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Diary of a Drug Fiend [Paperback]

Aleister Crowley
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 July 1971
Although written as a novel, this book is actually a true story according to the author, Aleister Crowley. With his black magick and occult background the popular press began calling him "The Wickedest Man in the World". This wickedness included his involvement with drug addiction, and this book brings the reader into the minds of users. It clearly explains how one can be drawn in and trapped by addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin, including why the habit is held onto while the users life is ruined. Crowley explains the use of the Will, found in some of his magickal works, in attempting to combat the problem. Considered by some his best-written work, reveals the amazing highs and the complete ruin that can follow.
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser; New edition edition (1 July 1971)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877281467
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877281467
  • Product Dimensions: 2.7 x 13.5 x 19.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 499,017 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Yea, I certainly was feeling depressed. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ 9 July 1998
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Diary of a Drug Fiend is one of those books you can't part with, even after having read it. It's the ying and yang of who we are at the height of our own spiritual, as well as physical, battles. Beautifully written, genius, in fact. I still can't believe anyone being capable of writing such a piece of work, but Aleister did. I feel I've gained an inner understanding of drug addiction, as well as an understanding of many other personal struggles any "being" could possibly encounter throughout life.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Years ago they tried to ban it... 10 Mar 2002
Format:Paperback
This is a fantastic book, indeed if Crowley was a young american author he would be the 'great hope' of the literary world. Thats the impression i was left wiith anyway!
It is a story of love and the couples reliance on drugs to survive, nothing else matters to them. It is not the subject matter that is important, it is Crowleys ability to explain and enlighten the reader to the glory of drugs and their hellish undertow. Crowley was a lifelong heroin addict and is more than qualified to explain. He tells us that when on a drug like heroin, one is perfectly capable of thought and able to aknowledge the world around them, however, the impression left is like flashes of lightning which illuminate the area, giving you a glimpse of what is around for the briefest of moments. The novel is very psychological with insight to the thoughts, and therefore the actions, of a drug addict. Not since Dostoyevsky have i read a more intiriguing set of emotions.
I must admit that i am writing this review from memory (i read it about 5 months ago) but it is definitley a book i would recommend and read again, the author is merely incidental so anyone who is out off the tag of a Crowley book in his collection should dispel any fears, it is simply not an issue when dealing with an undoubted work of genius, there is no book like it. There is no wrong or right attached to their actions, it is a story of effect and cause, not cause and effect (drugs which lead to a life of hell as opposed to a hellish lifestyle which leads to an 'escape' through drugs).
Better to read about it than to find out about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
A deeply insightful work, a superb novel by a man known last and least as a novelist. Uplifting, liberating, inspiring and empowering. The most perfectly realized utopia of the whole genre, not excluding Huxley's "Island".
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6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Magick in Theory but not in Practice 13 Mar 2010
By A.G.
Format:Paperback
In 1920 Aleister Crowley, mage, yogi, sex machine, and all-around show-off, was down on his luck. He'd squandered a large inheritance and he found himself tired, middle-aged and broke. What he really needed was a place where he and his few followers could be left alone to practice their 'magick', and he soon found it on the island of Sicily. The place was a tumbledown farm called the Villa Santa Barbara that overlooked the northern port-town of Cefalù, a property that immediately became known as the Abbey of 'Thelema' (from the common Greek word for 'Will' or 'Willpower'). In a bid to spread the word, Crowley persuaded Collins the publisher to commission a novel containing some of his ideas and an idyllic picture of life at the Abbey. That novel, The Diary of a Drug Fiend, was duly published in 1922.

Because The Diary of a Drug Fiend was hastily put together in order to excite potential followers from among its anticipated readership, the book is strong on 'wisdom' and the benefits of Crowleyanity, and less so on dramatic plot. In fact, this book is not really a novel at all; it's more a dramatic lecture, with the two lead characters simply being used to parrot Crowley's ideas. That said, the book does display a certain dramatic vitality, if only because the author's brain cells were permanently ablaze while he dictated it to his 'Scarlet Woman', Leah Hirsig, thus allowing his more mischievous virtues to spill forth: bombast, sneer, sarcasm, cruel wit, and spectacular self-regard (though very little self-awareness, oddly enough).
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7 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Filled with highs and lows. 13 May 2001
Format:Paperback
'Diary of a Drug Fiend' was the first book of Crowley's that I ever read. At the age of 14 it did leave a romantic impression. It deals with the Crowley addicted to herion and cocaine (Peter Pendragon) and the Crowley who uses these drugs in a magical and responsible context (King Lamus) but in the same time frame. The last part is the earliest known account of the Abbey of Thelema in Sicily. One can sense the pioneer spirit of the day through the prose, almost by osmosis. By the time the book was published Crowley had been expelled from the country by Mussolinni. Unfortunately the only substances outlined are heroin and cocaine - I am certain the authour dabbled in far more... As you would expect the Thelemic ethos is outlined, an almost invariable occurence in Crowley's works - but this is only adumbrated and done tastefully. It is also a rather sweet love story.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Book on Personal Triumph 18 Nov 2007
Format:Paperback
Aleister Crowley's first published novel was "Diary of a Drug Fiend." The book was originally published in London in 1922. Although written over seventy-five years ago, the book is still relevant for today's readers. The book paints a vivid picture of the mind of drug users. The drug user's highs, lows, and sometimes strange thought patterns are described in great detail in this interesting book.
The infamous Aleister Crowley invokes a reaction with some people. Some say he was strange and went off the deep-end with his involvement in Magick, the practice of using various techniques to exert control over the forces of nature. If one is too close-minded to read this book because of the author's reputation, he or she would be missing a great read.

This story is supposedly based on truth. False names were used to conceal the identities of the people in the book. For instance, Aleister Crowley is called Peter Pendragon in the book. Peter went to a pub and was socializing with some people he knew when he saw the woman that would change his life, Lou.

"Across the moaning body of the blackmailer, I was looking at the face of a girl that I had never seen before. And I said to myself, "Well, that's all right, I've known you all my life." And when I said to myself "my life," I didn't in the least mean my life as Peter Pendragon, I didn't even mean a life extending through the centuries, I meant a different kind of life --something with which centuries have nothing whatever to do (Crowley 11)."

This truly eloquent description of Peter's first glimpse of Lou reveals that Crowley was truly a master of language. The book is written in such a clever way that the reader continues to want more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Shatters the illusion
Crowley was an amazing man, a skilled Magician, an incredible writer and an inspiration to many (including me). Read more
Published on 1 July 2010 by C. J. Allen
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
Although the style is a little dated the message and story are fresh as only Uncle can make them. A must read for anyone who is interested in exploring new realities. Read more
Published on 4 May 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent.
A fearlessly introspective plunge into the depths of the despair, misery and impotence of personal failure and an enlightening journey along the painful, yet rewarding, path of... Read more
Published on 29 April 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars ADDICTION, WHO WILL WIN?
OK I WOULD FIRST LIKE TO POINT OUT THIS IS A NOVAL, NOT A RITUAL BOOK. BUT THIS IS A VERY GREAT BOOK. IT IS CERTAINTLY ONE OF CROWLEY'S BEST WORKS. Read more
Published on 7 Feb 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars A story of love and more importantly addiction.
Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the Law. This book tells the story of a man and woman who fall in love on cocaine and end up doing heroine. Read more
Published on 29 Oct 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars This book saved my life..93
If you are looking for a personal narator to guide you to your true will...read this book...Crowley spoke in my mind and helped me reach up from the darkest part of my life and... Read more
Published on 22 May 1998
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for anyone searching for themselves through drugs
A brilliant study of the nature of addiction. If you are a searcher, it is a must read. Rivals NAKED LUNCH in it's treatment of addiction. Read more
Published on 11 April 1998
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