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The Illuminatus Trilogy Paperback – 6 Oct 1998

4.1 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 805 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group; Reissue edition (6 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0440539811
  • ISBN-13: 978-0440539810
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 4.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 723,343 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

The ultimate conspiracy book . . . the biggest Sci-Fi cult novel to come along since Dune. (Village Voice)

An epic fantasy . . . a devilishly funny work, loaded with humour, puns, up-level ironies that make you
burst out laughing.

(New Age Journal) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

Filled with sex and violence - in and out of time and space - the three books in this trilogy are only partly works of the imagination. They tackle the cover-ups of our time - from who really shot the Kennedys to why there's a pyramid on a one-dollar bill - and suggest a mind-blowing truth. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I first read Illuminatus at age 18 in 1988. I bought it after reading an interview with KLF in a music magazine & did not know what to expect. At first I found it fairly heavy going - at that age I had never read a novel which 'jumped' aruond so much. I eventually got used to the style and started to enjoy the complex, intriguing & entertaining plot. Many of the references were unfamilier to me & I think much of it went over my head. I got to the end,entertained, if slightly confused.
I put it out of my mind then stumbled upon my copy again when I was around 25. I decided to give it another go - remembering my experience from my first reading & only slightly recalling the plot.
Another 7 years of life between first & second reading ensured
the text revealed more to me than on first reading. Just as entertaining as first read, but this time around more "oh yeah..I know what they're talking about... I think".
I read for the third time around 2 years ago - and got more out of the book on the third reading.
I will probably go back to it in another three or 4 years.
This is a huge(ish), dense, compelling & entertaining novel. As a result of this, it is one of the few books I have read that reveals more of itself each time you go back to it..........a highly recommended mind trip.
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Format: Paperback
Illuminatus! is more than a novel; it's a head trip, a philosophy course, a mirror, a funhouse; a work that should be read at least five times, because every journey through is a different trip. Equal parts mock conspiracy story, detective novel, science fiction epic and hidden treatise, what you get out of it tells you more about yourself than about the authors. On top of all that, it's just plain old damn funny. Keep your eyes open for the parodies of James Joyce, Ayn Rand and Edgar Rice Burroughs, and avoid the fnords at all costs.
Whether you're nostalgic for the 60s or lost in the compassless haze of the 90s, you need to read this book, and get to know the philosophies of its authors. There's more education between these covers than between the start and finish of any university, but it's all achieved painlessly and, by the end, you'll look at the world and yourself in a different way.
Finally, this is one of those rare books that has become less satire and more prediction in the twenty-three years since its publication. What was once cynical wit is now sad documentary, and authors Wilson and Shea have nailed it. Approach with an open mind, abandon all preconceptions ye who enter here -- and then read it again and be surprised all over as you realize it's a different book the second time around. And the third. And the fourth. And the... well, you know...
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Format: Paperback
This really is a classic.

Yeah, im another one who heard about the book through the KLF, but i also knew what the book was more or less about after hearing so much about it. I think i first read it 12 years ago, and again very recently.

The book is hilarious, Hagbard is the king of one liners, with an ace up his sleeve, i wont give the game away. The plot jumps around like crazy, often mid sentence, forwards and backwards in time, space, heads. It is a complex book and you do begin to wonder who all these people are, like Aleister Crowley, and John Dillinger, all real people, and real events, all tied in with believably wonderful conspiracy theories.

I do remember the first time i read it, i was a bit annoyed with the ending, but seeing as i knew the ending the last time i read it, i enjoyed it much more and the ending actually made sense to me, why not end it like that? Utter genius!

My last reading of it was done entirely in the bath, from beginning to end, which took a fair while i will admit, but the book is just so witty and clever that it is hard to put down, even if its been read before.

This is in my top 12 books of all time, just to let you know =o)
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Format: Paperback
A book that can go from being absolutely brilliant to boring and back to brilliant again in the space of one page.With better editing and a slightly more coherent narrative structure this could have been one of the all-time greats. As it stands it seems to be attempting more than it can grasp. The story is at once a detective yarn, a Lovecraftian doomsday scenario, a science fiction adventure, a conspiracy theory, a horror story and a bit of porn for good measure.

I have no doubt in my mind that Robert Anton Wilson was a complete genius and perhaps this book just isn't entirely for me. I read his historical Illuminatus chronicles and absolutely loved them, perhaps because the narrative was more straight-forward and didn't feel like a barely coherent, Americanized Ulysses on bad acid.

There are parts of this book that are hilarious too, I laughed out loud on public transport more than once reading this. There are some sections that are quite horrific and moving too. A great book that could have been brilliant...maybe. I'd recommend reading Prometheus Rising first.

Fans of American 1960's drug culture, Burroughs, Dylan, Hunter S Thompson, Alan Ginsberg, Ken Kesey, HP Lovecraft, Alleister Crowley, philosophy and the occult will all find something to like somewhere in this gargantuan tome. Sort of like Lou Reid's discography, you won't find many people who enjoy it all as a whole.
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