I totally enjoyed Marshall's book. Well-read, but also highly individual, this books captures your imagination from the very first page. The search for the Philosopher's stone is imaginatively set against the background of the mysterious exoteric buildings connected with it, from the Alhambra to the Pyramids to Prague's Castle. The true story of Marshall's studies and obsession with alchemy, it shows that the search for the stone was not merely the dream of some medieval weirdo in a non-scientific age, but a constant of all civilisations, from the Chinese to Hindus to the Arabs and the Europeans, and as such a response to a basic human need. After a few pages, you discover that the practical search for turning stone into gold was paired by an exoteric search for the ultimate meaning of life, and distilling your being's ultimate essence. Fascinating! A documentary you can read like a novel, and which even feels like a quest. You'll soon realise that the author not only documents his fascination with and search for the stone, but make the reader starts his own exoteric quest too. Some sections are great prompts to meditation, others just make you want book a flight ticket and jet off! If you liked Indiana Jones, The Alchemist, Tai Chi, Buddhism, J.L. Borges, travel stories, or all of them, then in different ways this is a book for you.