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Publisher's Summary

"Nausea, then microamnesia, then the laughing jag, then sex. Be patient. The clear light comes next. Then we can discuss Truth. As if we haven't been discussing it all along."
-Hagbard Celine, The Golden Apple

Illuminatus! Part II, from the original and genuine trilogy of conspiracies, is performed in all its unabridged brilliance by a full ensemble cast.

Packaged in a carnival bundle of timeless truths and Joycean high camp, The Golden Apple serves as a perennial instruction manual for life on Earth in which you'll be lucky enough to learn: the Guerrilla Ontology of Markoff Chaney; the secret history of Atlantis; why gorillas and dolphins don't ordinarily talk to humans; the conspiracy against sex; the origins of the Trojan War (starring Eris, the namesake of our solar system's newest planet); the startling truth about UFOs; and the final secret of the Illuminati. Consider yourself warned.

©1975 Robert J. Shea and Robert Anton Wilson (P)2006 Deepleaf Productions Inc.

Critic Reviews

"What we have is a cross between a literary acid trip and a political tour de farce." ( Playboy)
"One of the most amusing, most imaginative fantasies to come along in a while....Spaced out, erotic, funny, masterly...the nth degree of surrealism....Readers will love the whole psychedelic puzzle." ( Publishers Weekly)
"After 300 [pages] I was having too much fun to quit, and by the end I was eager to believe every word: even if the only conspiracy at work here is Shea and Wilson's devilish exploitation of our need to made ordered sense out of everything under the sun....I loved it." (Greil Marcus, Rolling Stone)

What listeners say about Illuminatus! Part II

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Nonnie Mar
  • 19-04-08

Over the top, but in the right way.

The first book in the trilogy, The Eye in the Pyramid (I reviewed it favorably too), was performed by two actors (with some "walk ons," if I recall). In this second book, the gruff-voiced narrator has been replaced by a broader cast of performers. The multiple voices help to keep track of the many characters, which, with the sudden segues, can be a challenge.

The content of the book remains as over the top as ever. The conspiracies reach back thousand of years, but are only "reported" through the 1970's, considering the books were written then. Can't really fault the authors for a lack of omniscience. Regardless, it is only when plot elements of that time, J. Edgar Hoover, Nixon, the JFK assassination, are utilized that the books remind us when they were written. The fact that one wishes the authors had been able to see the future, or had written the books last year, confirms how well they played with history and conspiracy.

I don't want to discourage a potential listener. This isn't like reading outdated speculative literature where we have moved past anything the writers imagined and nothing of value remains. Wilson and Shea were true to their story, weaving a conspiracy myth that is only strengthened by the events since they published.

Google the trilogy and you will find that the K.L.F. (1980's "acid house band," per Google, but read about their own over the top history) and the Church of the Subgenius (still in business) grew from or were fundamentally influenced by the trilogy. The authors played with history and played it well. The story has legs.

This performance of Part 2 is great. Part 3 is due to be released this winter, a present for fans.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • John
  • 07-08-08

this is only part 2

According to R.A.W's autobiography "The Cosmic Trigger", Illuminatus! was intended by the authors as a single work and artificially split into a trilogy by the publisher. Therefore, the three individual parts do not stand alone. If you liked "Eye in the Pyramid", you'll like this one. Heck, you'll need it.

This time around, Deepleaf gives the work much better production values and expands the cast in order to better bring the work to life. For the most part, the extra effort pays off. The addition of female voices and a special sound effect for Howard are especially welcome improvements.

That being said, I still miss Ken Campbell and Chris Fairbank, who do not appear anywhere on this one. They gave "Eye in the Pyramid" a specific mood that is missing here.

Good news - Leviathan (pt. III) is out and hopefully will be available here soon, and Ken Campbell returns to perform the Appendices, which all fans of this book know are good reading in their own right.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Jen Winkler
  • 19-03-21

a fittingly surreal follow-up

it's fun, I guess. I had to take breaks periodically to listen to a story with a coherent plot to cleanse my mental palate

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ben Sudbrink
  • 04-08-20

Hail Eris

I prefer the narrator of the first book, but otherwise a perfect. All Hail Discordia, 23, 93, 666

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jedperks
  • 20-05-20

Really needs the Narrator from book 1

I'm having a hard time listening without the narrator from book 1. It's just so boring without him

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • William
  • 21-12-19

Two of three

The shoggoth hole only gets deeper. A solid continuation of the first book. Dialogue delivery is much improved, especially the female roles. But the narrator lacks the manic schizophrenic style from the first edition.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • William Fletcher
  • 10-09-17

love it

really enjoyed this production. the different voices made it fun and entertaining. please buy it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-01-17

more mayhem<br />

the story, if one can call it that, is just as fragmented and mindbending as the first segment, but, unfortunately in this segment some of the reading seems forced and wooden.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Lorin
  • 12-11-08

BBBBOOOORRRRIIIINNNNGGGG!!!!!

I have listened to many audio books and even some of the old radio programs that are now available, but this is without a doubt the most boring story I have ever listened to. To think I blew 2 credits on both books is amazing to me. I will definitely check more closely before using my credits again.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Richard Hall
  • 17-04-19

Not Narrated by Ken Campbell

Part one of the Trilogy was Narrated by Ken Campbell. He had a historic connection with the book, having presented a stage version in the 70s. He understood the tone and humour of the book. You could hear him and his friends struggling not to laugh in some parts. He is a hard act to follow.
Unfortunately part 2 is delivered with a rather serious dramatic tone that misses most of the humour and hence the essence of the writing. Grim.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Luciano Del Bufalo
  • 07-05-17

meaningless

best book ever. just wish they kept the narrators constant throughout the whole series. minor issue and still deserves full score

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr Timothy P Butcher
  • 29-01-15

Love love love the smart madness

If you like uncle bob, it's great stuff. Shame more of his words aren't available to hear. Record some more!