Read Aegypt by John Crowley Online


Does the world have a secret history, encoded in myth and legend, reflected in the very windings of our brains? Born with the talents to be a real historian, but clinging to a minor teaching job, Pierce Moffett watches the great Parade of the ’60s go by him, and wonders. He’s still wondering years later when, jilted and newly jobless, he gets off a bus by chance in the FarDoes the world have a secret history, encoded in myth and legend, reflected in the very windings of our brains? Born with the talents to be a real historian, but clinging to a minor teaching job, Pierce Moffett watches the great Parade of the ’60s go by him, and wonders. He’s still wondering years later when, jilted and newly jobless, he gets off a bus by chance in the Faraway Hills and steps unawares into a story that has been awaiting him there.Does the world have a plot? It’s what Rosie Rasmussen wants to know, too. Will her life have the fearful symmetry of the lives led inside the books she reads? Rosie, newly returned to her childhood environs in the Faraways, is reading the historical romances of dead Fellowes Kraft one after another to see her through the hard realities of a divorce. There is another history in Kraft’s vivid novels: there are angels and Elizabethan magicians and the boy Shakespeare; once upon a time these tales entranced Pierce Moffett too, and teased him with the traces of a very large story indeed…Pierce is on the track of a history he can’t quite believe in; Rosie is losing her place in her own story, forgetting why people love one another. They are two seekers, marked by loss, about to share a discover in Fellowes Kraft’s old house in the Faraway Hills. There is more than one history of the world....

Title : Aegypt
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780553051940
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 390 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Aegypt Reviews

  • Gabrielle
    2019-04-19 11:23

    3 and a half... I think?So before I get into the review, a few things you need to know about this book. This is not a book for everyone. It's complicated, it requires the reader to stop and think really hard constantly, there's little to no "external" plot, but what's going on inside the characters is hugely important. To read Crowley's prose, you need to be focused and awake: if you miss so much as a sentence, entire pages will stop making sense. Avid readers of classical literature and writers will find his work very rich, multilayered and interesting, though maybe not entertaining. People who like "The Da Vinci" code won't understand squat. This book will appeal to readers who are fascinated with history, philosophy, the occult and the possibility that the generally-accepted concept of reality is not all there is. People who like solid realism will roll their eyes and throw the book out the window. This is a book about how our perception affects our understanding of the world, about how Western mysticism and the related beliefs and superstitions affect our reality through our worldview.The "Aegypt" tetralogy is my husband's favorite work of fiction. He's huge nerd with a English literature degree, so those books are a rare treat to him. Just like the main character of "The Solitudes", he let go of a frustrating and circular academic career and spent some time figuring out "What now?". But the resemblance ends there. He told me this book would take me through a lot of emotions, including frustration and hilarity, and he was right. Every once in a while, I would shake the book, yelling "Why are you so stupid?!", and then giggle myself silly halfway through the following chapter. So if my review feels scattered and a bit confusing, consider that a preview of what you are in for when you pick up this book!"Solitudes" is the story of how Pierce Moffet's life suddenly turns upside down and he winds up landing in a tiny village somewhere in New York state, where he slowly rebuilds his life. In that process of finding a new path, falling in love, dealing with his family history and so on, he begins to dive into a question an old professor of his planted in his mind: is there more than one history of the world? Can the metaphysical be completely ripped apart from the scientific? Should it? After all, it's only a relatively recent trend to separate science and spirituality: the thing about magic is that when we start understanding it, it becomes science. Pierce becomes convinced that a country called Aegypt is the answer, that it exists just outside of our perceptions, perhaps at a different time than the historical Egypt; it is the land where magic and occult knowledge comes from and Pierce wants to write its history.Summarizing any more than that is really tricky, because Crowley takes this story all over the place, in a non-linear narrative that includes a book-within-a-book, stories about John Dee and William Shakespeare, Giordanno Bruno's mnemonic techniques and the hippie lifestyle in a small country town.There is no doubt that this is a beautifully, excessively cleverly written book. But I found it just a bit too ethereal for my taste. It's definitely a rewarding read, but even Jason admits that it's not a particularly fun one: the style can be confusing. Crowley omits to put the text of "Bitten Apples" (the book within the book) in quotation marks or italics, so when the narrative switches abruptly from the fictional book back to the main story, you get that exact feeling of aggravated confusion you get when someone rudely interrupts your reading break and pulls you back into reality. It's jarring, despite the cleverness of the trick. The characters are not particularly likable, but they are not flat-out awful either. I actually think my problem with Crowley's characters is their blandness. Smokey in "Little, Big", as well as most of Alice's family gave me that same feeling of faded outlines of people, as opposed to bright and multi-dimensional people. That being said the idea of an internal and external history is a very intriguing topic and I have always been fascinated by occult systems and their history, so digging into those ideas kept me interested to the end.It took me a bit longer than usual to finish this book, probably because I read other books while I was working on this one: I knew my entertainment and escapism fix wasn't going to come from "Solitudes", but it had its own rewards. I really appreciated the beauty of the prose and the technical brilliance, but it was exhausting and I suspect Crowley might have been on a variety of substances when he outlined this story... It might take me a while to get to the sequel, but I would really love to see what happens next!

  • Mindy McAdams
    2019-04-17 09:09

    So you have read The Solitudes or (this is the same book) Aegypt, and you're wondering whether you'd like to read the other three books in this tetralogy (The Aegypt Cycle). So -- no spoilers -- here's what I can tell you:Pierce Moffett and the people of Blackbury Jambs remain prominent in all four volumes, and the thread that runs from start to finish is Pierce's little life -- his flawed, sad, typical, and yet inspiring, often challenging, life as a flawed and ultimately redeemable, forgivable, human being.However, we don't follow Pierce for decades, and we don't travel with him into his old age. I think of the tetralogy as being anchored to Pierce's midlife crisis -- although he's a bit younger than literal midlife, he's certainly having a crisis. He doesn't know why he's here, what his purpose is, what his direction should be. Around him he observes the people of this rural wayside where he has found himself stopping, almost by accident. He circles around and around a grand idea for a massive literary work centered on Aegypt -- a chimera, a parallel universe where magic was real, a world where people used to live and then -- and then? -- and this is all tangled up with the life's work of a dead author named Fellowes Kraft, whose house (and final manuscript) happen to be in the same village where Pierce is staying.And what happens then? If this all sounds like I am describing the first of the four volumes, that's not surprising -- but I am also describing all four of them. The movement forward is tangible as you continue reading. Neither Pierce nor any of the other characters (including John Dee, Edward Kelley and Giordano Bruno) stands still for very long. Religion, science, magic, past and present flow in and out, currents of different temperatures but all part of one sea. Everything rushes toward a conclusion, like hurtling down a long, twisting tunnel (sometimes very dark) from which, in the end, all will burst out into the clean air again.Circling and hurtling at once are, I think, good metaphors for the way this story travels toward its very satisfying conclusion. Along the way you'll find yourself smiling at the recurrences of dogs and roses, the numerous words containing the grapheme æ, the werewolves, the fairies, and angels.So if you, my friend, would like me to tell you how it all ends -- I can't do that. It wouldn't make sense. You need to get on the raft along with Pierce and ride it through, because the experience is much more than the plot.

  • M
    2019-03-30 09:20

    This cuts my soul the way prime John Crowley always does, but this book takes that stream of inspiration to its most fantastically baroque consequences. This is the author of "Little, Big" writing both "Foucault's Pendulum" and something like the "Quicksilver" books simultaneously. With some borrowed tone from "Against the Day." Doesn't matter that only one of those books had yet been written.There is more than one history of the world.This is an absurdly self-referential love letter to kooky frustrated academics, to anyone who has constructed an esoteric universe out of a year of reading, to dreamers out of time who read too much and think too much and just BRIEFLY glimpse the absolute contingency of this fragile world of ours, to anyone who has read a book and felt it must have stolen their last five years of learning and thinking . . . and, well, to ME.Most of all this is about how in the moments BETWEEN things (Pynchon loves these too), there are uncountable possible futures and pasts, all waiting to collapse quantumlike into the world we know. What we never realize is that nothing _compelled_ the track we have now. The seams are papered over by storytelling. We never stop telling stories. When the world is round, it suddenly always has been. (Or has it?)This is never going to be a novel for very many people, but for those who it is, I am pointing the way.Ecstatic to start "Love and Sleep."

  • Pavle
    2019-04-01 08:22

    Objavljena par godina nakon Kroulijevog Little Big-a, Aegypt (odn. The Solitudes kakav je naslov Krouli želeo da nosi ovaj roman, ali izdavač je bio bezobrazan) je prirodna evolucija tema načetih u prethodno pomenutom romanu. Magija sećanja, Hermes Triput-veliki (sl. prevod) i njegova učenja hermetizma: neki drugi, posebniji svet koji se krije u ovom našem.Čudna struktura koja prati dva stvarna lika i dva semifiktivna (Djordano Bruno i Džon Di, likovi dva romana-unutar-romana istorijske fikcije) ponekad se čini napornom i kao da pravi pešačke prelaze za mahnito obrtanje stranica - što nije nužno loša stvar. Uživao sam i upijao i zamišljao kako bi to bilo da zaista svet ima Zaplet, da je svet nekada bio drugačije mesto. Jedina mana je što malo klimavo stoji kao nezavisan roman, kao Roman, pa treba pročitati i ostale delove. A njih prvo treba iskopati er Krauli, uvek negde izmedju "literarne" tzv. visoke književnosti i fantastike, nikad nije bio nešto naročito popularan, te se to odrazilo i na tiraž njegovih knjiga: četvrtu i poslednju ovog ciklusa iz nekog razloga gotovo je nemoguće naći u mekom povezu, bar na internetu odn. bukdepozitoriju. 4+

  • Prof X
    2019-04-03 06:17

    A collection of unlikable, mildly revolting characters, do a lot of thinking, a bit of drugs, some solid ruining of their own lives, and occasionally have sex/affairs and/or randomly end up in pornos. Also, there's something about maybe how the old magical stories might be true even though they're false, which is repeated over and over throughout the book, but never actually gets any further than that. An utterly baffling book that wastes everyone's time. Now that you've read this synopsis, you don't even need to read the book, because this is all that's in it.

  • Chris
    2019-03-26 11:07

    I have heard about Crowley's Aegypt cycle for years but found it difficult to find. When I learned that the cycle was being re-issued, I brought the first volume warily, fearful that it would not live up to the hype. It does. What I really liked about this first book was Pierce's musing at the end. Pierce is thinking about an idea of alternative realities and right before he wonders about the outside world and the inner world. There is such truth to that. The book is a the first of the cycle so the pacing is a little leisurely, but because most of the main characters live, it isn't an issue. The reader is also treated to a couple stories within a story, including one about Shakespeare.

  • Tim Pendry
    2019-04-14 11:00

    Despite all the awards and claims, this is probably going to be a fundamentally disappointing book to anyone who is not a dedicated literature major.Admittedly, it is only the first colume of an ambitious tetralogy but such a volume should make you want to read the next in sequence. My instinct was not to waste a mature life by doing so.So what is wrong here? There is no doubt that it is well crafted (though with all the introspective confusions that seem to be de rigueur with the late twentieth century literary crowd) and it comes alive at moments.Crowley can write exceptionally well when he wants to write well but the passages of lucidity are often subsumed in something that clearly demands four books, too much concentration and a lot of trust on the part of the reader.In the end, the attraction of the book has to come down to the personality of the reader. It certainly can't be regarded as a classic fantasy but more an elaborate fiction about the concept of literary fantasy.The literary component is well within the East Coast tradition of baby boomer narcissism and the fantasy element mere wistful posturing based on not having the courage to think the world other than it is without caveats.It is a case of having one's cake and eat it perhaps - guardedly to embrace the fantasies of the past as if they were new discovered lands and yet embed oneself in a fictional working out of one's own life through literary evasion.The book suffers from its era. The esoteric material that seems so exciting in 1987 is now widely available and in more interesting form on the 21st century internet. Few educated people now find Bruno or Dee an utter surprise.Similarly, the gentle naivete of the baby boomer generation with its yearning for safe fantasy now looks more like a self-regarding irresponsibility whose effects have been dumped on their children and grand-children.We start with Esalen and (at our best) with Martin Luther King and we end up with Hillary Clinton, perpetual warfare and low level economic gloom. This was the world the evasive fantastics made.Wistful esotericism is the wrong sort of fantasy, an evasion based on words, instead of a deep insanely existential engagement with the other or a pragmatic facing off of the world geared to action.Still, those of a literary cast of mind who have no sense of the fantastic - though every fiction is no more than a mental projection masquerading more or less as the 'real' - might find this an easy path to some otherkin thinking.Personally, I would not dabble around the edges - I would leap straight into the radical fantastic and give up 'raffine' literary quality for more direct immersion in subversive thoughts and experiences.

  • Vicky
    2019-04-23 07:00

    Toward the end of this very strange and ingenious novel, the author reviews it himself. The hero, Pierce Moffett, has come across an unpublished manuscript by a deceased author, and it sounds very much like The Solitudes itself:"For it wasn't a *good* book at all, Pierce supposed, considered as a book, a novel; it was a philosophical romance, remote and extravagant, without much of the tang of life as it really must have gone on in the world--as it really *had* gone on if you meant *this* world, this only one in which, metaphors aside, we all have really and solely lived in. The character were hungry ghosts. . .the actual incidents great and small in which they in fact participated, all reduced to a winter's tale by the springs their actions were imagined here to have: the birth-pangs and death-throes of world-ages, the agonies of potent magicians, the work of daemons, of Christ's tears, of the ordering stars."In other words, if you're reading for character and verisimilitude, you'll find it only in occasional patches: this is an idea-driven book. But the ideas are so intriguing, and Crowley's writing so lyrical, and some scenes so eerie and gripping, that you're never bored -- though you might well be exasperated!

  • Jason Pettus
    2019-04-11 03:13

    (My full review of this book is much longer than GoodReads' word-count limitations. Find the entire essay at the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [].)So to even begin understanding today's essay, you need to first understand the following -- that what we now know as modern "science," back when it was invented in the 1500s, was in fact mostly a religious pursuit when it was first created. See, such deep thinkers back then ultimately wanted to be closer to God, and that led them to closely studying the way that God works out in nature; and since they wanted to share these discoveries with other deep thinkers, and be able to reproduce the discoveries in other environments around the world, a whole set of systematic rules started getting developed for how to perform and record such observations. And thus did the entire thing start resembling the "scientific process" we know today (form a theory; test it under unbiased conditions that can be reproduced by anyone; share your findings no matter what they are); and thus did such a process have less and less to do with religion over the centuries, with such "scientists" deliberately drubbing out such former mystical elements of their profession as alchemy so as to get the public to take them more seriously.But was it in fact a mistake to drub out such metaphysical elements from what we now know as science? Did in fact the deep thinkers of humanity before the Renaissance have a different understanding of the way the world works, precisely by combining science with mysticism in the way they did back then, and did the deep thinkers of the Renaissance actually ruin something for humanity by separating the two topics? That's the question at the heart of John Crowley's The Solitudes, part 1 of a four-book cycle known officially as "Ægypt" (or "AEgypt" as I'll be calling it for the remainder of today's essay, to better accommodate those on web devices that cannot display special characters), a book which originally came out in 1987 but just last year received a major reworking and publishing. It is a frustrating book, I'll warn you right off the bat -- a dense, thick, scholarly novel, written in a style meant to sometimes deliberately confuse the reader, with a pacing that can drive you crazy at points and a storyline that is constantly flying at least a little bit right over your head. But it's also one of the most fascinating books I've read in years as well, a book that proposes ideas I've never heard another fantastical author even mention, ideas that literally take a lifetime of academic study to produce in the first place. It's a confusing book that elicits all kinds of shifting emotions in me that are hard to pin down; all of those things are of course going to end up affecting what I have to say about it today.For example, let's start with just the surface-level plot itself; it is ostensibly the story of Pierce Moffett, a burned-out '60s history professor now muddling through life in the late '70s when our story takes place, who at the beginning of the book is just finishing up a disastrous few years in New York City, teaching at a hipster college in Brooklyn and living with a cunning and beautiful coke dealer in a concrete-lined condo in midtown Manhattan, going deeply into debt to support both the lifestyle the girlfriend brings and to help finance the illegal schemes she's constantly in the middle of cooking up. All of the elements just mentioned have recently blown up in Pierce's face, which is what finds him traveling by bus at the beginning of the novel to attend an interview at a precious private college in the northeast boonies; but right in the middle of the trip the bus breaks down, by complete coincidence in the picturesque upstate New York town of Faraway Hills, where by complete and utter coincidence an old '60s radical friend of his is now living and raising sheep. And thus does Pierce ditch the unmade interview and decide to relocate to Faraway Hills instead; and thus does he attend a series of precious small-town events like annual town-wide croquet matches and hot-air balloon races; and thus does Pierce ring up an ex-girlfriend who's now a literary agent and propose a new job for himself -- as the author of a series of Tolkien-style "Chariot of the Gods" type fantasy novels, so trendily popular in the late '70s, positing a world in which ancient races in mythical cities actually carved out the world we now know, just to fall into obscurity and to be forgotten in modern times.Ah, but here's the first big complication -- that Pierce isn't kidding about any of the stuff being proposed, and in fact...

  • Kevin
    2019-03-29 06:00

    Once upon time, earlier this year, when I had hinted at my excitement to begin reading this series, my brother asked, " what's it about?" My answer then, as it kinda is now, was "well...erm..."The Solitudes (or Aegypt, if you have an earlier edition) is the first of four parts in the Aegypt cycle/series/really long novel by John Crowley. It is also his grand work, where all the themes of his other books and short stories were mostly preparation for this work. And it shows, those who have read other novels by Mr. Crowley will find several familiar themes... and of course, the changes in frames of references that could change everything and the meaning of what is going on in this story.So... what is it about? Is it fantasy? Perhaps... seems to be a bit more like magical realism to me, except... well....those changes in frames of references really complicate the task of writing a synopsis, so... let's begin with the question, "What is Aegypt?"Aegypt is like Egypt, possibly located near or transposed over that famed country. From this country, it is posited that varying practices of a magical nature and ability to communicate with angels and daemons is said to come from. It is the Eden back to which various people would like to return, before something happened and humanity found itself separated from Paradise and consigned to this current world governed by physical laws.What caused this separation? Who knows, except that it deals with the concept of history not only having various possibilities for the future, but also various possibilities for the past. Every once in a while, it seems like the world stands on a cusp where it can choose between multiple pasts, before a decision is made and a past set. Our main character, Pierce Moffet, believes that he can perceive this past amongst other pasts and wishes to write a book about the History of Aegypt... a history he views as imaginary but not created by him. While this is going on, Pierce is dealing with displacement due to a bizarre breakup and loss of employment. Meanwhile, other characters with their own problems and "connections" to Aegypt make their way into his story.The Solitudes is what one would call the "Spring Quaternary" of the Aegypt Cycle... and it is an apt name for it. Starting with what seems to be the aftermath of bleak (i.e. "wintery") events, the story begins to stir and come to life and bloom with hope and potential. This is very much a beginning of a story with little to no resolution... but what do you expect? There's three more books to go through!

  • Jane
    2019-04-04 11:01

    This novel requires the reader to give it thought and patience in order to absorb its multiple layers. The simplest description I can give it is that it is a strange combination of any novel by Dan Brown and the first novel in The Magicians trilogy. Aegypt treads a line between fantasy and quantum physics, and its theme is that truth and history can vary with time, data, and the observer. It's also about coming of age in America, and a good chunk of it is historical fiction.Ursula Le Guin said that Crowley's book Little, Big, published in 1981 “all by itself calls for a redefinition of fantasy.” Having not yet read the Little, Big, I will say that I saw in Aegypt--published in 1988--the foundation for more recent fantasy novels, such as the aforementioned Magicians trilogy. The characters in Aegypt are similar in a variety of ways to those of The Magicians--Americans stumbling through life, not quite fitting in--but the most important commonality is the existence of magic (theurgy) in the real world. Aegypt (and I must note that I mean the first volume of the series because I haven't yet read the rest) subtly explores this theme by positing that magic exists as a body of knowledge that was suppressed (by Christian religious leaders) and then forgotten, as practitioners died and the sciences of physics and astronomy moved forward. But small clues remain to suggest that these sciences cannot completely explain the functioning of the universe on either a macro or micro scale, and the central character of Aegypt, Pierce Moffett, has finally reached a point and place in time and in his life to be able to explore those clues.But if you choose to read Aegypt, do not expect the adventures and drama that are frequently found in books that cover fantasy and magic. Aegypt is subtle almost to a fault, and it wasn't until I got well into the book and did some additional background reading on people like Giordano Bruno and John Dee that I felt like I had caught or been lured into the flow of the novel. By the end, though, I was definitely hooked and am looking forward to part two.

  • Kenzie
    2019-04-22 03:59

    I loved this book. Not only did it include invented works of historical fiction about Shakespeare, John Dee, and Giordano Bruno, the present-day "philosophical romance" was perfectly beautiful. For example, a summer night's party harkens back to paradisaical innocence. It's dreamy and a little hard to follow, but that's how it is, isn't it?And the ideas... as good as any philosophy book. Better, because form and content are so intertwined. What is history? What does it mean that humans are so intent on creating meaning? And how does meaning come to be embodied in tangible ways? Maybe what I love most is the balance the book strikes--no, our fantasies aren't real, but no, they're also not impotent--Somehow the myths we create change the world, somehow Mind is more infinite than we realize. I can't wait to read the rest of the tetrology.

  • Karlo
    2019-03-30 09:18

    No quite sure how to comment on this book; it was a long read for me, which is usually a sign that I didn't like it. In this case, I would say that it took me longer because it was a difficult read for me. The author utilizes a book within a book conceit (at one point 4 regressions deep) that left me struggling to understand the overall thrust of the book. In the end, I'm not sure if I understood what Crowley was trying to get across. I have 3-4 candidates for that understanding, but none is sufficiently clear to choose as the winner. I found the book to be a rewarding read, and one for which a book club-style discussion would have been helpful.

  • Aaron
    2019-04-19 09:24

    This book will blow your noodle with its investigation into the notion that the world was once totally different than it now is, and that it was possible, during a time, to actually make lead into gold and build a perpetual motion machine. Alas, that knowledge is now lost for good and can never be recovered. Crazy shit.

  • Consuelo
    2019-04-02 06:04

    Aún no puedo rankear este libro, ni decido si lo amé o si no me gustó. De todas formas, a medida que pasan los dias, como que me gusta mas. Y hay que leerlos todos para tener una minima idea. Se nota mucho que esto es la primera parte de un solo libro.Esto se trata (creo), de un profesor de historia llamado Pierce Moffett (Aquí parentesis. En la contratapa dice "fracasado". Quienes fuimos a una facultad de ciencias sociales y estamos semi-cesantes sabemos que tener un trabajo de planta en una universidad no es precisamente ser un fracaso..o si? A mi me parecio que tenia un trabajo decente, tiempo para leer, y algo de vida social, aunque de todas formas yo tambien habria preferido irme al campo. Fin del parentesis), que anda por la vida medio intrigado con una serie de cosas raras que le aparecen en la historia (si, en la historia occidental, el renacimiento y todo eso), con otras cosas de libros que recuerda leido en su infancia (sobre todo libros de Felowes Kraft) y con un pais imaginario que le ronda en la cabeza desde siempre(aegypto). Cuando el era chico tenia varias cosas construidas en torno a este pais, hasta un club, y no tiene muy claro de donde saco todas esas cosas. Tambien anda medio intrigado con su vida, asi que le baja el olguita marina (esa necesidad que tienen algunas novias y algunos heroes anagrama de dejar todo botado e ir a encontrarse a si mismos) y se va a vivir a un pequeño pueblo en el campo, donde tambien vive su amigo Spofford (gran personaje), con la idea de escribir un libro sobre Aegypto. Ahi tambien vive Rosie Rasmussen, que anda leyendo cuantas novelas de Felowes Kraft se le crucen por delante. Y otros varios personajes que me parece que van a ser importantes. Da la casualidad tambien de que Kraft nacio y vivio toda su vida en este pueblecillo. Bueno, en verdad son puros detalles, no me atrevería a decir pistas, porque no sé para donde va la cosa. Por ahi por el final parece que todo va a encajar. Las Rosies que hay en el pueblo, las fechas de colores en la cabeza de Pierce, el arte de la memoria de Giordano Bruno, la fundación Rasmussen. Y despues esa sensacion desaparece. En todo caso, no es un puzzle. Creo que no hay que tratar de encajar nada.Rosie Rasmussen dice que hay dos tipos de libros, los que te llevan de la mano a un desenlace y los que de repente te hacen volver al principio. Aegypto, hasta ahora, es uno de estos ultimos.Por supuesto, ahora no me queda más que empezar con Amor y sueño. De lo unico que estoy segura con respecto a este libro es de que es un principio y no corresponde dejar un libro asi sin terminar.

  • gwayle
    2019-04-10 09:11

    Pierce Moffat is a down-and-out historian who becomes hip to a recurring historical phenomenon, a sort of crossroads in time, when the history of the world could move in an infinite number of directions but ultimately settles on one, its previous history entirely subsumed into the next. His thesis and search center around a lost civilization called Aegypt (not to be confused with Egypt), whose thinkers are founders of the Hermetic tradition that later influenced occultists Giordano Bruno, John Dee, and perhaps even young William Shakespeare. I came to this after reading Francis Yates' wonderful The Art of Memory; this nonfiction book is the basis for many of Crowley's ideas (Giordano Bruno is particularly central to both). The novel is gorgeously written, intriguing, and absorbing. It's also at times repetitive, indulgent, and needlessly confusing (I'll never understand the Rose/Rosie confusion--how pointless and irritating). But I did something I almost never do (see my "sequels and series to finish" shelf!; Harry Potter 4 through 7 is a notable exception): I went out and immediately purchased and started reading the sequel.

  • Dharmakirti
    2019-04-14 06:15

    I don't know that I'm able to do this wonderful novel justice. But this is one of the best novels I've read in years. Highly recommended!Pierce Moffett has lost his job as a history professor. While travelling to interview at another school, the bus he's on breaks down in a place called Faraway Hills and he runs in to a former student who now tends sheep. Rosie Mucho's marriage is falling apart. As an escape, she turns to the historical fiction of the (fictional) local writer, Fellowes Kraft. These stories frequently involved a young William Shakespeare and the philosopher/astronomer/astrologist/occultist John Dee.Pierce decides to move to Faraway Hills and his paths cross with Rosie and the novels of Fellowes Kraft. So begins a wonderful, beautifully written novel (the first in a four part series) about a man who starts to understand that history is more than just a list names and dates; that there is more than one history of the world.

  • Pariskarol
    2019-03-28 05:09

    I read this book at two different times in my life, two decades apart. The first time, I didn’t like the book, found it vague, the characters unsympathetic, and the many references unfamiliar and this meant nothing to me. On the heels of my favorite much-reread Little, Big, this was deeply unsatisfying. But twenty years later, in my 50s, after a degree in literary studies and much, much more reading, my experience with this book is completely different. This time I experienced it as an audiobook, read to me during the quiet moments of my life —on car trips, while waiting, at bedtime—in the author’s own gentle, friendly voice that gave life to the characters. My own life experiences brought deeper understanding of the events and my education gave rich color to the references. Now I’m ready for the book as I simply was not 20 years ago. Crowley is a master, probably the one great literary masters of our time.

  • Susan
    2019-04-06 08:24

    It's been a long time since I marked so many passages and so many new vocabulary words in a novel. Re-reading this book 30 years later was unexpectedly a completely different and new experience, and I wonder if it can only truly be appreciated by those who are old enough to "experience the sharp sense that their lives are in two halves, and that their childhoods, on the far side, lie not only in the past but in another world". The late 70s setting feels like another world at this point, and only this far removed from it can I say, yes, I recognize that yearning, that confusion, those feelings. I have promised myself to read the entire series within the next year, but not one right after another. I need to sandwich these books in between lighter fare, and read more Tolkien and Holdstock, whose underlying themes resonate with this series, in conjunction with them. But read them I will, because this book reminds me that revelation and growth are still possible.

  • Michael
    2019-04-15 10:16

    Update: there is some genuinely beautiful writing here. Crowley crafts images and scenes that for me are exceptionally vivid. A joy to revisit.When I first read this book (under its original title _Aegypt_) I greatly enjoyed it but I didn't have a mature enough perspective to get the most out of it. I also didn't know there was a sequel, and so when I read the third book in the sequence (_Daemonomania_) I was completely lost.There is another history of the world, concurrent with the history taught to you in school, and Pierce Moffett seeks to chronicle this secret history (peopled by Giordano Bruno, John Dee, and Will Shakespeare among others). This book is the first part of four in the sequence, so you do get the sense that their journey is only beginning; if you only read this book, though, you're bound to think that the plot's going nowhere. I love occultism, and scholasticism, and rich stories that unfold slowly and gradually, so this (and any other Crowley, really) is perfect fare for me. Patience will be rewarded.

  • Augustapalmer
    2019-04-01 05:13

    Just re-read this and highly recommend it. This series of four books argues that "there is more than one history of the world." In fact, we each make up our own. In particular, these books suggest that history has a series of hairpin curves which completely alter our perception of the past as well as the present. Moments like the Renaissance and the 1960s dredged up ancient texts and opened up a wide range of possibilities that closed down in ensuing decades. The book has amazing characters and interweaves the lives of the magician John Dee, the heretic Giordano Bruno, and a host of 1970s residents of an upstate NY town, creating suspenseful stories that span multiple eras...

  • Kelly McCubbin
    2019-03-31 11:02

    Possibly the most formative book I've ever read. The main character, Pierce Moffat, feels so familiar to me that it was easy for Crowley's brilliant prose to influence how I saw the world.Often compared to Robertson Davies in his use of history and sense of detail, Crowley actually leaves the old master behind with the sheer world-cracking scope of the piece.Intellectually demanding, but rewarding beyond belief.This is the beginning of a four book series which was completed this year and yet this one can stand on its own. (The others in the series can't.)

  • Linda Robinson
    2019-04-11 03:08

    Intriguing and unforgettable. Crowley came so close to allowing the reader's mind to change realities, it's almost a window into a different dimension. So close. Periodically I reread the books to see if there might be some thread I've missed."...attempt a book composed of groups, ambiguous but clear, great solitudes that look on and look away from each other; a book solemn and darkly bright and joyous in its achievement; a book empty and infinite at its center."

  • Annie
    2019-04-16 07:01

    не зашло ((

  • Sarah
    2019-04-13 04:21

    When I said I wanted to read a book about Egypt, but a kind of a shadowy, moody, atmospheric Egypt of temples and mystery, I thought I wanted a bit of elegant historical fiction. I tried finding some (you may recall that awful Agatha Christie novel), but most of it seemed to be either young adult fiction or tawdry romance. But I didn't want a story about a plucky young heroine finding luck and love in a desert or whatever. So, out of desperation, I took up this novel with the obvious title that had been sitting on my reading list for some time. It was exactly the book I wanted.The reason the book set in Egypt that I wanted to read does not exist, is because, of course, that that Egypt never existed. People didn't moon about necropoli wondering which turning of the Nile would be best to poison the high priest by. They were just people. Maybe a little unhealthily obsessed with embalming, but hey! Can we, in 21st Century America, claim to be any different?And so, the peculiar spelling of the title is not accidental or quaint. It is the name of a fantastic country we in the west have come to associate with hidden wisdom and lost gods. One which had a great deal of scholarship about it for centuries, but that never actually existed. It was just the fanciful imaginings of racists with a poor understanding of etymology. Or . . . was it?The most fitting part of this book is that Aegypt wasn't even supposed to be the name of the book. The author wanted to call it The Solitudes. I certainly would not have thought to read it when I did had they gone with that!In any event, that author is the same who wrote Little, Big, which is one of my favorites. This book seems to take a similar theme of some kind of tale being told, but approaches it from a different angle. The characters in Little, Big more or less know there's weirdness afoot and put a lot of energy into ignoring that. The one or two characters who don't are driven half mad by this unspoken knowledge. In Aegypt, it's not actually certain there is weirdness afoot, except that Pierce comes to feel in his bones that there is. When you come to the end of the novel, you still aren't sure.But there are three more in this series! That's why as much as I enjoyed the people living in the Faraways, I don't know that I will ever find this series as soothing as I do Little, Big. That was one longish book, told in manageable chunks, and tied up neatly in the end. The first time I read it, I read it on and off for more than a year. I have yet to read it straight through. I've got a bookmark in it even now! So, who's to say when I'll have this quartet finished. I'm giving it a go, to be sure. Just don't hold your breath, okay?

  • Muzzy
    2019-04-13 10:02

    It hurts to write this, but I can't remember a letdown as big as Aegypt. Because I loved Little, Big and recommend it to everyone, I was expecting so much more from Crowley. This book is bad. Crowley is at his best when dealing with the occult and esoteric history. But then he interrupts with dull scenes from the daily life of baby boomers driving around and running errands. There's a very long scene of a hippie party by a lake in the woods, an event where absolutely nothing happens. Characters laugh for no apparent reason, as if to say, "hey reader, isn't modern life so crazy!" And finally, there appear to be two important characters both named Rose. How am I supposed to tell them apart? A short list of howlers:Page 123: "Boney noticed her following, but took no notice." Boney is a man of contradictions. Page 128: sample dialogue:"Hello.""Hello, Rosie.""Hi Mike."I feel as though I have pierced deep into the souls of these people, and now I know all. Page 131: "The dense hot air was charged with its nearness." Indeed, the air is so near, it's practically touching the skin. Page 133: "Spofford, who poured red wine for him black in the moonlight." Is it red or black? Or maybe it's purple, like the prose. Four red flags in the space of 10 pages. I give up. There are better books that need reading. Skip Aegypt and go straight to Little, Big.

  • Beth Caruso
    2019-03-28 09:09

    I'd only give this book slightly more than three stars. A lot of philosophical mind chatter that asks the same question over and over again until the dull end. The author knows language and has done his historical research but the result is not a tight or mesmerizing story. The characters are sometimes confusing and less developed than they should be. The plot is loose at best. I would have been completely disappointed had it not been for the hermetic gems discovered by Dee, Bruno, and Shakespeare in the author's historical flashback stories. In my opinion, he should have stuck with that. There's a build up and quest for knowledge and mystery throughout the novel but one is only left feeling flat in the end.

  • Grburbank
    2019-04-04 03:08

    Is there more than one history of the world? The first volume in the Hermetic Ægypt Cycle contains books within books, history and magick, astrology and ligatures. It is a baffling book."For it wasn't a good gook at all, Pierce supposed, considered as a book, a novel; it was a philosophical romance, remote and extravagant, without much of the tang of life as it really must have gone on in the world."Little, Big is one of my all-time favorite books. The Solitudes less so. I still plan on reading the other volumes, but not right now. 3 1/2 stars.

  • Elise
    2019-04-15 09:25

    Wonderful prose, frustrating lack of plot. The premise is cool: What if Renaissance scientific theories--alchemy, hermeticism, weird astronomical models--are true? But then it's like Indiana Jones never leaves the damn campus. Maybe things pick up in the sequels, but the protagonists were so lackluster that I doubt I'll continue. The excerpts from the historical novels they both read, featuring John Dee, Giordano Bruno, and Shakespeare, are far more compelling, and I wish that this book had been more like those.

  • Mark Bell
    2019-04-25 06:14

    One of the best fantasy novels by an American, and as Harold Bloom might say, our response to the Alice books, along with Little, Big. Though the first of a series (the whole thing worth reading), works well as a standalone. Beautiful language, fascinating characters, and enchanting concepts. A masterpiece.