The Schrödinger's Cat Trilogy by Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2022, 4–6)

Yes, all I do is reread. Sometimes it seems that way, anyway. Well, it was the end of 2014 when I read this last. Seven and a quarter years seems fair. It’s a lot of fun, which is why I keep returning to it, I guess.

The missing scientists, that I mentioned last time? True, it’s never explicitly explained where they went, but I think it’s clear that they found out how to move into other worlds, and went off to visit next-door universes.

The three volumes are entitled The Universe Next Door, The Trick Top Hat, and The Homing Pigeons, by the way.

I’m still making my way through the mammoth book that I mentioned before, but slowly. It’s The Books of Jacob, by Olga Tokarczuk, and you’ll read about it here eventually.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2021, 8)

Yeah, I know, it’s ridiculously soon after I last read this – well, three years, but still. But I had two specific reasons for rereading it now: I was still in my state of wanting comfort reading after being sick; and we’ve been watching a series of films called Can’t Get You Out of My Head, by Adam Curtis.

This is a strange series of films, of which more later, when we’ve seen them all. But it primed me to reread Illuminatus! because one of the early interviewees is Kerry Thornley, or Lord Omar Khayyam Ravenhurst, as he’s known in Discordian circles. He’s kind of a progenitor of this trilogy, and the films are, among many other things, about conspiracy theories.

I always get something out of a read of this, but I refer you to my previous notes.

The Illuminatus! Trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2018, 7)

As I said in the last books post, reading the JAMs’ Illuminatus-inspired attempt made me want to read the real thing again. Seems I read it about every four years or so, based on the fact that I wrote about it last in 2014.

It doesn’t lose any of its charm. I suppose I’d have to say, if we judge by number of rereads, that this must be my favourite book of all time.

If you haven’t read it, it’s probably because there’s a conspiracy to stop you doing so. Kick out the jams and go get it. Hail Eris!

The Crying of Lot 49 by Thomas Pynchon (Books 2015, 1)

This is kind of a frustrating one (and could, like the last one have been considered 2014, as I started it before the year ended; but it was well into January before I finished it.

Anyway, Pynchon can be difficult. I read V years back, and remember next to nothing about it; and I started Gravity’s Rainbow once, but ground to a halt and never quite got round to going back (this despite the fact that I was originally drawn to it by Alan Moore talking about reading it).

This one is a lot less difficult, to say nothing of significantly shorter. Its problem is more to do with how our heroine comes to find out about the weird postal conspiracy that she investigates, and why it matters. We have some engaging characters in interesting situations, but it’s hard to get terribly enthused about a conspiracy to route the post by some means other than official government mail channels.

Especially in these deregulated times, when most of the post is deliveries from Amazon anyway. We Await Silent Bezos’s Empire, I guess.

But it’s worth reading.

The Illuminatus! trilogy by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (Books 2014, 17)

A rereading, of course; in fact, this is probably something like the sixth time I’ve read this. I keep coming back to it. And why not? There’s music, magic, musings, sex, drugs, and conspiracies. Lots and lots of conspiracies.

It felt very on trend, as the trendy types say, to be reading it in 2014. We are at a time when the idea of the Illuminati is not just well known, but is discussed, or at least panicked about, among our nation’s schoolkids. Apparently lots of modern music stars — people like Rihanna, for example — are noted (by paranoid types) for being pawns of (or part of) the “actual” Illuminati.

The clues include any use of triangular imagery in their videos. You get the idea.

The people who believe in that sort of thing are just the types this great trilogy was written for. No, about. No: for.