Irwin weaves a terrific tale of the “Summer of Love Under Will”: a hippy college student in London gets into more occultism than he bargains for. The story is enchanting, revolting, hilarious, nostalgic, riveting, and pathetic by turns, and the magick, the drugs and the weird sex are all pretty credible—even as outre as they become.
The entire book is written as a diary, initially undertaken as a magical record in obedience to the “Black Book Lodge,” a persistent old schism (of Irwin’s invention) from Crowley’s A∴A∴ The journal format is not merely an homage to or evocation of classic horror fiction like Stoker’s Dracula, it is a faithful representation of the sort of document that modern magical practice actually generates. It repeatedly inspired me with envy; would that my own diary were as witty and perceptive as that of Irwin’s protagonist! In that sense, it can serve as a goad for working occultists today.
The author’s 1967 photo portrait on the back inside jacket (also in the background of the paperback cover) offers further evidence for the suspicion—which must occur to any informed reader—that he drew significantly on personal experience in constructing this delectable yarn. [via]