Erik Graff's Reviews > The Outsider

The Outsider by Colin Wilson
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's review
Nov 27, 13

bookshelves: philosophy
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Recommended for: young persons
Read in July, 1977 — I own a copy, read count: 1

Wilson's first book, The Outsider, prefiguring much of his later serious work, was a best-seller, making him a celebrity in his twenties, a status quickly lost and never regained. It is not, in my opinion, one of his best books, but then none of his books are really very good by any ordinary standards. Wilson is no great scholar, no masterful prose stylist. He has made his living as a popularist in scores of sellable books about hot topics like sex, murder, scandal, aliens and the occult. On the side, he has occasionally written serious books in a serious manner, but few or none have likely obtained many sales much after the success of The Outsider.
Yet I keep coming back to Wilson like a cocaine user chases the dragon, seeking again the first high or even something more.
Wilson has the spirit and conviction of a person who has had a profound mystical experience which transcends expression. To his credit, he sticks to it, working it like a dog a bone. He is never successful, but to others who have had a similar glimpse he is evocative, suggestive and the reading of his more serious works is to their credit as well.
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