Very religious household Being a rambunctious child his devout mother started calling him the beast He uickly decided that he was The Beast as in 666 from the Book of Revelations As a young man he was a world class mountaineer and chess player And of course there is what he is known for the occult Oh and he was really very funny Here s a uote of when he was roaming around Tunisia with his head shaved with the xception of a tuft of hair in the center of his forehead shaped like a horn dressed in magical robes with a follower who Crowley also shaved so it looked like he had devil horns all at the tail Comfort And Joy end of the VictorianraThe ccentric and horrible Neuberg his acolyte appeared the insanely grotesuely he behaved the he inspired the inhabitants with respect for the Magician who had mastered so fantastic and fearful a genieOn this same trip he stumbled into a barfight and broke it up by drawing magical symbols in the air and reciting the Koran And then they went out on the town toa wicked place where I profoundly regret to be obliged to confess my comrade displayed uneuivocal symptoms of bawdiness My duty to his poor mother and uncles as well as my own moral sense compelled me to repress this terrible lust for carnal copulation with words severe indeed but not unjust I stayed myself with an Arab wenchSeriously funny stuff I do need to read of his actual writing But continuing on in later life he was recruited by Ian Fleming the guy who wrote the 007 books to practice black magic or as Crowley spelled it magick the added k being his specific brand of sex and drug based occult practices on the Nazis and was later the inspiration for the first Bond villain He also had links to L Ron Hubbard who was an arly follower Of course Crowley saw Hubbard for the fraud he later proved to be Anyways He lived uite a life as maybe the first hippie 60 years Fitness for Geeks: Real Science, Great Nutrition, and Good Health early and it s a fine biography Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law When reviewing a biography there s always a temptation to review its subject I ll get that out of the way by saying that I think of Aleister Crowley the most famous occultist of the last century a complex and obnoxious man with too much money One source Booth cites whose name I cannot remember described him as genius gone wrong Well if you re running around referring to yourself as The Great Beast 666 I ll warrant that something has gone wrong with your life Despite all that I have a soft spot for occultists because nobodyxpects me to take them seriouslyMy main difficulty in reading biographies is the lack of dialogue All we ver get are summaries of complex vents drawn from primary sources like interviews Somehow this makes reading. Ne of the thentieth century's most charismatic misinterpreted and controversial figures a bril.
Tell them I ve had a wonderful life Wittgenstein famous last words Well researched and unbiased account of Crowley s life Some years ago I read several other biographies this seems to be far detailed and Cause Of Fear even handed than the previous attempts some of those authors clearly had an axe to grind one way or another Hands down the best biography I vever read and probably one of my top ten books period With a character like Crowley there s no shortage of material Pair that with a gifted witty irreverant biographer who bends his sentences like musical phrases and you have A Magick Life There s no other book like it I had always wondered about the mystiue that surrounds this Aleister Crowley fellow well now I know This biography is one of the best and most comprehensive I have ver had the pleasure of reading It manages to dish the dirt on ol Crowley without being for or against him He is shown simply for what he was a complete and total tripper He proclaimed himself to be the most vil man in the world and yet through the The Game of Love examination of his life we see that he was merely anxtremely intellegent man who had a flair for the dramatic and a keen ability to persuade people to follow him A true ccentric and a bizarre character one would be hard pressed to find This book is non stop ntertainment from beginging to nd As advertised this biography is reasonably unbiased and does not dwell too long on the magickal aspects of Aleister s life Certainly they are mentioned as there is no way of separating the one from the other and still come out with a factual book on the man but unlike other biographies the mphasis is on his actions on this plane I found it a very refreshing glimpse into that aspect of him which in other treatments has been glossed over in deference to his occult activitiesI did find a few glaring mistakes but not as many as might be xpected One in particular regarding Jack Parsons gets that worthy s place of death 100% wrong He died in an xplosion in his garage at his house not at Jet Propulsion Labs How something so The Lady in Pink easy to check up on got pastveryone and made it into print is disappointing and mars an otherwise Eyes excellent bookI would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in Aleister Crowley s life Utterly fascinating biography of an utterly fascinating character Having previously stopped reading Crowley s own autohagiography midway through as I couldn t handle his vain pompous prose it s good to be able to read a rounded biography of a man often far ahead of his time Now I think I mayven nd up finishing Crowley s own book after all A nicely researched biography of the so called wickedest man in the world Crowley grew up in A MAGICK LIFE is a detailed and xtensively researched biography a uniuely unbiased study of
Of an Sinner's Heart endurance feat than it normally is Booth s louacious and sometimes tangential prose makes the biography readable butven then I was averaging fifty pages a dayThere was particularly chilling moment that I know plan to rip off for a story Crowley grew up in a very Christian family and as his mother lost her wits after her husband died she called her son a beast Familiar with Revelations he internalised that title which in turn set the course of his life Such a cruel thing to call a childBooth s thorough research means that this biography is vital reading for anyone interested in Crowley s life ither for reasons of personal gratification or if they need to know about the man for some project As biography is a genre I take little pleasure in I cannot recommend this book to be read for fun Not a bad book I think the author was very fair in their assessment of Crowley it would have been asy to see him as Spirit of the Wolf either all good or all bad It seems from his actions he was neither Just awfully awfully self centered arroga Years ago in college an older friend gave me a copy of Crowley s immense autobiography I tried reading it then and once recently without success Frankly I didn t take Crowley seriously and the reading of Colin Wilson s brief biographies of him had convinced me that he was a morally disreputable faker Since then however another friend had gotten into reading himven attending rites derived from his practices I decided to give Crowley a second chanceBooth s biography was a good choice He avoids adding to the lurid sensationalism surrounding the character while reporting such as there was during his lifetime He makes no judgment about Crowley s magick but does note the importance of drug usage opiates cocaine cannabis peyote A Vineyard Christmas ether to his practice thereby allowing for all sorts of flights of imagination He also gives greatmphasis to Crowley s reputable achievements as a writer a chess player a mountaineer a conversationalist without defending him from the many credible charges of moral turpitude It is in a word a sympathetic biographyBooth s work is not perfect There are some Een Bijzondere Vorm Van Osteosclerose errors of fact such as in his treatment of the place of the occult in Nazism yes Himmler and Hess were into it Hitler was not There isn t much about the milieu in which Crowley lived It is assumed that the reader is familiar with the period of his life 1875 1947 and with such figures of the period as Wilde Yeats and Chesterton That was no problem for my aged self butven I would have liked a lot about the world of occultism in which he dwelled during the period and before Still although long and narrowly focused it s a readable study which many may find ntertaining. Liant polymath whose considerable intellect and talent were crushed by his self destructivenes.
Martin Booth was a prolific British novelist and poet He also worked as a teacher and screenwriter and was the founder of the Sceptre Press