I’ve been wanting to read a biography of Aleister Crowley for years, but I’ve never known which (of many published) was the most accurate. I didn’t want one praising him madly, nor did I want one condemning him entirely. I wanted a purely objective one and Lachman’s fits the bill.
Lachman has had an interest in the occult (and has been a practitioner) since a teenager, and has written a biography that while admires Crowley for his magic abilities and influence in the occult world, nonetheless sees him for what he was.
Crowley, although dying penniless, has since gained an almost mythical legend. While there’s no denying his obvious influence in the occult and pop culture, his less pleasant traits have almost been swept under the carpet by devotees and fans. This book explores those traits.
While I’m fascinated by the life he’s led, I end up intensely disliking the man. To say that he was a user of people, not only discarding when they had finished their purpose, is an understatement in the extreme. Most of the women he had “relationships” with, ended up alcoholics and/or in mental asylums, badly destroyed.
If you’re wanting to hold onto an image of the legend then I can’t recommend this book. However if you’re wanting a “warts and all” account, then this is the book for you.
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