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Aleister Crowley: The Nature of the Beast

3.53  ·  Rating Details  ·  128 Ratings  ·  7 Reviews
Poet, Magician, Mountaineer, Polemicist & Pornographer, Aleister Crowley was the most famous, or infamous, name in 20th century occultism. The popular image of him as, in the words of Francis King, "an insatiable sexual athlete, a pimp who lived on the immoral earnings of his girl-friends, & a junkie who daily took enough heroin to kill a roomful of people", has a ...more
Paperback, 174 pages
Published June 28th 1993 by Harpercollins Publishers (London) (first published 1987)
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David
Crowley was a certifiable Blakean eccentric who live a life wholly alien to the received social norms of his time, or this time. Worth a look if only for the wonderful courage and foolish displayed by Aleister Crowley and his sympathetic biographer.
Maureen
Nov 28, 2009 Maureen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"There is a feeling that a man who deserts his wife and child and sacrifices a cat and forces his mistress to submit to intercourse with a goat is somehow creating his own bad luck".
Erik Graff
Jun 02, 2012 Erik Graff rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Wilson/Crowley fans
Recommended to Erik by: John Elkin
Shelves: biography
Rick Strong gave me a copy of The Confessions of Aleister Crowley years ago. I tried to read it, managed about a hundred pages, gave up. What I already knew about the man, some of it from Wilson's own The Occult, did not dispose me to expect much. I prefer biographies that are either inspiring or at least about world-historical individuals and their times. Crowley, it seemed, was neither.

Looking for books beyond the pale, beyond those already in my own library and within the ambit of my usual re
...more
Andres
This is not a bad book by any stretch, but it is a very short one. It really does not do justice to a person as complex as Crowley was. That said, it does have valuable insights and a good chronology of the high (and low) points in the Master Therion's life. I do not agree with every single conclusion the author arrived at, but then again, everyone is entitled to their opinion and at least the facts were stated and available for each to form his own.

If you are going to read just one book on Crow
...more
Tosh
Jan 15, 2008 Tosh rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The ultimate angry 'outsider' man writing about the ultra inside 'outsider' figure in British aesthetic and social culture. What makes this book interesting is Colin Wilson who by the way is a classic pop culture historian as well as true crime fanatic. This book seems to be the ultimate match-up - the only thing missing is Kenneth Anger and Jimmy Page sitting on one's shoulder while reading this smallish volume.

The book itself is a good introduction to the master magik figure, yet it has that r
...more
Monte
Apr 30, 2014 Monte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great book.
Meg
Nov 21, 2011 Meg rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aleister Crowley was one messed up dude who loved sex, drugs and conjuring demons. Sure, he was a crazy asshole most of the time, but the world needs a few crazy assholes to accent the droves of mundane assholes that plague this planet. I would have liked to shake his hand...then promptly soak my palm in antibacterial liquid because...well... who know where his hand has been?

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Colin Henry Wilson was born and raised in Leicester, England, U.K. He left school at 16, worked in factories and various occupations, and read in his spare time. When Wilson was 24, Gollancz published The Outsider (1956) which examines the role of the social 'outsider' in seminal works of various key literary and cultural figures. These include Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre, Ernest Hemingway, Her ...more
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