Read The Golden Apple by Robert Shea Robert Anton Wilson Online


WAS IT LUCIFER Saul Goodman was after? He was beginning to almost believe it was.But Goodman was a New York cop; only juries believed in fairy tales.And this crazy case that had fallen in his lap—the Iluminatus; did it really exist, a great and dreaded secret cult, counting kings as members over the centuries, a colossus of crime and occult conspiracy?Witchcraft or world bWAS IT LUCIFER Saul Goodman was after? He was beginning to almost believe it was.But Goodman was a New York cop; only juries believed in fairy tales.And this crazy case that had fallen in his lap—the Iluminatus; did it really exist, a great and dreaded secret cult, counting kings as members over the centuries, a colossus of crime and occult conspiracy?Witchcraft or world blackmail, it was Saul Goodman's baby now, and even the President saw it his way, holding back the National Guard to give Goodman time to track down the evil behind Illuminatus—before it unleashed the anthrax plague that threatened to destroy all creatures great and small....As weirdly wonderful as the best of Vonnegut, as suspensefully off-beat as Casteneda, here comes Part II of ILLUMINATUS, a vulture's eye view of the dark side of human comedy....

Title : The Golden Apple
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440046912
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 272 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Golden Apple Reviews

  • J.G. Keely
    2019-06-03 16:38

    A sprawling, many-faceted, satirical series, Illuminatus! is difficult to rate and more difficult to review. There are so many aspects which one could address, so many points of divergence, ideas, philosophies, and influences, but at it's heart, it's a rollicking adventure story that, despite it's many political and social themes, rarely takes itself too seriously.I can certainly say I liked it, but it's hard to say how much. Some parts were better than others, but there are many parts to be considered. Unlike other reviewers, I did not find the numerous asides and allusions to be distracting. If one piqued my interest, I looked it up and more often than not, learned something entirely new. Some didn't intrigue me as much, and I was happy to let them lie.I treated the book like I treat life, following those threads which seemed, to me, to be the most fruitful, and refusing to become bogged down in the fact that I can't know everything. If a reader tried to track down every reference, they'd be going to wikipedia three and four times per page and likely lose the thread of the story entirely. The sheer volume of research behind the book is an achievement in itself, sure to keep the attention of detail-obsessed trivial pursuit players of the internet generation.Others have also complained about the structure of the book, switching as it does in place, time, and character with no forewarning. Certainly these switches can cause a moment's uncertainty, but they hardly make following the plot impossible. The authors could have put more line breaks in, it would be a minor change. So minor, in fact, that I find it difficult to take seriously any claim that the lack of such breaks somehow ruined the story.It was a deliberate effect by the authors, meant to impart information realistically and force the reader to take a more active role. In life, we are constantly inundated by information and it is up to us to decide what is important and where to make strict delineations. Likewise, in this book, the authors want us to take responsibility for our own parsing of data, refusing to spoon-feed it to us like so much propaganda.The authors, themselves went through huge amounts of data to combine all of these conspiracy theories into a grand ur-conspiracy, too large and detailed to be believed and too ridiculous to be doubted. I've never had much interest in such theories, so it was nice to have them all in one place where I could enjoy them as part of a fun spy story.I also admit a lack of interest in the beat poets, psychadelic culture, and World War II, so I'm glad to have gotten those all out of the way in the same fell swoop. This book is, at its heart, a chronicle of a certain point in American history, a certain mindset, a baroquely detailed conglomeration of the writings and ideas of the raucous sixties.The book is at its least effective when it is taking itself seriously, particularly in the appendices. When it seems to believe in it's own conspiracies or Burroughs' bizarre understanding of history, it becomes a victim of its own joke.It is at its best when it takes nothing seriously, least of all itself. The authors were involved in the flowering of the Discordian Movement, which has been described as a religion disguised as a joke disguised as a religion. The movement plays a large role in the text and is analyzed from all sides, but basically boils down to religion as imagined by Mad Magazine.The revolutionary thing about Mad was not that it undermined authority, but that it simultaneously undermined itself. It's humor was the insight that you could trust no one and nothing to be the source of wisdom, but that you were perfectly justified in mistrusting everything.Rather like the remarkable sixties series 'The Prisoner', the final message is that you must decide for yourself what is important, what is real, and what is misdirection. Also like 'The Prisoner', Illuminatus owes much to the spy books of the sixties, from their freewheeling sexuality to their ultra-modern secret bases and high-stakes secret missions. There is even an overt parody of the Bond franchise running through the books.Unfortunately, it also seems to fall into the Boys' Club atmosphere of spy stories. Though it switches between narrators, all of them are men, and the focused sexuality of the book most often points toward women. There are moments where bisexuality, homosexuality, and feminist sexual power dynamics are explored, but these tend to be intellectual exercises while the hot, sweaty moments are by and large men acting upon women. I can enjoy porn, but I wish it were as balanced as the rhetoric to which the authors pay adherence.Many male authors have shied away from writing female characters from the inside, despite having no compunction about getting inside them in other ways. I cannot reiterate enough the late Dan O'Bannon's insistence that the secret to writing women was writing men and then leaving out the penis. He scripted 'Alien' without gender markers, all characters being referred to by last name, and Sigourney Weaver's portrayal of Ellen Ripley has proven one of the most realistic and unaffected of any woman in film. It was a disappointment to see Shea and Wilson so fettered by gender while simultaneously spouting the latest feminist sound bites.In many ways, Illuminatus provides a bridge between the paranoid, conspiracy sci fi of Dick and the highly referential, multilayered stories of Cyberpunk. Conceptually, it represents a transition from Dick's characters, always unable to escape destruction at the hand of their vast, uncaring society, and Cyberpunk characters who are able to adapt to their distant, heartless society and thrive where they can. The language of Illuminatus is flashier and cooler than Dick's, but has not yet reached the form-as-function linguistic data overload of Gibson or Stephenson.And as you might expect, the writing here is good: crisp, witty, evocative and mobile. Far from the accusations of being a text 'written on an acid trip', it is lucid and deliberate, even if it does take itself lightly. There certainly are those aspects which are inspired by psychadelic culture, including the free-wheeling structure. The authors invite comparison between moments, events, and characters which, in most other books, would be separated by the strict delineation of the page break.But then, the surest sign of genius is the ability to synthesize new data from the confluence of apparently disparate parts, as Da Vinci did one day while studying the eddies in a stream for a painting, finding himself suddenly struck by the notion that the heart would pump blood more efficiently by forming such swirling eddies in its chamber instead of working as a simple pump. In the the past decade, internal body scanners have proven the accuracy of his small corner sketch. By inviting you to make such comparisons and synthesize your own conclusions, the book respects the potential intelligence of its reader.But it is not all such conceptual exercises, and the lesson Cyberpunk authors learned was that a fast-paced, flashy shell can sugar even bitter pills. What delighted me was the realization that at its heart, this is a story of Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos. Outside of Lovecraft and Howard, very few of the stories set in that universe are even passable, but this one comports itself ably, taking to heart the notion that an overabundance of data can break the human mind. Which dovetails nicely with the cautionary lesson of conspiracy theory: it seems vast, inexplicable beings of unimaginable power can also be human, and have cults just as Unaussprechlichen.Overall, the series is interesting, unique, informative, humorous, and entertaining. There are moments where it bogs down, but overall, it is well structured and well written. There aren't many books where you get a fun spy story, a harrowing Cthulhu story, and a rundown of the zeitgeist of a part of American history all in one, but there's certainly this one.Unless you're a teenager looking for a counterculture to believe in, its conspiracy mish-mash probably won't be a life-changing revelation, but it might be food for thought. Conspiracy fiction is big business these days with 'The Name of The Rose', 'Foucault's Pendulum' and 'The Da Vinci Code', while the originator of the genre gets comparatively little mention.But this book is not designed to be easy to digest. You are not meant to internalize its message thoughtlessly. It's funny, contradictory, and self-aware, and it's hard for people who take themselves seriously to get caught up in a book that, for the most part, doesn't. I could say this book deserves to be more than a cult classic, but at its heart, this book is a cult classic, and its cultural influence will continue to seep in with or without grander acclaim.

  • Tadas Talaikis
    2019-06-08 13:48

    (view spoiler)["What an idiots those illuminati are." :-D (hide spoiler)]"Belief is the death of intelligence. As soon as one believes a doctrine of any sort, or assumes certitude, one stops thinking about that aspect of existence." Cosmic Trigger Volume I: Final Secret of the IlluminatiAbove pretty summarizes it all. To read Robert Anton Wilson highly recommend I. All of it.Sometimes you can die from laughter:(view spoiler)["- It's alive! Jesus motherfucking Christ! Part of my language...- Don't apologize.(...)Jesus, looking strangely hogfaced rose from the pool:- This is my body, - pointing with a finger.- Jesus motherfucking Christ!" (hide spoiler)]["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>

  • Jake Berlin
    2019-06-05 16:36

    what's kind of amazing about these books is that amidst all the insanity there's actually some very interesting insight into human nature, politics, sociology, and history.

  • Bhakta Jim
    2019-05-30 18:48

    This book, like the other two in the trilogy, is a mess. Other reviewers have mentioned that there is more plot in this one than in the first volume. If so, I didn't notice it. If you go looking for a plot in this you'll work harder than the two authors did.What there is is exposition. Tons of it, and full of contradictions. There is also satire, pornographic passages, and descriptions of drug use. The satire is sometimes pretty good. Ayn Rand and Ian Fleming are both targets, more for their writing style than for their opinions.I found the books entertaining enough to keep reading, but the end result of reading them didn't add up to much. The books are supposedly about the Bavarian Illuminati and you'll read at least ten different conflicting descriptions of who they are and what they're up to.

  • Matthew Sarookanian
    2019-06-16 15:46

    By the second book it follows a more linear story line, though still confusing as hell. Much more enjoyable if you're looking for more to grasp onto.

  • Anthony Faber
    2019-06-05 17:46

    About the same as "The Eye in The Pyramid".Layers on layers of conspiracy.

  • Rendier
    2019-06-15 20:36

    still waiting for it to actually go somewhere...

  • Max Ostrovsky
    2019-05-19 18:55

    I can't seem to get away from time wasting crap. I finished the second book of the Illuminatus Trilogy with roughly the same opinion of the first book. I guess what bothered me the most was the fact that at parts I was actually getting into it. Some of the government conspiracy really alerted me to some of the recent things in history. This book, written published thirty years ago, describes in detail the Patriat Act, what it does, and how the government will convince the people to back it, and what kind of catastrophy it will take for something like this to be put into effect. Really nasty stuff. But the writing style is still annoying with the shifting view-points, characters, and time. Faulkner pulled it off masterfully with "The Sound and the Fury," but this book comes off as a cheap imitation. I know the effect that they're going for. They want a more hallucinagenic style to match their glorified take on drugs and how drugs can help illuminate, enlighten and really squeegy that third eye. Ten years ago, unfortunate to admit, I would have eaten this book up and it would have had me hook line and sinker. But I've grown in the past ten years. Even then, I was aware that drugs were not the path to enlightenment. True, I've had some great times and great conversations, but ultimately, that's just what it was. It was not a holy experience. There was nothing eye-opening. But this book seems to be like a drug pusher. "No no, you have been doing it right. Here, try this stuff over here. It'll rock your world." I really hate how this book has been glorifying drug use and has been really didactic about how the only way to open the mind is drugs. Everyone is on drugs in this book and contradictions are constantly being preached as the pathway to understanding. Contradictions has never led to understanding. I guess that's where the drugs come in where people will sit around and talk and wax intelligence, or what they think will pass for intelligence think that if they use contradictions, they'll come off like they have zen like understanding. Zen is not about contradictions. I can not be more vehement about it. The years I've studied and read about Zen, trying to grasp what it meant and this book perverts every concept to the point of corrupting the meaning of "Mu." I'm pissed about that. I have also come to the conclusion that everything is satirized in this book. I know I said before that I would enjoy this book better if it were satire, but I still don't. The satire is so heavy handed that I can't really appreciate it. Satire is best when subtle, like early "Simpsons."

  • Griffin Neal
    2019-05-22 19:41

    I think I'm more into it than I was with the first book. I'm gathering that it's a kind of whirlwind of ideas, perspectives, and theories to the end of both or either seeing what sticks in the reader's mind or teaching "agnosticism in all things" like I think the author said about it once. There's without a doubt an authorial stance during that uncharacteristically direct fuck-you to Ayn Rand towards the end, but other times it's harder to discern between speaker and author. If there was any character that Shea & Wilson find more sympathetic or closer to the truth than others, it's probably Hagbard Celine, but even he doesn't seem to have it all figured out. I guess what i'm looking for more than anything else is redemption or character growth to orient myself, but Illuminatus is a series that disorients the reader intentionally, as far as I understand it. There's definitely effort put into making this thing very difficult to "solve", with the modernist stream of consciousness, the postmodernist romantic irony, and the tremendous amount of semi-esoteric references to history, literature, and the occult. They had to be aware that most of this would go over their readers' heads. So, if the mission statement is to run me through the gauntlet of organize chaos, it's successful to some degree.

  • Jessica
    2019-06-02 19:30

    Pretty incredible how this book tends to hork up whatever subject has been independently on my mind, or the minds of those I spend my time with."Privilege implies exclusion from privilege... in the same mathematically reciprocal way profit implies loss. If you and I exchange equal goods, that is trade: neither of us profits and neither of us loses. But if we exchange unequal goods, one of us profits and the other loses. Mathematically. Certainly. Now, such mathematically unequal exchanges will always occur because some traders will be shrewder than others. But in total freedom--in anarchy--such unequal exchanges will be sporadic and irregular. A phenomenon of unpredictable periodicity, mathematically speaking."You will observe, instead, a mathematically smooth function, a steady profit accruting to one group and an equally steady loss accumulating for all others. Why is this? Because the system is not free or random, any mathemetician would tell you a priori. Well, then, where is the determining function, the factor that controls the other variables? ...the Great Traidition. Privilege, I prefer to call it. When A meets B in the marketplace, they do not bargain as equals. There is no more Free Market here than there is on the other side of the Iron Curtain."UGH THIS BOOK IS SO FUN TO READ. Excited for the 3rd installment...

  • Megan Cutler
    2019-05-19 17:50

    The hardest thing about this book was 'picking up all the threads' where the last book left off after a few months passing in between. (Then again, I think it's so dense that trying to read all three books in a row would present other challenges.) Once I checked a few names, though, it wasn't too hard to get everything back in order. As in order as you can get anything in these books.This book seems a little heavier on plot, with some of the major events finally coming together in a coherent fashion, even if there's still relatively little of it for a full-length novel. And there do still seem to be some extraneous bits. The first book actually makes more sense after reading the second one.But what really keeps me invested is the philosophy. Every now and then the novel hits on a concept that blows me away. It often strikes eerily close to home with current issues, despite having been written in the 70's. I really think it's those eye-opening, forward-thinking moments that keep bringing me back. When you least expect it, this book makes you think about the world you live in and, perhaps, re-evaluate the way you view it.

  • Erik
    2019-05-31 20:44

    The Golden Apple lacks the zaniness of the first volume, so i cant score the second installment as high. It is by no means bad, but its not as edited as a "book" as much - just progressionMost of this book is the "secret history of the world" as told from multiple perspectives. Its a good gimmick that keeps the reader guessing.

  • Nathan
    2019-05-19 12:43

    More coherant than the first Illuminatus! book, with actual whole sections making narrative sense. Nice pisstakes of itself and Atlas Shrugged are highlights, with nice ties to a range of other media and source material. Not engrossing, but enjoyable enough. Rated MA for sex scenes, nudity, strong drug use and adult themes. 2.5/5

  • Christopher Roberts
    2019-05-28 15:33

    You perhaps need to be a conspiracy buff to really appreciate these books. I personally do not buy into conspiracy culture, and differ politically with both Shea and Wilson. Still, I find this trilogy to be one of the great science fiction epics of the twentieth century. This is basically Pynchon without all the pretentiousness.

  • CV Rick
    2019-05-27 17:42

    In the second book, things start to coalesce into a plot. It's not a strong plot. It's more of a hallucination's version of a plot. Normally I wouldn't like a book without a clear direction with well-crafted mounting tension, but this was such a fun ride - like talking to a crazy manic uncle that you visit in the asylum. I'm on to the third book. Wish me luck.

  • Mert
    2019-05-26 19:50

    Garip bir şekilde ilk kitaba göre daha hızlı ve rahat okudum. Ya artık olayları çözdüğümü gösteriyor ya da hiç bir şey anlamadığımı. Ama kitapta Peter Jackson adlı bir karakter ve Yüzüklerin Efendisi hakkında bir sohbeti olması ilginç. Fnord!

  • Trevor Durham
    2019-06-14 13:49

    Who thought I could care so much about Atlantean conspiracies and the death of JFK? The obsession with masculinity and cuckolding by alternate races is satirized so hard in these novels within novels that I want to give this book to a modern American Nazi and watch their head explode.

  • Laurel
    2019-05-25 20:37

    So funny!

  • Tine!
    2019-06-14 19:41

    Getting better (than the first)....

  • Dustin
    2019-06-15 19:44

    I wasn't as impressed with the second installment. The non-linear writing style and the sudden shifts in perspective are starting to outweigh the story.

  • Malloreon
    2019-06-06 19:39

    This book was a real let down compared to the first book.

  • Conor
    2019-05-28 17:36

    I'm having a lot of trouble getting through these. A lot of pal's of mine love them though, so I'll motor through.

  • bluetyson
    2019-06-06 20:41