Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Colin Wilson "The Mind Parasites"

Although I cannot recommend it without reservation, I did thoroughly enjoy Colin Wilson's The Mind Parasites. Wilson is a cogent and engaging writer. The story begins as an archaeologist exploring a dig in Turkey hears from a psychologist who warns him that mankind is under attack, and then dies mysteriously. The hero continues his dig in Anatolia where he finds, to his utter amazement, evidence of ancient cyclopean buildings buried two miles below ground. And the parallels to H. P. Lovecraft are eerie. When our hero begins to undergo certain bizarre experiences, he determines to investigate the writings of his dead psychologist friend, only to find that the assaults of the paparazzi will be the least of his worries.

The book is flawed. The ending suffers from the author's use of deus ex machina. The nature of the mind parasites makes me recall the teachings of Scientology. I wonder what influence this work might have had on Hubbard? I cannot say more without revealing too much. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the work and finished it in two days.

Wilson is a good writer but a man with a mystic streak. He is seen as a crank by the literary establishment. His writings are a lesson in the primacy of consciousness. He has written Sci-Fi, True-Crime, books on existentialism and mysticism. His The Outsider, an analysis of the misunderstood individual, was his claim to fame. He has also written an acclaimed Criminal History of Mankind. In effect, he raises a question which will be of interest to any fan of Rand's. But his positive answers will be quite unacceptable.

I would rate the title four stars out of five.

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