Book Review: How To Play a Necromancer’s Theremin

in Culture

The drug of choice in How To Play a Necromancer’s Theremin is bookpowder: “ground-up pages of a reality-disrupting book called The Unfashionable Western Spiral.” The effects are similar to DMT, and the powder can be sucked up like an anteater, made into tea, or sprinkled into a blunt. Several of the characters in the novel—a “postpostpostpostmodernmodernisthyperrealitypataphysicalexperiment” written by Chase Griffin and Christina Quay, published by Maudlin House—are on a constant trip, slipping in and out of actuality, free from the constraints of “spacetimeconsciousness.”

“I stared in stoned awe at a beast with a body made of books, the head of an alligator, and teeth of broken piano keys. I gawked at a giant baby doll climbing the Eiffel Tower with thousands of spindly naked people flying out of its mouth. The visual journey ended with a serpentine creature whose lamprey mouth coiled around the door’s border as hundreds of tiny tendrils extended from the mouth’s center. The tendrils reached toward the baby doll and alligator book creature and its piano key teeth, while other nightmare beasts danced at their feet and in the background.”

If a plot must be attached to this book, it’s that a group of people—fans of a cult psychedelic writer named Rocco Atleby—go on a journey to all of his old stomping grounds, beginning in Paris and ending…?

It reminds me of a handful of books, though much weirder than all of them: Juan Emar’s Yesterday, where a married couple wanders around Santiago, Chile, seeing all sorts of beheadings and strange animals; Soledad Brother by George Jackson, in its frenzied attempt to write its way out of a cage; The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, self-explanatory; Mount Analogue by René Daumal and Exploits and Opinions of …

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Author: Cody Lee / High Times

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