It was the last year when it really hit me that Crowley has started to get more and more some fair and good academic treatment. Richard Kaczynski‘s updated Perdurabo was wonderful read and a reminder of that. Churton’s book is such a nice treatment too. If someone is interested in a good Crowley biography and has difficult time in picking one from the many books that has been published on the subject since the 50’s, I would recommend either Kaczynski’s or Churton’s book. If you just happen to have readily at hand Lawrence Sutin’s Do what thou Wilt or Martin Booth’s A magick life: The life of Aleister Crowley, they are not that bad choises either, although they do not match the excellency of Kaczynski’s and Churton’s pieces.
Churton has digged archives well, he has done some hell of a fine research. He has written the biography based on the first hand materials and through this a fresh picture of Crowley emerges. I think that Churton is not just making a good marketing for his book when he writes that “until now, Crowley’s life has not been written – it has been written over”, for it looks like that there is much truth in those words. The book has some really interesting never before published materials in it. You will also learn a good deal of Crowley the spy from the book, which puts much of the beast’s life into a very new perspective. If you are interested in that angle of Crowley, you might want to read also Richard Spence’s Secret agent 666 (and check out also this and this link regarding the author and the book).
This book is fresh fever from the skies. I highly recommend it.
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P.S. II Here are two great quotes from the book that I find both illuminating and hilarious, expressing Churton’s fine insight and sense of humor.
“The universe is the manifestation of a perpetual orgasm, the embrace of opposites; where Nuit is Matter and ‘Hadit’, Motion. A BIG BANG indeed! The doctrine expresses philosophically what Einstein in 1905-07 expressed mathematically in his famous formula: energy equals mass (matter) multiplied by light-speed (motion) squared; multiplication is generation. A year before Einstein published his masterwork, Crowley’s mind was already imbued with relativity concepts” (page 103).
“Hearing in years to come of stories of a serpentine beast that haunted the loch, Crowley, tongue in cheek, wondered if, ‘Maybe the Lake of Loch Ness is suffering from the same Magical phenomena as the Manor of Boleskine. I do not know, but I am extremely interested in the ultimate end of the investigations into the existence of the monster which has created such excitement’. Observe Crowley’s use of the word ‘monster’ here. If we recall the word appearing in ‘The Supreme Ritual’ for Hadit’s phallus (‘this Monster of mine’) we may be forced to conclude that the ‘ultimate end’ of the investigation must hold nothing less than this: that the Loch Ness Monster was never in fact anything more than Aleister Crowley’s potent penis. They won’t find it with sonar” (p. 110).