Author: Donald Tyson
Trade Paperback, 269 pages
Publication date: 2004
List: US$17.95, C$24.50
Price & More Info: Click Here
Who among us in the magickal community has not heard of, and laughed about,
this book over the years? It is a book which has never existed, although
some paid extravagant prices for leather-bound copies of at least one of the
"translations" offered for sale over the past few decades.
The original idea for this book blossomed in the mind of H. P. Lovecraft.
He quoted it as a source in some of his stories. Since the mentions first
appeared in print, people have striven to locate copies of it, even though
Lovecraft himself claimed it was an invented work.
Tyson offers his take on this classic work. He brings to this task a
background of magickal training and an understanding of the macabre which
unite to bring this work to life. Is this the "true" Necronomicon? Of
course it isn't. We all know the Necronomicon doesn't exist (nudge, nudge,
wink, wink). It does, however, capture a Lovecraftian flavor and tone. The
information contained within these dark covers will not sit well with the
"white lighters" out there, but it isn't meant to.
There are, so far as I can tell, zero resemblances between this book and
that edited by "Simon" and published during the late '70s and early '80s.
This book contains only a few invocations, no ceremonies, and minimal
illustrations. It is, for all of that, an exceptional book.
It is difficult to classify this book. The publisher puts it under
"Occult;" but its inspiration is fiction; its sources mythology and
history; its general tone, for lack of a better word, "religious."
If you want the "real" Necronomicon, I'm afraid you must communicate (beyond
the veil) with H. P. Lovecraft. If you want spells and rituals, there are
purported versions of them available, but not within these covers.
If you wish to understand the foundations upon which Lovecraft built his
concept of the Necronomicon, you will find that here. Is it certain that he
knew all of this data? No. It is likely that Mr. Tyson has expanded the
base of Lovecraft's knowledge. I feel it has been faithful to the "tone" of
the intention of Lovecraft's work. It tells the story of the wanderings of
the "author" of the Necronomicon; what he experienced. Overall, it is an
excellent book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Reviewed by Mike Gleason