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Fiction Books
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Naked Lunch
by William Burroughs
A mind-bending, heroin-induced novel about an exterminator who gets hooked on bug poison and proceeds down a wild hallucinatory path to Hell, filled with Mugwumps, talking cockroach typewriters, and various homosexual acts. Very clever, trippy, and fun to read. Spawned a movie of the same. Written by the only member of the Beat movement that I don’t thoroughly spit upon.
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The Fall
by Albert Camus
Another short and devastating novel by Camus exploring the concepts of guilt and judgment. Goes quickly and makes you think.
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The Plague
by Albert Camus
A thought-provoking story of a town that is quarantined after being afflicted with bubonic plague. Belief-shattering debates about the meaning of life ensue between a handful of main characters. Includes disturbing descriptions of trains full of dead bodies passing by every 15 minutes. Inspired an inferior independent film of the same name starring William Hurt and Raul Julia. A totally non-existent character was added by the director just so they could show a scene of her masturbating.
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The Stranger
by Albert Camus
An existentialist novel about a man who gets convicted of murder because he didn't cry at his mothers funeral. Inspiration for the Cure song "Killing an Arab." A good place to start for anyone who's new to philosophical inquiry. One must destroy the belief in God in order to gain a understanding of Him.
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Valis
by Philip K. Dick
The somewhat autobiographical novel from this famous psychedelic science fiction writer, now dead. Expounds his theory about an insane superior being (nicknamed "Vast Active Living Intelligence System) who created the universe and locked all sentient beings in a metaphorical "Black Iron Prison" in order to hold back their evolution. According to Dick, time as we know it is only a hallucination brought on by our imprisoned minds. Will make you stop believing in coincidences.
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Les Chants de Maldoror
by Comte de Lautreamont
Written by Isidore Ducasse under the name Comte de Lautreamont first published in 1868-9, this macabre masterpice was one of the first examples of surrealist writing. Written in prose form it celebrates all things dark and evil. As it says in the first papagraph, "It would not be well that all men were to read the pages that are to follow; a few only may savor their bitter fruit without danger." This book has been a source of inspirations for such bands as Bauhaus, Current 93, and Death In June.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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The Case of Charles Dexter Ward
by H.P. Lovecraft
An unpredictable novelette about a crazed but brilliant young man who decides to continue the necromantic experiments of his dead uncle Joseph Curwin, who was burned to death by the townspeople for practicing sorcery.
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Dagon and Other Macabre Tales
by H.P. Lovecraft
More eerie fiction from the undisputed master.
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The Doom that Came to Sarnath and Other Stories
by H.P. Lovecraft
Inarguably this century's best author of the weird and creepy, his work was often inspired by the study of demonology, necromancy, Theosophy and many different kinds of mythology, although he himself claimed to be an atheist. Lovecraft wrote for a magazine called Weird Tales and inspired a lot of other like-minded writers of his time, including Clark Ashton Smith, August Derlith and Frank Belknap Long. Many films have also been based on his work, including From Beyond and Re-Animator.
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Tales of the Cthulhu Mythos
by H.P. Lovecraft
Contains The Call of Cthulhu, Lovecraft's most famous story, based on a dreaded grimoire called the Necronomicon.. Gave birth to a number of spin-offs by himself and other authors, some of which are also contained in this book.
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Zanoni: A Rosicrucian Tale
by Sir Edward Bulwer Lytton
Another science fiction novel from the author of Vril; The Coming Race (and inspiration for the Vril Society of WWII Nazi fame.) This one is very interesting because it begins with achapter in which the narrator says he was given the manuscript for the story written in a coded cipher of strange characters by a Rosicrucian initiate who inducted the narrator into the brotherhood as well. Lytton himself is widely suspected of having been a member of the order, although this cannot be substantiated. The story is typically “Lytonnian” in style of writing: weird, full of flowery, verbose language and long, philosophical musings. A lovely portrait of the author on the first page and a reproduction of the secret Rosicrucian cipher included in the first chapter, along with the utter rareness and obscurity of it, make this volume worth having.
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1984
by George Orwell
The classic horror story about a world taken over by Communists. Doubleplusgood!
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Nostalgia of the Unknown: The Complete Prose Poetry
by Clark Ashton Smith
Short pieces clearly inspired by Rosicrucianism and Atlantean mythology. Titles like From the Crypts of Memory and The Sweet Muse of Hyperborea., Romantic, verbose, somewhat racist, but at the same time, beautiful.
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Vaults of Yoh Vombis
by Clark Ashton Smith
A scary story about a disastrous trip to Mars, and the abominable creatures encountered there. Very Lovecraftian.
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Majestic
by Whitley Strieber
An excellent novel based on the real project Majestik 12 and the diary of Secretary of State James Forrestal, who fell to his death in suspicious circumstances after learning about the UFO crash at Roswell and subsequent events. Forrestal actually saw the beings and the vehicles first-hand.
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The Night Church
by Whitley Strieber
A chilling horror story about a cabal of Satanists who create a new strain of bubonic plague in order to wipe out the population and make way for the evolution of a superhuman being. Truly scary with unforseeable plot twists.
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The Philosopher's Stone
by Colin Wilson
A good novel whose story is basically constructed so that Wilson can expound his own theories, in refutation of existentialism and the idea that life is meaningless. Ironic since this man was discovered by Albert Camus, who published Wilson's first novel, The Outsider when Wilson was only 18.
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Sex Diary of a Metaphysician
by Colin Wilson
A novel based on a real-life figure who has no respect for religion and little respect for women. Contains an important but simplified character based on Aleister Crowley. Good but sometimes hard to read because the main character is such an asshole. One gets the feeling that Wilson actually identifies with him.
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The Illuminatus Trilogy
by Robert Anton Wilson
Mr. Wilson's most well-known work and a thrill to read. Inspiration for a play, a movie and a card game called Illuminati: New World Order.
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Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy
by Robert Anton Wilson
A hilarious and nonsensical triumvirate of novels about multiple universes and high-energy physics. Meant to bend your brain and make you unsure that you actually know anything.
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