A Magick Life: A Biography of Aleister Crowley Hardcover – 3 Aug 2000
Customers Who Viewed This Item Also Viewed
Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Aleister Crowley, occultist, poet, novelist, bisexual adventurer and drug user was not a man to inspire half-hearted reaction in his own lifetime. He was either adored or vilified. So Martin Booth's crisply written, agenda-free biography which sets out simply to tell the truth objectively is a welcome addition to Crowley literature.
Born to a wealthy brewing family, Crowley, whose parents belonged to the fanatical Plymouth Brethren sect, had a miserably repressed childhood. He spent much of the rest of his life apparently trying to shake off what he regarded as the filth of Christianity. Magic for Crowley, who decided while still at Cambridge in 1898 on a career as a magus, was intrinsically linked to human will. He came to believe that he and his disciples could control almost anything by exerting will. Like the poet WB Yeats he joined the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn. Eventually he became leader of the Order of the Oriental Templars or Ordo Templi Orientis, which survives as a huge international cult organisation and gave Booth access to its archives. As Booth says "Crowley may have been oversexed but he was first and foremost a religious and not a debauched character". But famously, and how the tabloid press loved it, Crowley believed that sex was what liberated the creative force necessary to his "work" and he had ritual (and spontaneous) vaginal and or anal intercourse with many hundreds of women and men all over the world. Sometimes the rituals--upon which Booth is to be congratulated for sparing us too many prurient details--involved animals too. Drugs changed the perception of the participants.
Booth's book does what it promises. It provides the extraordinary facts and leaves you to decide for yourself from an informed position whether this man--in whom interest has grown considerably since his death in 1947, especially during the 1960s--was merely a degenerate charlatan or an impassioned, although arguably misguided, magical missionary, pitiful at the end of his life.--Susan Elkin
Booth is as balanced a chronicler as Crowley has yet seen (The Spectator)
Martin Booth's biography is a compelling introduction to the man... Booth has done an amazing job of presenting the facts and letting his readers make up their own minds. (Midweek)
I am not sure that Crowley deserved Martin Booth's dedicated research and enthusiasm. (Independent Review)
A Magick Life serves as a perfect, accessible introduction which carries you to the edge of something darker... Absolutely essential reading for anyone with an open, inquisitive mind (Manchester Evening News)
Thorough, fascinating and frequently funny (Daily Mail)
[Crowley]'s latest and best biographer (The Times)
A fine, fair and gripping piece of work that places Crowley before the reader in all his bizarre intensity (The Sunday Times)
Readable and enjoyable... Strangely compelling (Sunday Telegraph)
What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?
Top Customer Reviews
This particular book was quite hard to find, but was worth the effort. If you read only one book about this remarkable man, then make sure it's this one.
Crowley was a very troubled youth living in a strict Plymouth Brethern household. Had he had a more easy going & conventional personality then this upbringing would never have caused him to follow the lifestyle that he did. Crowley started off on the road to black magic and sex orgies as a "stand" against his strict upbringing & for freedom.
This book is very well written. Crowley's childhood & family events which obviously had great bearing upon his later life are well documented allowing the reader to make their own comparisons between Crowley's early life & subsequent events. The author doesn't allow himself to fall into the trap of excessively describing magical or sexual events in order to popularise his work. The descriptions are factual & without excessive sensationalism making this a book that is easy to read as a factual biography as opposed to a tabloid expose.
Crowley is a fascinating man & no doubt a modern day psychologist would have had a field day had he been a patient. This was a very interesting book which i enjoyed very much.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a reasonable biography of Crowley, but not up to the standard of Colin Wilson's superb book on the man - although that one doesn't appear to be avaialable any longer.Published 4 months ago by Yoobie 2
This is a fairly comprehensive biography it makes a good introduction to Crowley but more serious students of crowleys work will be underwhelmed . Read morePublished on 16 Dec. 2012 by andy clarke
This is an excellent book about the life of Aleister Crowley:it is a book with details about the Magick Life of Aleister Crowley i wanted to learn.It's my favourite book.Published on 9 Nov. 2011 by Sotiris~t