maddening serenity, 'But science is the most ecstatic kick of all. The intelligence of the galaxy is revealed in every atom, every gene, every cell.'"

ONLY THE MADMAN IS ABSOLUTELY SURE



Such a fun read.
Franco Vite
Come dice il mio amico "nero" su Pynchon (http://nero.noblogs.org/post/2007/03/...), è impossibile recensire questo incredibile romanzo, primo di tre, tradotto e pubblicato in Italia dai tipi della Shake Edizioni Underground (http://www.shake.it).
C'è tutto, in questo libro: la storia dell'uomo e quella del '900; la fantascienza e la sociologia; il complottismo e il taoismo. Ma, soprattutto c'è, sotto forma di romanzo, il più bell'esempio di cultura freak underground americana in cui mi sia mai i
...more
Voss
Dec 17, 2014 Voss rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Carino.
Divertente.
Un "vorrei ma non posso" a metà strada tra Burroughs e Eco.
Tutto sommato una piacevole parodia dei tanti testi complottistici che ancora a desso vanno tanto di moda.
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Robert Joseph Shea was a novelist and journalist best known as co-author with Robert Anton Wilson of the science fantasy trilogy Illuminatus!. It became a cult success and was later turned into a marathon-length stage show put on at the British National Theatre and elsewhere. In 1986 it won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award. Shea went on to write several action novels based in exotic historical se ...more
More about Robert Shea...

Other Books in the Series

Illuminatus! (3 books)
  • The Golden Apple (Illuminatus 2)
  • Leviathan (Illuminatus 3)

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“She was a woman with red hair and green eyes— the traits which Satan supposedly relished most in mortal females.” 102 likes
“But they can rule by fraud, and by fraud eventually acquire access to the tools they need to finish the job of killing off the Constitution.'

'What sort of tools?'

'More stringent security measures. Universal electronic surveillance. No-knock laws. Stop and frisk laws. Government inspection of first-class mail. Automatic fingerprinting, photographing, blood tests, and urinalysis of any person arrested before he is charged with a crime. A law making it unlawful to resist even unlawful arrest. Laws establishing detention camps for potential subversives. Gun control laws. Restrictions on travel. The assassinations, you see, establish the need for such laws in the public mind. Instead of realizing that there is a conspiracy, conducted by a handful of men, the people reason—or are manipulated into reasoning—that the entire population must have its freedom restricted in order to protect the leaders. The people agree that they themselves can't be trusted.”
49 likes
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