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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
142
4.2 out of 5 stars
The Illuminatus! Trilogy
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on 20 October 2017
The longest, strangest and most difficult novel I've ever read...yet really enjoyable. Comes with a free speedboat. Intentionally chaotic, the book draws you in with a mixture of facts and fiction (as favoured by the Discordians), covering nearly every conspiracy theory imaginable. I'm sure there's much more fnord going on than I could keep track of, but I learned to embrace the confusion and carry on. Handy 1:1 scale, perfectly sized for human hands.
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on 14 March 2017
I want to like it, but it's just a bit all other the place and I am finding it hard to keep up with the various story lines. I understand people saying they enjoyed re-reading it, because I think you probably have to! Unfortunately I don't have the time to invest in re-reading trilogies, lots of other books on the shelf to get through
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on 29 September 2017
Not an easy read but a book full of all sorts of good things and the forerunner of all conspiracy theory fiction. Anything by Robert Anton Wilson is full of references both obvious and obscure, this book is no exception, finding them is half the fun of reading it.
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on 31 May 2017
Mind blowing book truly amazing. The time skipping is so overdone though that it makes the book very hard to read the first time, it is worth it if you stick to it long enough to connect the dots though.
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on 7 June 2016
Hoping to fathom it all out
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on 9 March 2017
in some sense, true
in some sense false
in some sense meaningless!
i also arrived here on the back of the k.l.f., john higgs, and the principia discordia (of which i'd say would be a great help, read before commencing this book), and as illuminating as the journey turned out to be, i was completely knocked on my eris, flat out battered into wonderment! i'll be coming back here often, as it has the feel of a place where all the relevant action is - you don't want to miss a minute or you'll be forever lost, or worse, subject to a greyface downer!
the 'conspiricy' content is endlessly fascinating, and perfectly well covered in other reviews, so i'll go on the things that struck me the most. and the first must be how fresh and un-dated the book is - the 'real' characters of the time being the only giveaway, otherwise it's timeless and could have been written yesterday. the second thing was a notion of w.s.burroughs influence, which increased the more mentions he received, in fact i'd say that his 'hauser and o'brien' routines were a major factor in the 'gumshoe' set-up with goodman and muldoon, as a base line anyway! but the greatest thing is the total (operation) mindf*** as things unfold (or don't!), possibilities and credibility are stretched to the point where belief is suspended - 'nothing is true, all is permissable' - and your head is scrambled! direct hit then? easy to see why this book has the reputation it has, playing with folk's minds like that!
as a card carrying 'pope' (isn't everyone?), i stand behind this book, or mibbe, in front of it, to the side, on top of it, i don't know, just as long as it's there! seriously, this has shot into my top ten books ever - get yourself down to mad dog, texas, and join in mr hagbard's wild ride! hail eris!
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on 3 May 2017
Still a classic, despite the outdated sad and outdated attitude towards women. An updated version is desperately needed; complete with MK Ultra mind control, Project Chaos and the CIA's distribution of LSD, cultic abuse, and the employment of the UFO narrative as a distraction / obfuscation technique.
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on 26 October 2014
Everything in these books are true, except for the lies, which are also true. Or not.

Fnord!
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on 6 November 2010
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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on 12 February 1997
The Illuminatus Trilogy bombards your conscious mind with conspiritorial, illuminating, and downright perplexing theories of the Universe in order to break on through to the sub-conscious. Every page causes you to question everything, including what you have just read. If you don't look at Reality in a new light after reading this book, then your just not trying hard enough!
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