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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Achingly good. When's Volume 4, Mr C?, 23 Oct 2000
Jason Mills "jason10801" (Accrington, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Daemonomania (Hardcover)
The richest, subtlest and most poignant volume so far in this unique series. ("Aegypt" and "Love And Sleep" preceded it.) Pierce Moffett's affair with Rose Ryder takes him into dangerous territory, sexually and emotionally, whilst her own infatuation with Mike Mucho's off-Christian charismatic cult draws her away from him. Rosie Rasmussen's little girl may be ill, may be an angel, who knows? John Dee's adventures with alchemy and the scrying glass take him ever further from his god (that's one reading).
Crowley is able to instil terrible urgency into the most mundane and quiet events. I was often breathless with anxiety for these characters, and constantly on the edge of my seat. Crowley isn't for everybody, but if you aren't of the faction that would label him flowery, obscure or pretentious, get your wallet out and your intellect in gear: you owe it to yourself. Why, towards the end there's even a cameo by -
Find out for yourself.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "All the angels are fallen angels ... It is in this that they are angels", 25 Feb 2011
Nicholas Casley (Plymouth, Devon, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Daemonomania (The Aegpyt Cycle, Book 3) (Paperback)
"All the angels are fallen angels ... It is in this that they are angels."

Thus declares the familiar spirit with whom Dr John Dee converses. This view contrasts with that of Dee's contemporary, Jean Bodin, who in his tract `Daemonomania' "asserted that `witches by the thousands are everywhere, multiplying upon the earth even as worms in a garden.'" Who the witches - or angels - are in this volume is as ambiguous, to this reader, as the moral of the tale. Or rather, the moral of the tales, for one realises by now that this Aegypt cycle is not a straightforward teleological exercise, but instead witnesses the development of Crowley's characters through each house of the zodiac. For example, in the ninth house we learn that Beau Brachman is a man of many previous lives, and also of his being a man with a precious and moving mission: "his vocation had revealed itself to him ... that [since] once he had failed often enough himself he would then spend years finding and caring for others who had failed: offer himself for them to love." A fallen angel angel?

Part three of Crowley's Aegypt cycle (which has nothing to do with Egypt) moves us through the zodiac's seventh, eighth, and ninth houses, namely those respectively (we are told in the preface) of marriage, the dead, and religious observance. It is the time of afternoon, of autumn, of the watery element: the humour is supposed to be melancholy, the wind from the west. All well and good, but by now this reader was starting to become weary with the vicissitudes of the characters, with the plodding and padding of the text, with little return for time spent and energy expended. Unless I've missed something. One might be cynical and argue that when our leading character Pierce Moffet writes of "a willed suspension of disbelief (the same sort of state, he supposed, he was trying to induce in the readers of his book, who were to be thought of as equally ready to believe", Crowley might equally be writing about his own readership. Anyway, what is it with Americans and big books?

The opening chapters reprise the characters and story so far. Thus we have Dee and Bruno, Mendoza and King Henri III, London and Paris. (Is it an intended anachronism to place Tower Bridge in the reign of the first Elizabeth's London?) The second house features Dee, Bruno, and Edward Kelley in the Prague of the Emperor Rudolf. And the third and final house in this instalment sees us witness Arcimboldo Arcimboldi demonstrate the fruits of his labours (pun intended) to the imperial court, as well as the deaths of Dee, Kelley, and Bruno. But these historical characters - there is still some ambiguity in Crowley's text as to whether they are supposed to be historically real in his novel or are merely the construct of Kraft's (and Pierce's?) historical novel, a tale within a tale - gradually tend to take a less prominent role in the book in favour of Pierce himself, his two Roses (presumably representative of so many Renaissance symbols), and the inhabitants of his part-imagined Appalachian landscape.

There are the odd flourishes that arouse interest in the hope of developing narrative, such as Dr John Dee and Sam Rasmussen briefly encountering each other across time, and the link made between the miners of sixteenth century Bohemia with their descendants mining in the Appalachians two or three centuries later. But neither of these potentially intriguing plotlines is extended. The focus of the previous two instalments on Pierce's concept of the `passage-time' is less dominating in this the third, but is still present nevertheless. We are presented with alternate sets of possible realities, alternate roads for Pierce to follow, or, as Rose Rasmussen conjectures, "courses that turn halfway or two-thirds to the end and proceed back through the events or conjunctions that formed them, reversing each one in turn, or most of them, to bring about an ending."

Now three-quarters through the cycle, I am loathe to give up the final fourth of the zodiac, but I must admit that my curiosity is starting to wane, and my impulse to pick up the final volume is not as strong as it was when I picked up the second. Still, I may be pleasantly surprised and inspired. We shall see.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Daemonomania, like being at the end of a circle without end, 24 April 2001
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This review is from: Daemonomania (Hardcover)
Pierce is still a part of the reader looking for the essence, albeit in this third part, his character has been defined: has growth into a sort of being which we readers feel confidence.
Unlike Aegypt and Love&Sleep, the end of this circle drawn by Crowley put us onto the line of knoweledge Bruno walked through during all his life: that's the edge of the real and the unreal, the gap our soul has to fill up with magic sense : with Love.
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Daemonomania (The Aegpyt Cycle, Book 3)
Daemonomania (The Aegpyt Cycle, Book 3) by John Crowley (Paperback - 1 May 2008)
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