The Diary of a Drug Fiend - Aleister Crowley
San Francisco, Weiser Books, 2010. Paperback, 368 pages. New.
The Diary of a Drug Fiend, one of Aleister Crowley's more notorious fictional works, tells the tale of young Peter Pendragon and his lover, Louise Laleham and their bohemian travels through Europe's high society fueled by Cocaine and Heroin. The couple's experiments bring them hallucinatory visions and wild flights of poetic imagination, but when their supplies of drugs inevitably run dry they are faced with the hard reality of their addiction. Turning to a magical adept - one King Lamus, they use the application of practical magic to liberate themselves from their addiction and attain their True Wills. First published in 1922, the many readers found the book shocking, and a reviewer for the
Sunday Express dubbed it "a book for burning".
The Diary of a Drug Fiend encapsulates much of Crowley's magical thought and his vision of Thelema. Crowley's own use of recreational drugs - and his own struggle with addiction is well-documented, and this novel incorporates Crowley's own views on the uses, merits, and drawbacks of drugs from a magical perspective. Although now dated according to contemporary standards of dealing with addiction, this morality tale of drug-fueled debauchery provides some unique insights into Crowley's philosophy and magical vision.