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Saturday, April 5, 2014

Nick Mamatas' 'Love Is the Law'

The LA Review of Books has published a review of a recent novel by Nick Mamatas, Love Is the Law, that appears to be steeped in the work on Aleister Crowley. The well-written and interesting review by Jesse Bullington says it may be Mamatas "most accomplished effort yet."

The review also has passages that hint that Mamatas' work may be influenced by another writer. "Mamatas doesn’t present a single view of anything, instead providing us with a hall of mirrors through which we can glimpse the distorted possibilities that sundry philosophies open for us .... Regardless of your handle on Reaganomics or Indie comics, on Communism or Hardcore music, whether you memorized portions of The Book of the Law back in high school or have never heard of Thelema, Mamatas provides plenty of illumination for the novice and guffaws for the adept. He’s simultaneously treating it seriously and thumbing his nose at the futility of it all, and inviting us in on the joke…because the joke’s kind of on us, isn’t it?"

A previous novel by Mamatas, Bullettime, apparently was filled with references to Discordianism. Burlington writes, in another review, "For a novel brimming with talk of Eris and Discordianism, parallel universes, sex, violence, dark humor, substance abuse, and even the number twenty-three, Bullettime really doesn’t bear much comparison to its most obvious literary relation, the work of Robert Anton Wilson. Mamatas is more interested in engaging with his subjects than using them as plot points, and better at negotiating issues of race and gender than Wilson was, especially considering said elements are filtered through a juvenile mind. There is a similar playfulness, perhaps, and I imagine fans of the one will find a lot to like about the other, but as always, Mamatas is doing his own thing here ... "

In another review of Love is the Law, Bob Freeman writes, "It occurred to me, late last night that, if Elmore Leonard and Robert Anton Wilson were to beget a Moonchild, it would bear a striking resemblance to Love is the Law."

Hat tip, Roman Tsivkin.

1 comment:

Jesse said...

Love is the Law is a terrific book.