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The Winged Bull Paperback – 1 Jun 1988

3.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 328 pages
  • Publisher: Red Wheel/Weiser; New edition edition (1 Jun. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0877285012
  • ISBN-13: 978-0877285014
  • Product Dimensions: 20.8 x 13.7 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,173,226 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
This is more of an introduction to some Occult practices than a novel, and the rather confused characters are enough to put you off getting involved in anything like this.

Plotwise, the story's simple. Fresh from the First World War and down on his luck, Ted Murchison has a chance encounter with an old officer friend, who offers him a job and accommodation. The job appears to be taking part in an Occult / psychological experiment with his sister, who is somewhat neurotic following an earlier, botched, experiment. Add a couple of shady black magicians and a relationship that appears to change by the page and you have a rather confusing mix.

I wouldn't know if this was the best introduction to Dion Fortune's Occult novels, but it hasn't prompted me to buy more. But if you already have an interest, this novel will probably sustain it.
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Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book to explain in a gentle easy to read pulp fiction format the importance of achetypal symbology in occult work. It introduces to the reader methods and techniques of working on the astral plane and shows how to build up the deep psychical links to things occuring apparantly normally in everyday life. Not perhaps suitable for those occult snobs like my husband ( who claims to be a grand Ipsissimus ) unless you just want to put it on your bookshelf to cock a condesending snook at, but very interesting for the rest of us. If you want to find an Alick Brangwyn character of your own to gently introduce you to some deep mysteries in an entertaining and undemanding way buy the book. I did and thoroughly enjoyed it. But beware Astley, the villain of the piece is a dark and spooky character.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Gripping
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8db09084) out of 5 stars 4 reviews
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e039990) out of 5 stars White magic triumphs over black magic 26 Mar. 1998
By Casca - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
When Ursula is bonded magically to an unscrupulous occultist,Murchison is engaged by her brother to save her. In the background lurks the black magician Hugo Astley, obviously based on the infamous Aleister Crowley. At first there is much tension between Ursula and Murchison, but it is necessary that they fall in love for her to be saved. They perform magical rituals which help bond them.As the Sun, Murchison gives new life to Ursula as the Earth. As in her other major occult novels, the polarity of male/female is explored in rituals. He rescues her in the nick of time from being the victim in a Black Mass presided over by Hugo Astley and involving a goat; an obvious reference to Crowley. This is a fast moving story with plenty of excitement set in an occult atmosphere.As with other Dion Fortune occult novels, repeated readings reveal her occult themes to those who have studied the occult. I have read this book about four times and have enjoyed it more with each reading.For the occultist, this novel is a great romp and instructive at the same time.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8dbbc7d4) out of 5 stars The Kindle Edition 9 April 2012
By J. Murphy - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
[Since I posted this review four years ago, the typos in the three books that I mentioned here have been corrected.]

This review is not about the merits this particular Dion Fortune novel. I just want to point out a problem with the Kindle edition.

Kindle books usually have quite a few typos. This one, however, omits large amounts of text. Here is the part where text has been lost:

"Ursula flushed scarlet, and flashed an angry look at her brother. sheltered from the wind. He turned his face up to it, shutting his eyes against the bright light, and let the sunshine beat upon his skin."

When that paragraph begins, three characters are indoors at night. When the paragraph ends, two people are outdoors during daylight. (If I didn't know Dion Fortune's novels practically by heart, I don't know what I would have made of that paragraph.)

The Kindle editions of Dion Fortune's The Sea Priestess and The Goat Foot God are in pretty good shape, with just the minor typographical errors that seem to accompany all Kindle books, e.g.:

"eloisier" instead of "cloister"
"ifhe" instead of "if he"
"mediseval" instead of "medieval"

Since I have to rate the book to post this review, I give it only three stars because it is my least favorite Dion Fortune novel. I found the premise less engaging and the main characters less likeable than those in her other novels.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8d7b9df8) out of 5 stars another good read from this spiritual pioneer 7 Jun. 2014
By connie childs rosengarten - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
the central thing& formula that drives all the protagonists and plots of the Dion Fortune canon,( a person stuck in a flat joyless life, in a flat joyless world that seems to make little sense, and the restless seeking part of their soul that they don't even know how to acknowledge, finding the somewhat mysterious guide/teacher of arcane information who helps them discover & connect to their spiritual self) continues to make for a mostly satisfying read.
i think it would be more difficult to enjoy the story if this were a contemporary author, because 'the woman needing to be rescued' meme can be irritating.
But, if one understands that Dion Fortune's stories are a byproduct of her work as one of the most important psycho/spiritual pioneers of the early part of the last century, any annoyance for outmoded feminine stereotypes is quickly forgiven.
In fact, for me, it added a layer of interest to the work, and continuing respect for the mind that helped move the culture out of the dark ages.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8e639684) out of 5 stars Dion Fortune makes magic possible 4 Dec. 2014
By Dave - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I love everything by Dion Fortune. I just wish she had written more novels. That 1920s-30s era fiction is great fun. They were all searching for Other World experiences (probably a reaction to the Great War). I think her works especially complement the Lovecraft universe very well, especially where Cultists and the dark side of mystic research and experiments are involved. This is perhaps my favourite of her stories. I liked the characters and enjoyed the adventure. She describes the post-war situation in London well, with jobless Great War veterans drifting through a dismal life and poor conditions. The sense of uselessness and frustration is palpable, and the alternative life both a revelation and *magical*.
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