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Boomeritis: A Novel That Will Set You Free!

3.40  ·  Rating details ·  465 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Ken Wilber's latest book is a daring departure from his previous writings—a highly original work of fiction that combines brilliant scholarship with tongue-in-cheek storytelling to present the integral approach to human development that he expounded in more conventional terms in his recent A Theory of Everything.

The story of a naïve young grad student in computer science
...more
Paperback, 464 pages
Published September 9th 2003 by Shambhala (first published 2002)
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Average rating 3.40  · 
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 ·  465 ratings  ·  47 reviews


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mark
Mar 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: All green meme folks, doers and thinkers
The author, Ken Wilber, born in 1949, was a predominant and preeminent philosopher at the time of this book’s publication, seventeen years ago (himself of the boomer generation); and now attempting a comeback. This novel, he now states, was maybe the stupidest idea he’d ever had and may well have been the beginning of his fall from dominance. However, society’s current embrace of deep thinkers [Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Scott Adams, Robert Wright, and the rest of the Intellectual Dark Web ...more
(0v0)
Sep 04, 2007 rated it liked it
Goes down like the sawdust into which is should be pulped.

Makes _Sophie's World_ look like a a real art of fiction.

I so wanted this to be digestible, so I can give it to people who have to be tricked into thinking. And that's what the book's meant to be: candy-coated Integral, for people who won't even suffer the engaging and crisp dialogues of _A Brief History of Everything_. But even with a graphic sexual fantasy every minute, there ain't no candy here.

Which disappoints me. I read before bed,
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Magdelanye
From time to time, it might be tempting for the serious theoretician or philosopher whose readers are restricted by the narrow parameters of a specialist field, to dream of connecting with a wider audience through fiction.

“fiction,something sculpted to its expressive purpose” Boomeritis p284

Indeed, fiction is often regarded as a handy way to disseminate exotic or ponderous ideas by humanizing them, placed in a context that brings them to life. So we have a growing trend to fiction more or
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Illimar Kaasiku
Mar 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, integral
I highly recommend this book for everyone who wants to understand our postmodern green culture better and more thoroughly. It is a pretty big mess out there I must admit and agree with Ken Wilber.

According to Wilber every worldview has its own shadows, pathologies and extremes. For example preconventional red can be infected with power and physical violence; traditional mythic blue absorbed in sexism and racism; orange scientific rationality overshadowed by anthropocentrism and speciesism; and
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Lacey Louwagie
Oct 01, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: post-modern
I've never read a novel that sucked so bad that still made me think so much. This book seems to think it can get away with being pointless because it cleverly pokes fun at itself for being the "perfect post-modern novel", which is described within the book itself. Well, this tome may fit the definition of post-modern, but it *barely* fits the definition of novel. I suppose if you searched hard you could find a plot and some character development, but essentially the entire novel is just a bunch ...more
Willa
Jul 03, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book makes you cringe... it gives a great felt sense of what it means to be postmodern. I want to read it again when I get a chance, but still often think back of it. In fact, it was the book that opened my eyes to the huge problems of Postmodernity that we are now up against, and how pervasive the thinking is - we're all much more entrenched in narcissism, egalitarianism, political correctness and all the rest, than we think (who, me??).
The only thing I hate about it is the silly overtly
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Rae Phoenix
Jul 17, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018
white dude takes acid once and shits out a cringey postmodern “novel”
Donna
Sep 28, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Not an easy book to read, but one that makes you think a lot.

This work of "fiction" is really Ken Wilber's Integral philosophy about human consciousness. Boomeritis is a level of consciousness that reflects pluralism, anti-hierarchy, egalitarian, and narcissism. This is NOT an integral philosphy.

He presents the ideas in a the form of fiction - a young AI grad student is attending a lecture series entitled "Boomeritis" presented by the Integral Center. Boomeritis represents a large majority of
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Suhrob
Sep 18, 2016 rated it liked it
The 'novel' is 1 star, the lecture is 4. The writing overall is pretty weak (even embarassing in the non-lecture parts) and very repetitive both in structure and content.

The material of the lectures is quite interesting. Sadly 14 years later all the critiques stay still current, perhaps even more urgent: the current election cycle, social justice warriors and the pc culture, immigration question etc...

Still there are some worrisome ideological features in the book, but overall its heart (and
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Ross
May 21, 2009 rated it really liked it
Ken Wilber is a brilliant philosopher who filled this book with TONS of consciousness expanding ideas but EFF is it one hell of a clunky read. Its 100% worth the work though. Its one of those books that really doesn't pay off until its over.
Scot
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Though at sometimes pretentious, and clearly an attempt by Ken Wilber to share his psychology in the format of "fiction," this was an excellent read. Personally, I have been struggling with coming to terms with the left's behavior these days matching many they abhor on the right and a lack of awareness that this attitude keeps us in a neverending duality of good/evil, right/wrong, liberal/conservative, etc. etc. and I think Wilber's analysis 15 years ago was spot on as it relates to that.

I was
...more
Paul Brooks
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
If you prefer a novel, there is not really a better way to learn integral theory in that format. Brilliant.
Aaron Varela
Nov 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Now that I have completed a second read of this novel perhaps 5-6 Years after my original effort I have to say Wilber is a genius. Anyone who could take everything he is promoting getting beyond, the green meme level of conscious development and not only show the hindrance it has brought to our advancement but also exemplify it by being it, ridiculing it and personifying it in his own writing making himself not out of reach of judgement for being that which he ventures to overcome. No one is ...more
Rachel Avery
Oct 25, 2007 rated it liked it
I'd rate it higher, but as is usual when a writer tries to use a fictional narrative to support a abstract philosophizing, the story itself is contrived and clunky (though the way the narrator's sexual fantasies reflect the development of the philosophical theme is interesting and really funny). He said a lot of things here that had bothered me for a long time though (mostly about why I have such a problem dealing with the hippie ethos) that I hadn't quite been able to articulate, which was ...more
Allegra
Aug 15, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Allegra by: Freebox!
A book that gives me hope for the future, it describes the many achievements and shortcomings of our parents' generation as well as suggesting a course for the futures of us "Xers and Ys". Tied in is a concept of nested levels of consciousness beginning with egocentric survivalism and ending with a world-centric unity (or does it end??). The goal of the book is to make people aware of the different levels and to encourage us to see the benefits of each and how they fit together, and to some ...more
Paula
Sep 03, 2007 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: absolutely no one
Shelves: integral
Short: Don't bother.
Long: This book was a significant turning point in my former infatuation with Wilber, in no small part because it was just so BAD. There was much discussion of the book as "meta-writing," a critique of postmodernist "mean green meme" relativists supposedly using their own pop-culture tools of literary construction, blah blah blah. However, it really doesn't matter to me what the intentions of the author were if the work is so miserable I don't want to finish it. If every copy
...more
Kalyani B.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Not really fiction but thought provoking. My favorite passage: "I feel like I'm drowning in old bell bottoms, beads, and faded peace signs. I mean, can't these geezers give it a rest? They call us 'slackers,' which is really just a word for the child abuse we've suffered under the pummeling of their huge egos and constant reminders of how amazingly wonderful they are. We're black and blue and bruised all over and completely exhausted after the beating they've given us, and a college degree is ...more
Brandon
Jun 17, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2012, fiction, philosophy
Tedious! Intentionally so, I'm pretty sure, as a sort of joke on post-modernism. Still, hard to get through, and I found the weird sexual fantasy intrusions incredibly annoying and pointless... but there are some fascinating ideas in it. However, if you're interested in finding out what Wilber's thought is, which you should, because he has some amazing things to say, skip this one and read some of his non-fiction books. You'll get the info without the insipid plot.
Corinne Wasilewski
Mar 31, 2013 rated it did not like it
I could not finish this book which is saying alot because I always finish what I start (well, almost always :)). But this treatise on the integral approach to human development was abysmal as a work of fiction. Wilber should stick to presenting his ideas in a non-fiction format where he is extremely readable.
This was the same kind of thing Skinner did in Walden Two. Perversions of literature, both of them.
Aaron Overfield
Apr 04, 2013 rated it it was ok
Being such a Wilber fan that I would consider myself a Wilberian, I have to admit this book was a huge disappointment. I would love to see him try more fiction and incorporate his philosophies into stories, but this one truly fell flat and seemed lifeless. Ken Wilber inspired me to write fiction the way I do and I can only hope to read some fiction from him that reflects what I know he's capable of creating.
Jake
Ken Wilber is an incredible intellectual and author. He is a great source for those of us who enjoy exploring the crossroads between philosophy, science, and spirituality.

This is perhaps my favorite Ken Wilber book. It is funny, interesting, and full of great ideas. If you like novels more than non-fiction, this is definitely the Wilber book for you. I am not a big novel reader, but I found this book very entertaining and thought-provoking (I have read all of WIlber's books).
Elizabeth
Apr 22, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: about-my-life
from the library

This book is a peculiar mix of ideas that I might like and stuff that I consider conservative trash.
I am going to read another one of his books that will hopefully be clearer so I can tell if I really like anything. It didn't set me free.

I note that the reviews in the library computer don't much like it either.
Erik
Aug 17, 2010 rated it liked it
I agree with basically all previous three- and four-star reviewers. Love the philosophies expounded, but would've loved to have seen Ken team up with an experienced novelist on this. I'm betting there's someone more fiction-oriented in the integral community who'll step up the plate in the next five or ten years and write a spiral-dynamic-themed novel that does more showing and less telling.
Rick
Dec 03, 2007 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: no one - go find a different Wilber book
Thank the Good Lord that Wilber doesn't write fiction too often! Yikes. I can understand his attempt to capture his "Theory of Everything" in an easy-to-read story, but this was pretty painful.
Character Development: F.
Plot: D.
Laying out his theory for the masses: A. Unfortunately, it's just not worth it.
Martinxo
Mar 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
Look here, I love Ken's work, his ideas have had a lasting impact on my understanding of the world and of myself.

He's no damn novelist though and I couldn't wade through this.

It might be a good book for an absolute beginner to Integral theory but please don't stop here...Ken has written so much great stuff, this ain't it though.
Stephen
Apr 17, 2008 rated it really liked it
Ken Wilber can be a difficult read at times, but this book, a novel, is much easier.. Used to teach the theory of human devvelopment, Ken tells the tale of a young student who learns that there may be hope for the human race after all. I thought it quite good.
Jim Jewell
Jun 21, 2008 rated it did not like it
A lot like The Celestine Prophecy and Ishmael, except far, far more heavy-handed. A novel that sets out to espouse a philosophy, so the narrator ends up in a seminar in the first chapter - clever!

I didn't get far. This is my second attempt to get into Wilber's ideas, and I may well be all done.
Davis Kingsley
Sep 27, 2015 rated it did not like it
Perhaps the worst-written book that I have ever read. Almost the entire book consists of lecturers explaining the author's philosophy in repetitive detail, interspersed with sexual fantasies that add nothing to the narrative. The philosophy is interesting, but this presentation is absurd.
Briannesha
Dec 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing
it was funny, with interesting idea of what the future of humans will be: human-bots
Melekser Bayraktar
Apr 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
It is not an easy book to read and understand.There are lots of things to learn from the book.
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Ken Wilber is the most widely translated academic writer in America, with 25 books translated into some 30 foreign languages, and is the first philosopher-psychologist to have his Collected Works published while still alive. Wilber is an internationally acknowledged leader and the preeminent scholar of the Integral stage of human development, which continues to gather momentum around the world. ...more
“I had my own test, better than Turing’s: when a computer could genuinely convince me that it wanted to commit suicide.” 0 likes
“This is a crucial point, because it alerts us to the fact that, no matter how high-minded, idealistic, or altruistic a cause might appear—from ecology to cultural diversity to spirituality to world peace—the simple mouthing of intense support for that cause is not enough to determine why, in fact, that cause is being embraced.” 0 likes
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