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The Diary of a Drug Fiend

3.81 of 5 stars 3.81  ·  rating details  ·  1,845 ratings  ·  84 reviews
This is a true story. . . It is a terrible story; but it is also a story of hope and of beauty. Written by Aleister Crowley, Diary of a Drug Fiend tells the story of young Peter Pendragon and his lover Louise Laleham, and their adventures traveling through Europe in a cocaine and heroin haze. The bohemian couples' binges produce visions and poetic prophecies, but when thei ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published September 1st 2010 by Weiser Books (first published 1922)
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I read this book when I found out the man I was dating -- the first beautiful love of my life -- was addicted to a wide variety of illicit drugs. Then I sent it to him and became a feminist. Our relationship did not end so well, but still probably as well as it could have and now he runs a children's museum. I think.
Oct 11, 2010 aya rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to aya by: Tanya
Shelves: the-best, self-help
This is one of the most amazing things i've ever read. It's a book about drugs and addiction, but it's also not about drugs at all. It's about why each of us is here, what we're supposed to do, and how to get it done. Incredibly beautiful, uplifting, and unique.
Crowley is so unique and completely un-corny about the way he describes his tenets--it made me think inwardly in an intense, positive way.
This uniqueness also spills over into the way he describes drugs, his characters, etc. Very beauti
Joshum Harpy
Reading this was a visceral experience. It's description of the depths of addiction and psychosis was gut wrenching and because it was so nuanced, strange and terrifying it seems clearly to have sprung from Crowley's own experience. The narration unexpectedly switched between the two main characters mid story from the arrogant and self centered "protagonist," Peter Pendragon, to the eminently more likeable Louise Laleham, who up until that point had been given about as much depth as a sports car ...more
Back when I was doing lots of drugs and knew lots of people doing drugs and liked to say the word 'drugs' I thought this was a great book. In retrospect, I was just high and whatnot.
David Sarkies
Oct 23, 2015 David Sarkies rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to David by: A friend
Shelves: sociology
The third part completely undermines an exploration into the mind of an addict
17 July 2009

This is one of the few books that I would not encourage people to read. While I am not a big fan of the occult, and tend to stay as far away from it as possible, it is not the occult connections that concern me, but rather the conclusion that Crowley reaches with regards to drugs. In any case, this book is not strictly one of Crowley's occultic writings, but the content can be quite dangerous nonetheless.

Autumn Christian
After trying to read the purposefully nonsensical "Book of Lies," I thought I'd start with something a little more "enjoyable" - Diary of a Drug Fiend. Aleister Crowley is a narcissistic, misogynistic, egomaniac - but the book still manages to be redemptive in its glorious descriptions of drug use that quickly comes crashing down. It shows the inner workings of someone caught in drug addiction, their supposed "betterness" juxtaposed with the reality of their sadness. It shows the crash, reality ...more
I will write a review after I re-read this book. This book is my favorite and I recommend it to everyone. It tells a tale between Peter and Lady Pendragon who meet one night and gets caught up in a whirlwind of drugs. It is beautifully written, has great lines of philosophy carved underneath the story, and has an very moving ending, and I don't say that about a lot of books.
Found this on the street in a pile of "Free: please take!" books.

I figured, well, I will read at least one book by any author who is the subject of an Ozzy Osbourne song with absolutely killer Randy Rhoads solo.

Like most novels written primarily to convey a philosophical point, Diary of a Drug fiend is not very good. It's certainly better than anything Ayn Rand ever wrote, but that's a very low bar to clear.

There's some interesting stuff depicting the horrible spiral of addiction. I don't know
Fascinating look into the psychology of cocaine and heroin use. The protagonist (an obvious piece of Crowley's ego) along with his mistress reaches the heights of drug ecstasy and depths of depravity and in the end is rescued by King Lamus, who was an aggrandized version of Crowley, who teaches him the method of quitting drugs through the careful application of the Law of Thelema.

It's tragically ironic to read this in conjunction with Crowley's magical diaries of Tunis, 1923. During this time he
Chilly SavageMelon
The descent into druggie madness parts are better than the silly mystical, fake church healing parts. And the entire account is full of aristocratic attitudes most junkies don't have the luxury of. But the main point of interest is to picture all of this happening in the 20's. Not an important book, but semi-interesting.
Dada Vinci
This is a novel about curing drug addiction with Magickal practices. When you need to snort a line of cocaine while flying your biplane over the English channel you know you have a problem. Is the solution
in a free-love commune on an Italian island? The 20's never roared so loud as this.
I enjoyed this more than I thought I would, I got this book because Aleister Crowley was super evil. You don't get the feeling of that from this book. It felt like quite an honest account of somebody addicted to heroin and trying to get off the drug. You can really feel the frustrations and pain of each narrator, more so from Peter than from Lou.

Glad I decided to give this one a go.
Sean Foley
I think it's one of the best drug addiction memoirs out there besides DeQuincy's "Confessions of an English Opium Eater." I just don't take the author too seriously because I don't think the "True Will" he "discovered" at the end of this book was what he ended up doing with the rest of his life. That, and I don't trust the weird cultish commune he was recruited into, even though it saved him from his addiction. I think Aleister Crowley, and the Fourth Way guy Gurdjeff, were a part of a surge of ...more
A bunch of this is absurd and some is archaic (you can't die from opiate withdrawal, for one thing), and there's a fair amount of sexism, but in this book's innocence from the taint of the drug war--criminalization had just begun when it was written--it manages a lot more nuance than modern accounts.
Dennis Butler
Aleister Crowley achieves and surpasses what many authors have aspired to and failed, that is, he has written a classic novel in a rich poetic and deeply passionate style without ever once seeming forced or “assembled.” Crowley’s classic was not “written” or “assembled” as in a formula creation. It’s as if it has always existed. It’s as if it was just “born” out of the author’s soul. Some of the passages are so extraordinary that you may find yourself re-reading them over and over. Crowley’s des ...more
I tried to read this book because a co-worker thought I might enjoy it (because I like Stephen King). This was extremely well crafted in terms of descriptions and Crowley's vivid command of the English language is truly remarkable. However, I couldn't dive in due to the wierdness of the tale, I stopped reading around page 33. Perhaps I didn't give it enough of a chance, but I read slowly enough that it felt like enough :)
This story is brutal, admirable, useful and sad until you finish it, and realize plainly that it is one of the most inspiring novels ever written. Easy and very quick to read. Well worth it.
I'd rather read War and Peace, again.

I just wanted to be able to say I'd read Aleister Crowley but for Lucifer's sake it was not worth it. This was the most boring piece of rubbish I've ever read. Okay that's hyperbole. The Book of Mormon and Bible are worse, but this is a close third. I must have started this piece close to a year ago and read almost 100 other books in between. It could have been half the length and said twice as much if Aleister did not attempt in vain to wow us with his pros
Jose Alberto
one of my favorite books, a wonderful ride through the magickal ways of a man in love. a book to be read and reread.
Total dribble. Idiotic tales from an elitist dimwit adolescent. Entertaining "as hell."
A wonderful book. It makes you wish Crowley was still alive and you could go to Thelema.
Gil Zastor
I first read this book when I was nineteen. When I began using Goodreads in 2012, this was one of the first books I added when I was enthusiastically adding books from my bookshelf using the barcodescanner. At that time, going back and adding star-ratings to each scan, I gave this book three stars. As I recalled, it was a hard read, and didn't leave a lasting impression beyond that. Here I am, reading it again twenty-years later, and I am upset. I am honestly shaken at how much of an effect this ...more
Zaubin Z
Pretty good, lots of Crowley philosophy thrown in. The point is that nothing is inherently evil when subject to will power. The characters are a bit unbelievable. The other issue is that Crowley doesn't seem able to write any characters other than from his own point of view: his main fictional characters are thinly veiled versions of himself. As such, they are pompous and somewhat unlikeable. But once you get past that, the story is pretty engaging, the plot is intricate, and good lessons learne ...more
Luck Hawkins
A fictional book based loosely on Crowley's experiences as a drug addict in Paris ec. This is an interesting insight into his magical writings as well as the theories applied to Thelema, the religion he invented. (probably to partly help him get laid and pay rent. Sorry guys, someone had to say it.)

It has the romantic quality's of late 19th early 20th century English occultist..with plenty of drug abuse descriptions. The main character and his lady-friend go on a wild romp, wherever the wind bl
Olivia Mainville
I loved this! It combined my love of the phenomena and how to harness its power, and the natural alluring world of drugs. A man and woman tell their tale of how they tampered with drugs, which quickly escalates into a humiliating addiction, resulting in the need to make a choice between their own destruction, or rebirth with the help from friends in the occult. The perspective shifts between them as they each tell their sides to the story, which I liked. The only thing I couldn’t get behind were ...more
Christoph Fischer
“Diary of a drug fiend” by Alasteir Crowley is an entrancing book that chronicles the drug habit and addiction of Peter Pendragon, a wealthy man with some flamboyant ideas and musings, as well as his relationship with Lady Lou.
The book was published after WW1 and offers a great historical setting with fascinating details and insight about the times. The main story shows the lack of education about drugs at the time as the two main characters naively run into their addiction. Not bothered by mone
Chris Harris
Pompous, self-aggrandising narcissist attempts to update Thomas de Quincey's "Confessions of an opium eater" and plug his own philosophy into the bargain, but ends up writing something that to these eyes comes across as "Biggles Does Coke". Mildly entertaining, yes, but more likely to provoke laughter than shock or outrage. Not very good.
What a great book especially for the time it was written. It provides a not so glamorous love story between two enablers in the early 20th century. It's a gritty look at post war Europe and also provides some hidden gems of occult theory. It's probably one of the better works of Crowley as it is not as egotistical or self absorbed as some of his other works.

Christian McKay
Move over A Million Little Pieces. Crowley nailed the no-God drug recovery a century ago. Oprah should really have him on soon. What's that? Crowley's dead? I'm sure you could still find him hanging out inside an antique mirror somewhere. Huh? Oprah's show is over? Dammit. Forget the whole thing.
Brandon Wicke
My first introduction to Crowley's work, and a very good read. Lots of dog-ear worthy passages and some great insight into not only the reasoning, merits and pitfalls of psychedelics and drug use, but philosophy in pursuit of a purposeful life as well. His prose is easily readable with a fantastic poetic flare, and his use of language really resonates. Looking forward to reading more of his stuff.
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Aleister Crowley, born Edward Alexander Crowley, was a British occultist, writer, mountaineer, philosopher, poet, and mystic. He was an influential member in several occult organizations, including the Golden Dawn, the AA, and Ordo Templi Orientis (O.T.O.), and is best known today for his occult writings, especially The Book of the Law , the central sacred text of Thelema. He gained much notoriet ...more
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“Having to talk destroys the symphony of silence.” 156 likes
“Every one interprets everything in terms of his own experience. If you say anything which does not touch a precisely similar spot in another man's brain, he either misunderstands you, or doesn't understand you at all.” 155 likes
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