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am 26. Mai 1999
This is an absolutely rehashed biography, tainted by the biographer's disdain for Crowley. He uses old magazine and newspaper articles concerning Crowley's life, but does not issue the slightest credit to Aleister Crowley. If you search Amazon for works by and about Roger Hutchinson and do the same by Aleister Crowley, you will see Crowley beating Hutchinson about 100 to 1. And this is 52 years after Uncle Al's death. Hutchinson makes Crowley out to be a complete sham, and doesn't take into account the fact that Crowley is the most often imitated and quote source on occult subjects in the 20th. century. Skip this clunker, and by a better book.
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am 24. März 2000
Roger Hutchinson's disdain for his subject doesn't matter, because putting down someone who's already reveled in being called "The Wickedest Man in the World" is a little like putting two stamps on a letter requiring only one. You can't really insult someone who's gone to great lengths to make and maintain his own blackened reputation. It's actually kind of quaint, because it brings back a little of the late Victorian atmosphere surrounding Crowley during his lifetime.
But Hutchinson's hyperactiveness is matched by his work ethic. Where all this extra effort pays off for the Crowley fan is where he really shines - in retrieving and reporting for us things that have not otherwise surfaced in prior Crowley biographies.
For example, an hilarious exchange between Somerset Maugham and Crowley on pages 100-101 in their game of one-upsmanship made me laugh out loud. Hutchinson doesn't like Crowley, that's clear, but it doesn't matter. His hard work in researching and reporting makes it one of the better biographies in recent years, on this most interesting literary character.
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am 20. Februar 2000
Regardless of what "A Reader for Cleveland.USA" says this book is very gentle in has handling of the subject. To date there have been two brands of biographies of Crowley:
1. Those written by fawning worshippers, who somehow overlook the glaring defects in Crowley's character.
2. Those written by his enemies. These are the type who take Crowley literally when the later claims to have sacrificed 150 male children per year between 1912 and 1928.
The author of this book takes a middle ground. Crowley had done some amazing things. He held records for his mountain climbing. As well he had done some very horrible things and seemed to have little if any ability to feel for other human beings. In short, Crowley was human like the rest of us; he simply lived life larger.
It was interesting to get a fairly well rounded picture of Master Therion, as the public saw him, through the use of the mass media. However, the author is always careful to point out where the newspaper articles have gone astray from what can actually be said historically.
The failings of the book were as follows:
1. No documentation of sources. If you have no knowledge of this subject, you do not know where his quotes are coming from.
2. A lack of psychological analysis. This is a failing of almost all books on the subject.
To begin where I started, with the author of another review: don't confuse quantity with "rightness". By your argument, Christianity and Islam would be more "right" than Thelema. One hundred years after the founding of the first two religions, they had believers that numbered between the high hundreds of thousands to a million. One hundred years after the reception of the Liber Legis, the number of Thelemites is in the low thousands.
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am 30. Juli 1999
Aleister Crowley has needed a detailed treatment of his life for a long time. This is one of the most honest volumes you'll find about this subject. The New York Times Book Reveiw stated that Hutchinson did an admirable job of portraying who and what Crowley really was, a user and self-aggrandizer, regardless of his mountaineering activities.
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am 3. August 1999
Publisher has stock ready to ship-I know since I work for the publisher/distributor-Trafalgar Square.
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