Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Review: Grimoires: A History of Magic Books

I need to acknowledge right now that I am NOT a Ceremonial Magician, but then again, this book is written for people like me. This is NOT a compilation of Grimoires, nor is it a distillation of those books. It is a broad overview of magick books and books about magick (which are not necessarily the same thing). There is a fairly thorough discussion of the suppression of magick books, which makes it abundantly clear that, although most of us think in terms of the Christian church's efforts in this respect, Christianity was a "Johnny come lately" to that game. There had been suppressions long before the beginning of the Common Era.

This type of book often falls into one of two categories. It is either heavily influenced by the pop culture (unlikely in this case, given that it is published by Oxford University Press), or it is full of erudite, academic attitudes which leave you grabbing your dictionary as you read. This book walks the middle ground quite nicely. It answers questions with easily understood words, and saves the inevitable citations for the end of the book.

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