I have been brooding for months about which Robert Anton Wilson novel to suggest to readers who have never encountered him. Schroedinger's Cat and the ILLUMINATUS! trilogy employ some radical narrative techniques and are not for everyone. What novel is best for a RAW novice who might be used to reading straightforward prose?
My tentative answer is The Earth Will Shake, which I have begun re-reading. It is a relatively straightforward prose narrative -- no Burroughs-style cut-up transitions, no shifting characters -- but it provides an entry into RAW's ideas and concerns and leads the reader to The Widow's Son, one of his best novels. What do you think?
I usually suggest "Masks of the Illuminati" as a good starting point.
I love The Earth Will Shake. It does have some cut-ups in the drug scenes. That novel grew on me. It didn't blow me away the first time I read it, but I came to love it.
I usually go w/ "Masks of the Illuminati" as well, but I can totally see "The Earth Will Shake" as a possible eventual mainstream hit on account of the noted tendencies. I have 7 illustrations that I am quite proud of in the new edition, whenever it comes out!
I think "The Earth Will Shake" is an excellent intro for a 15 to 25 year old male.
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