Diary of a Drug Fiend is a book by Aliester Crowley. It’s his autobiography, though it’s written from the perspective of a man named Peter Pendragon. It’s 368 pages and sorted into 3 sections; paradise, inferno and purgatory. Each section has chapters.
Written in the first person it chronicles Crowley’s drug hazed exploits through Europe with his lover. The characters have been fictionalized to protect people’s identities, and considering the incredible amounts of drugs taken, the anonymity was a very good idea.
Most of the book is broken up in parts separated by date. Some of the parts are formed as letters to and from people, though most of it is the first person narrative from Peter Pendragon, who is supposed to be Crowley.
As the book is written from the perspective of someone doing the drugs at the time of the writing, it’s very esoteric and surreal. The imagery is all over the place and truly, I had an incredibly hard time following. Many times I’d have to re-read parts of the book in hopes of better understanding.
Unfortunately, I cannot say that I enjoyed this book. While there’s a certain novelty to it, I highly recommend reading the first couple pages before making a decision to purchase it.
If you’re looking for something surreal that will make you think and will be a reading experience unlike any other, this is the book for you. However, if you’re wanting something that will educate you on Aleister Crowley’s life or beliefs, this book isn’t it; the amount of effort it takes to wade through the surrealism takes away anything else you could possibly take from it.
~review by Jessica Elizabeth
Author: Aleister Crowley
Red Wheel/ Weiser, 2010
pp. 384, $18.95