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Diary of a Drug Fiend by Aleister Crowley

Diary of a Drug Fiend (1922)

by Aleister Crowley

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518419,555 (3.36)7
  1. 10
    Island by Aldous Huxley (P_S_Patrick)
    P_S_Patrick: These two books both feature drug taking as elements of the plot, alongside mysterious "Enlightenment" religions, and various other minor similarities. Huxley, ironically the sane one of the two authors, is the one whose book advocates the drug taking, while Crowley, the madman, warns against the vice. Surely something must be wrong here. Well, together these books present the for and against of using hallucinogenics, while both preaching for not entirely disimilar causes; Eastern inspired cults/religion/philosophy. "Are both authors delusional?" is the question I asked myself after reading these books. I answered myself, yes. Are both these books interesting? undoubtedly. Huxley far outshines Crowley for writing ability, even though this is surely one of his worse novels, but in the end I think, strange as it may sound, that Crowley's novel is nowhere near as hair brained in its final message as Huxley's, who really ought to know better. Neither of these novels are particularly good, and I am only recommending each to the other due to the shared themes, and the fact that they support opposite sides to the idea of having drugs in society, and should be enjoyed by similar readers.… (more)
  2. 00
    Permanent Obscurity: Or, A Cautionary Tale of Two Girls and Their Misadventures with Drugs, Pornography and Death by Dolores Santana by Richard Perez (PghDragonMan)
    PghDragonMan: The dangers of enjoying life too much and facing up to your own choices ties these two works together.

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Showing 4 of 4
This is one of the few books that I would not encourage people to read. While I am not a big fan of the occult, and tend to stay as far away from it as possible, it is not the occult connections that concern me but rather the conclusion that Crowley reaches with regards to drugs. In any case this book is not strictly one of Crowley's occultic writings but the content can be quite dangerous nonetheless.
The book is about a man who on a night out meets a lady and is then introduced to cocaine. In a single wild night they get married and run off on the honeymoon and while on their honeymoon on the continent are introduced to heroin. While on their honeymoon their drug experience is, for want of a better word, an experience. However it all turns sour when they land up in prison in Naples and are then sent back to England.
This is where the second part of the book begins, and that is when the honeymoon is over, and this occurs on two levels: the first being the romantic honeymoon, and the second being the drug honeymoon. The wild time they experienced on the continent settles down into a hard slog where addiction takes hold. The main character is not poor (he is a doctor), but once he had tried the sweet taste of heroin he simply cannot get enough. They move out of the luxurious suite and into a bug ridden apartment and go about trying to find their next hit. Even when they do get it, it is nowhere near as good as it was on the honeymoon.
It is the third section of the book that is of the most concern to me. While the first two sections are quite realistic in exploring the life of a drug addict, and the destruction that this life causes, the third section is not about how they overcome their addiction, clean up, and go on to live fruitful lives, but rather how through sheer will they learn to control the drug and then use the drug as it is supposed to be used. This is something (and many a drug councillor will confirm this) that I simply cannot accepts, namely that one can never control a drug, especially if one is prone to addictions. There are people out there that can control their drug taking, but one can never assume that they are one of those people.
I suspect that this book is designed as a gateway for people looking into Crowley's religion (and Crowley does appear in this book, though not by name), and I suspect that it is written with the drug addicts of the time in mind. These days, 90 years down the track, we simply seem to envision that the drug lifestyle is something that evolved in the 60's. This is simply not true: drugs have been used and abused for over a hundred years (and more if one includes alcohol). In fact, in the 19th Century, one could go into a chemist and purchase a bottle of cocaine to help put one's baby to sleep. Drugs were first made illegal around the 20's (though Opium had been illegal for much longer, which is why it is said that the British were selling things in China that was illegal to sell in England).
Anyway, to finish off, I wouldn't bother reading this book, it simply is not helpful in the slightest. ( )
  David.Alfred.Sarkies | Mar 31, 2014 |
The Great Beast Aleister Crowley just had to do it, write a book of fiction; with a title as sensationalized as a Randolphe Hearst era inspired newspaper article. The title is offensive and to the point, but by todays standards completely misrepresents and runs contadictory to what the author is saying throughout the novel. Crowley seems to even predate the rise of sensationalized yellow journalism....amazing! A traditionally written story arc of a wealthy couple of royal heritage from London, England who decide to travel and experience life through the filter of decadent intoxication thereby finding themselves in all the trappings we have all come to understand through are own experiences, either first hand or through the channels of multi media. The book becomes interesting, however, when Crowley begins to impliment his personal occult works into the character muse, the Big Lion; Who is one of the major characters throughout the novel, albeit, shaded with different personality traits from chapter to chapter. Nonetheless, the Priest; and Crowley's fictionally projected, empathicized creation.
Great Romance Novel! ( )
2 vote guhlitz | Mar 13, 2011 |
I enjoyed reading this book, It was a touch dark in places and quite the opposite in others. I was expecting it to be a bit more shocking than it was, but the story on the whole was quite easy to get into, and the minds of the characters are indentifiable with to a degree which I didn't think they would be. It is interesting to understand the psychology of someone who becomes addicted to drugs, and how they manage to overcome them. This book is written in a way that makes it easy and enjoyable to read. The author obviously has some writing skill, but does not manage to put himself up into the superb author category. I would recommend this book to anyone who has considered using drugs, so they would know what to expect, and to give them a responsible attitude to drugs. I haven't taken drugs, but this book has put me off them, and only really advocates their use in useful situations, such as use for aiding literary or scientific venture, and says that the danger is taking them just for the sake of it. The message is a bit deeper, and really criticises doing anything just for the sake of it, and encourages us to think critically of all our actions so that we should do what we ought to, not just what we get into a habit or routine of doing, so that we make the most out of our lives. I was expecting this book to be a touch occult, but it isn't really, apart from the protagonist becoming involved in a fairly harmless "cult" at the end. Not a bad read, this book has its merits. ( )
  P_S_Patrick | Jun 8, 2008 |
I'm not going to apologize for Crowley. At times, he was not a nice person. I'm also not going to apologize for this book. It is about drug use and drug abuse. I am going to ask that you read it in a historical perspective. In the time period Crowley writes about, many substances that today are either tightly regulated or illegal, were either readily available or not seen in the same light they are today. Do not judge which is the correct view, just accept the premise of the time.

That said, readers will find "Diary" probably one of the strongest accounts of what happens when we let outside forces rule us. In the beginning of the narrative, the protagonists use drugs as a recreation, in a social context. Later, habituation turns into physical addiction. Enter Crowley who tries to teach the protagonists, that you can do whatever you like, but there is a price to pay. He also teaches them to channel their will to be superior to their desires.

I don't know that the methods described here actually work. I was reading this book for the journey back in time to a much different Europe, when the rich did enjoy a different lifestyle and were truly above everything. For that reason, I was not disappointed.

Come take this magical journey. Pay attention to the sights along the way, as this world does not exist any more. Regard this as you would a Kevin Baker novel and it has a whole new perspective. ( )
1 vote PghDragonMan | Dec 18, 2007 |
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To ALOSTRAEL, Virgin Guardian of the Sangraal in the Abbey of Thelema in "Telepylus," and to ASTARTE LULU PANTHEA its youngest member, I dedicate this story of its Herculean labours toward releasing Mankind from every form of bondage.
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Yes, I certainly was feeling depressed.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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While fictional, Diary of a Drug Fiend is believed to represent the personal experiences of the author. Follow the harrowing escapades of lovers Peter Pendragon and Louise Laleham as they embark on a drug-fueled bender through Europe, and encounter the enigmatic magician who could save them.… (more)

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