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Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
The Illuminatus! Trilogy
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

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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on 28 May 1998
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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on 27 January 2012
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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on 17 November 2014
Interesting. I bought this as a gift for someone who had also requested Principia Discordia. I have had a quick glance inside and think if I were in my late teens or early twenties I would add this to my classics list alongside Dune. if you are expecting no drugs, no sex, no rock and roll you are in the wrong book.
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on 1 May 2014
I suppose it's worth sticking with the disjointed writing and structure just to get to the end but it's damn hard work.Never seen a book written this way before... dialogue flits back and forth from paragraph to paragraph and person to person...not my cup of tea...but interesting funny and very crude.
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on 25 March 2007
I first read this book in 2003 and was blown away by its brilliance. Then I read it again later on in the same year. Then I read it again in 2005. And now I'm on my fourth trip... and it's just a pure delight all over again. As much as I love William Burroughs and Charles Bukowski, this book established itself after the first reading as my most favourite book by a very long way.

Every page amazes and delights and amuses and makes you think. Some very, very profound things are said - amid the laughs and the dazzling invention - about societies, human nature, power relationships, human possibilities and much more. It's a constant source of amazement to me how incredibly well-written it is... 800 pages flow by with ease and you just don't want it to stop. And it just so happens to have the best [...] scenes ever written in a novel.

My gratitude to Shea and Wilson for writing this profound masterpiece is boundless.
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on 7 January 2015
I originally got this book (in trilogy form) in the late seventies,lent it to someone and never got it back. So I bought the omnibus edition and it's somewhere but don't know where so,as I wanted to read it again I got the Kindle version.
Still as great as ever and all the conspiracy theories you could wish for and you don't know what's true and what's not and the trick of some of the characters realising it's all a book is great.You can tell it is influenced by the 60s/hippies but that's no bad thing. I loved the characters in it and they all had good reasons for doing what they did. A great book and if you're of a certain age it will no doubt bring back memories
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on 26 August 2013
I am reading this for the second time, and bought it for the Kindle because the paperback is so fat it was making my wrist and thumb ache. The Kindle version is very well presented. The first 300 pages are the most difficult, but it is worth plodding on. It is also worth looking up a lot of the references to other events - I was very surprised by what I read about John Dillinger, for example. I suspect that this is one of the best books ever written. It owes something to James Joyce, but has more depth of relevant meaning. Just try it. Look it up on the Web first, to get some signposts for understanding. Above all, have fun. Lots of it.
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on 23 May 2004
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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on 6 November 1997
I was suprised about all the raving reviews of the Illuminatus. This book has no plot or structure. Characters, places and times switch in midsentence leaving the reader puzzled and confused. For most of the book the reader cannot even tell who or what he is reading about! The superflous barrage of facts (and fiction) assult the reader's senses in a disorganized and chaotic manner. All in all this book is the product of a highly ego-centerd, very arrogant, and drug induced author.
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