First I want to say that I didn't particularly like this book, but I gave it three stars anyway for a couple reasons:
1. It is an incredible piece of publishing. The book is beautiful, and of truly superior quality. In this regard alone it lives up to its satanic idealism.
2. The Satanic Wedding is included in the book. This is a piece of work that I've long been interested in reading. It stood out in its absence in the "Satanic Rituals," so I'm glad to have finally had an opportunity to read it.
3. It isn't terrible. In fact, if I hadn't read Lavey, I'd probably think more highly of this work.
But now for the negatives:
1. Editing. I was very disappointed to find typos and spelling errors in this book. It really detracted from the value of the book as a piece of art. This may sound nit-picky, but Satanists pride themselves on the superior quality of their work, and in this respect the High Priest failed to live up to the ideals of his Church.
2. Content. I understand that satanists don't like the rest of the world in general, but come on, the High Priest is the highest ranking official in the Church, and it seems to me, for an individualist, a self-proclaimed egoist, he spends far too long complaining about the stupidity of other people. All of the pieces did not re-hash this tired subject, but unfortunately, most of them did.
3. Content. In the second respect, I found it surprising that so much of the book was spent defining what a satanist "is," or believes. Satanists are individuals, why do they need another book telling them what they are? I understand the necessity of Lavey's codification of satanism because he was the first to do it, the original black-pope, and so he had to bring satanism to the awareness of the world at large in order to reach those select few he desired to welcome into his life and his Church. But those books have been written, and I don't see that the new High Priest really added much of value to Lavey's work. This in itself would not be a bad thing, except I continually felt like I was reading someone who was trying to fill Lavey's shoes rather than making his own mark on the Church and it's literature.
Having said that, however, there were some pieces that stood out, pieces that really did make an impression. These were the instances where Mr. Gilmore was being Mr. Gilmore. When he wrote about things he loved, and about issues that did need and up-to-date comment from the High Priest of the Church of Satan. In these instances, Gilmore shined. But sadly they were few and far between.
But I believe that the work deserves it's three stars, even if there were typos (shame on you Mr. Gilmore). And I don't have a more beautiful book on my shelves, I can assure you of that.