Necronomicon, by Simon

Composed of the ritual formulas of Aleister Crowley, overlaid with a pastiche of pseudo-Sumerian mythology. The spells and rituals are sound magical theory, and should work, given a moderate level of experience on the magician's part.

The spinoff, Necronomicon Spellbook, is a rehash of the Book of Fifty Names, with more detailed instructions for using the sigils, much like modern Goetic magic. Results appear to be about the same.

The Book of Gates is essentially a series of planetary initiations, in which the mage is granted access to certain "spheres", given a vision and a password to proceed to the next sphere. In this sense, it is very similar to Dee's Enochian system of entering the Aethyrs, and about as useful except for the fact that the Necronomicon contains only seven Gates as opposed to Dee's thirty Aethyrs.

Overall rating: ***
Mind-Numbing Horror Content: **

The Necronomicon, by George Hay

Book Out of Print - Can usually be found at

This book of gibberish was compiled almost entirely from HPL's fiction, and what was filled in to glue it together is the most ridiculous sort of fiction imaginable. There is no sense of "mind numbing horror", as the rituals described either A) cannot be practiced, B) don't claim to produce anything of any interest, C) are so abjectly moronic as to not even be interesting themselves, or D) all three. The sequel to this tripe, The R'Lyeh Text, is nothing but more of the same drivel.

Overall Rating: *
Mind Numbing Horror Content: ** (That you paid for it)

The Necronomicon, by Lin Carter

Book Out of Print - Can usually be found at

An excellent book, written by one of HPL's cronies. This book (actually a short story, but looks good in large type blackletter) is specific enough to impress the reader with a sense of authenticity, and dark enough to convey that sense of horror (mild, but still) true to Mythos tomes.

Like the Sussex Manuscript, this book contains enough of Lovecraft's lore to be relevant to the Mythos, and enough original material to hold the reader's interest. For occultists, the rituals and beliefs described herein are plausible enough to provide inspiration for the more daring magician. Note that the rituals as presented are not altogether recommended or even practical, but their context is more than enough to inspire those unfettered by that pesky literal mind.

The Seventh Narrative gives an interesting perspective on Tesseract Magic (especially for those who have experienced a decent substitute for Liao), and the Second Book, the Book of Preparations, is extremely interesting from a magical viewpoint.

Overall Rating: ****
Mind Numbing Horror Content: ***
Recommended for actual magicians only

The Sussex Manuscript, by Fred Pelton

Book Out of Print - Can usually be found at

Another interesting short story, the Sussex Manuscript contains enough factoids from HPL's Cthulhu Mythos to make a meaningful read, and contains enough original material to be interesting even if you've already READ everything Lovecraft wrote.

It contains Mythos lore, rituals necessary to the evil priests of the Ancient Ones, and a fascinating initiation ritual, complete with unbearable, mind-shattering ordeal. The major flaw with this book is its brevity.

Overall Rating: ****
Mind Numbing Horror Content: ***

**** Fascinating and useful read
*** Interesting read, marginally useful
** Better off with the Bible
* Never mind

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