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The Philosopher's Stone

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  391 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Wilson probably has earned a reputation more as a scholar & biographer than as a novelist; but this novel, originally published in 1969, proves that he possesses significant skills in the area of fiction as well. He weaves a great deal of speculation into the meaning of existence & the future of the species into the plot; so much so that the book at times seems as ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published August 1st 1981 by Warner Books (NY) (first published 1969)
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Aug 18, 2011 Sandy rated it it was amazing
In her article on Colin Wilson in the May 30, 2004 "Observer," reporter Lynn Barber mentioned that the author, then 73, had seemingly read "every book ever written." She also noted that Wilson claimed never to have thrown a book away, and that his home library in Cornwall contained approximately 30,000 volumes. Well, any reader who delves into the author's 1969 offering, "The Philosopher's Stone," is not likely to dispute those statements. Though chosen for inclusion in Cawthorn & Moorcock's ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Wilson's take on the Cthulhu mythos is certainly original, but it only appears after some 230 pages of often turgid exposition - and this is in a 268 page novel.

A narrator whose intellectual smugness and aura of the ivory tower make Lovecraft's protagonists seem like dynamic men of action obsesses over various more or less indistinguishable or highly suspect 'insights' that he believes hold the key to immortality and unlocking humanity's untapped potential.

Along the way, we are treated to vari
Eugene Pustoshkin
Прочитал замечательную книгу Колина Уилсона «The Philosopher’s Stone» (была издана на русском — «Философский камень»). Она была написана в 1969 году в жанре спекулятивной фантастики и, по сути, является умелым троллингом Лавкрафта, а по совместительству — средством донесения важных концепций и идей феноменологического экзистенциализма и философии оптимизма, которых придерживался сам Уилсон. При чтении книги (по крайней мере, в оригинале) явственно ощущал ту концентрацию, с которой Уилсон, этот и ...more
Paul Dodd
Sep 03, 2011 Paul Dodd rated it it was ok
I first read this book nearly 30 years ago. At the time it was, for me, one of those pivotal books that seemed to focus my philosophical thoughts. However, on just completing my re-reading this book, I have changed my mind completely. This book attempts to fit so many pseudo-scientific references into a coherent story, and I must say, doesn't achieve the result. For instance, it attempts to cover human aging and the "mystery" of death, parapsychology, the highly debated and disputed neoteny theo ...more
Eugene Pustoshkin
This is a great book of speculative fiction (and a skillful trolling of Lovecraft). Colin Wilson masterfully describes first-person explorations into some of the facets of phenomenological existentialism and the philosophy of optimism. Utterly cheerful and enjoyable, with much of food for serious thought.
Beverly J.
Aug 17, 2012 Beverly J. rated it it was amazing
An astounding, mind-boggling book. I cannot wait to read more of this man's work.
T.J. Silverio
Sep 02, 2014 T.J. Silverio rated it really liked it
In The Philosopher’s Stone author Colin Wilson takes us on a journey of what is possible. The slow starting, fairly dense narrative is laced with interesting and often profound insights. I found myself reaching for a pen several times, a good sign in my grading book for this type of novel. As with his earlier novel The Space Vampires Wilson explores the tension between individuality and the collective, as in this passage:

“These ‘creatures’ possessed no individuality, in the sense that we do. Now
Greg Gbur
I have to admit: I almost didn’t finish reading Colin Wilson‘s 1969 novel The Philosopher’s Stone, recently reprinted by Valancourt Books. The novel is, in my opinion, a slow-starter; it takes quite some time for this curious story to find its focus. Once it does get started, though, Wilson’s curious mix of science fiction, history, philosophy and horror — written as an answer of sorts to the work of H.P. Lovecraft — is quite eerie and compelling.

What is it about? Like most of Lovecraft’s storie
Philip Challinor
About as silly a work of fiction as Wilson has written (which means it's very silly indeed), but entertaining, and redeemed by its climactic vision of an ancient Lovercraftian civilisation.
May 01, 2014 Jaye rated it it was amazing
A fascinating read that reminded me of John Fowles's The Magus.
Bob Rust
Apr 12, 2016 Bob Rust rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Philosopher's Stone (1969) perhaps the most intellectually stimulating of his novels with an appealingly ramshackle construction begins with a philosophical quest for Immortality and again invokes the Cthulhu Mythos to suggest that the Lovecraftian Old Ones who seem to be keeping humanity in thrall have in fact long been asleep and indifferent though certain psychic mechanisms and alarm systems remain functional; it is our responsibility to equal and surpass their immense Psi Powers before t ...more
This was worth rereading, fortunately. Colin Wilson's strong point is his wide-ranging knowledge coupled with a passion for ideas and the expansion of human consciousness. This is a very mental book (not precisely intellectual, but focused on ideas first, adventure second, and with not much else vying for third), which is both its strength and its weakness. The narrator, a bright young man, had the good fortune to be unofficially adopted at 13 by a wealthy man of similar interests, and as the on ...more
Colin Wilson the philosophers stone

There first immmpersion that come to mind is cinematic, but apon refectin it is more like an ecyclopedia the ablity to retain facts
Then he suggests that there intake of MESCALIN LSD & COCAINE… can help you obtain these visions this kaleidoscopic method to obtain these visions
That as stated by the author can manipulate his environment
It sound abit like quantum entanglement B but it fails in trying to explain this as
A metaphysical theory but as said o
May 24, 2014 Ellen marked it as to-read
I registered a book at!
Feb 05, 2016 Dr.J.G. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely amazing book from a writer that sings a different tune.
Giuseppe Aversano
Mar 19, 2016 Giuseppe Aversano rated it it was ok
More like 2,5
May 28, 2016 Kyra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
3.5 stars.
What a wild book. This book is mostly prose, so if you're looking for a lot of action you will be disappointed. However, the ideas and themes played with are exciting. Wilson touches on an incredible range of topics, and I honestly couldn't always tell which parts were fact or fiction.
Simone Conti
Personalmente non amo molto le opere scritte in prima persona e a mo' di resoconto personale, tuttavia questa fa eccezione. Ho trovato troppo lunga e prolissa la parte centrale che, a mio avviso, appesantisce un po' il tutto. Per il resto l'idea di fondo è molto bella e innovativa. La lettura non è sempre facile a causa dei richiami ad opere e autori realmente esistiti, però è piacevole e abbastanza scorrevole.
Sean Hopp
Jan 16, 2010 Sean Hopp rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Erik Graff
Jun 03, 2012 Erik Graff rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Wilson fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: literature
This novel deals with themes dealt with more entertainingly in Wilson's The Mind Parasites. I picked it up while staying in a cabin near Lake Michigan, reading quickly in bed, excited at the prospect provided by the blurb on the cover and by Oates' foreword. I was, however, disappointed. Mind Parasites was better.
Mar 21, 2009 Crosenblum rated it it was amazing
1 of my favorite books of all time...the depth of interest in self-evolution...and developing those hidden power's...along with the growth of boy to man genius scientist interested in the development of man's skills and abilities through out time....Plus he throw's h.p. lovecraft's cthuluism into it to...A must read!
Eddie Watkins
Sep 29, 2014 Eddie Watkins rated it really liked it
Shelves: uk-fiction
One of Wilson's best intellectual sci-fi thrillers. He is great at creating a scenario positioned at the very cusp of radical intellectual transformation. A feverish read that might not mutate your mind but will have it stretching like dendritic octopi after rare bits of elusive knowledge.
May 30, 2012 Yupa rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Remix di temi lovecraftiani in salsa new age: poca narrazione e molte discussioni tra i personaggi.
Il tenebroso mondo di Lovecraft si scioglie nella pappa dolciastra d'un universo di speranza. Bah!
Feb 05, 2010 Kimber rated it did not like it
Shelves: books-i-hate
i am HATING this book. Most self-smug long winded author except for maybe Thomas Hardy. I may blow it off and never finish it. I have already read 2.5 other books since I tried to start it! Ugh!
Christy Young
Jun 27, 2012 Christy Young rated it did not like it
Had to stop, too bored to continue. It's supposed to be a novel and it's not. Should be labeled as "man's boring explanation of boring things that could be excited if he made a novel out of them"
Another of his books I read long ago and the name says it all...don't mistake the title for something Harry Potter-esque...this is another beast entirely. Worth a look and lots of fun.
Jan 14, 2014 Thaddeus rated it really liked it
Got a PDF of this and actually thought it was a memoir until page 200 *blush*. Was going to sign up for the filament treatment.
Apr 19, 2013 Adonis rated it it was ok
Was good up to the halfway mark, and after that it became almost unbearable to read further.
Dont bother reading this.
Dec 20, 2010 Karen rated it it was ok
Shelves: sf-fantasy
Required reading fo college science fiction class. Do not remember it, so must not have liked it that much.
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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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“A young farm labourer passed me. I suddenly understood what Traherne meant when he said that men looked to him like angels. Again, it was a matter of seeing through to the inward vitality, the essence—what Boehme called the ‘signature’. I smiled at the farm labourer, and he smiled back and said: ‘Mornin’ sir.’ I felt suddenly very happy.” 0 likes
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