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Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy by Robert…
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Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy (1979)

by Robert Anton Wilson

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Quite possibly the worst book I have ever read. I can say this with reasonable certainty because any other books that might have qualified for that distinction (anything Hemingway, Joyce's Ulysses come to mind) I would never have finished. I've reached a point in my life where my time is too valuable to waste on stupid things. If I've gotten all I can out of a book, or all I expect I can get, then there is no point reading further.



With Wilson, I had to finish for several reasons:

1) I needed to see for myself how his fiction related to his non-fiction (nearly indistinguishable, and that's not a compliment)

2) I wanted to see if he had anything of value to say (sadly, no)

3) I wanted to see if he managed to tie things up (again, no)

4) I need to read the entire trilogy in case my initial assessment would change (it didn't)



In short, Wilson is pretentious, absurd, a bit obscene, not funny at all, not anywhere near as clever as he thinks (thought; he died in 2007), and wrote bizarre surreal text that Vonnegut did better. He got cute at one point, knowing that critics would pan it as drivel, an inserted a comment that implied that anyone reading his work (or the work of a character that was his mirror) wouldn't understand it, and would necessarily dislike it.



Well, I didn't "get it" because there was nothing to "get". 545 pages of nonsense. And I have a problem calling this science fiction. Fiction, yes. Fantasy, maybe, probably. But inserting a couple of references to quantum physics does not make is science fiction. Mumbo jumbo. And the fans who read more into it than is there are like the caricatures of pretentious art admirers standing in a museum and pretending to "see" what the artist was trying to "convey". Hogwash. Wilson liked his LSD and it showed through in this mess. Sprinkling a few parrot droppings from a reading of Niels Bohr does not a physicist make.



Now, in the Dell rollup, on page 225, Wilson relates a story of a character, Hugh Crane, who at age ten watches a Mysterious Tramp who keeps asking people questions, all of whom shook their heads and walked on. Hugh couldn't understand why if the Tramp got his answer, he kept asking. "Didn't he believe the people who already answered the question?" (The Tramp, unbeknownst to the ten year old, was begging for food or money.) I got a kick out of this, because at age five, I determined that the job I would have when I grew up would be that of the guys directing traffic on the side of the highway (they were hitchhiking and pointing the way for the cars with their thumbs!)



I did find one line funny: page 396, James Earl Carter in that particular universe was a physicist, and said, "Ah don't understand politics. [...] Ah'm a scientist."



And on page 478, I found one passage prophetic (okay, I don't believe in that crap, but it sure was applicable to the 2001-2009 administration): "The President in Leary's book, called Noxin [Nixon], was a monster. He got the country into totally unnecessary wars with out the consent, and sometimes even without the knowledge, of Congress. He lied all the time, compulsively, even when it wasn't necessary. He put wiretaps on everybody - even *himself*."



If you like Vonnegut, you might like this. If you like Adams' Hitchhiker, you might (probably not. Adams was funnier, even though I don't find any of his stuff "hilarious".)



As for me, I'll never again get back the time I lost being stubborn enough to finish this junk. But then, Wilson may be right and in the quantum, world, I will.



Yeah, right. ( )
  Razinha | May 23, 2017 |
Still relevant after all these years. ( )
  iFool | Feb 2, 2017 |
This version is censored from the original, three-book trilogy. What was removed was basically sex scenes, as I recall. But still. ( )
  wirehead | Jul 9, 2013 |
After reading the Illuminatus Trilogy, I was really anticipating this novel. Robert Anton Wilson's high mind style of writing is enjoyable, if a bit fractured. I really had high hopes.This book fell kind of flat however, as Mr. Wilson attempts to visualize the concept of the multiverse my creating different versions of each of his characters, many of whom first appeared in the Illuminatus. However what the author does not do is adhere to any kind of real plot, and just when you think you might have a bit of a narrative or the resemblance of a coherent story he changes the world again.The point of the book is to show you how everything you do or do not do, is inversely done or not done in a connected universe. I believe the author is also trying to convince us that we are all Schrodinger's cat, living in a state that is neither living or dead, up until the moment we are observed, upon observation we will either die or live.However, I could not stop reading this book, as the vivid imagination of Wilson's is enticing and extremely visual. Having read the Illuminatus first, I recognized the characters, and how he was attempting to show the variations based on quantum variability.A good read overall, but not nearly the quality of his first Trilogy. ( )
  Mongolor | Aug 17, 2010 |
Prophetic. Who in 1985 would have expected a 'total information awareness' type system called GWB-666, or James Earl Carter being awarded a Nobel Prize? ( )
1 vote n8chz | Jul 1, 2010 |
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The sequel to the cult classic The Illuminatus! Trilogy, this is an epic fantasy that offers a twisted look at our modern-day world--a reality that exists in another dimension of time and space that may be closer than we think.

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