Join My Cult!, by James Curcio
New Falcon, 1561841730, 284 pp., 2004
I’m on the subway, there’s a guy across from me reading Illuminatus!, a girl standing by the door is reading Carlos Castenada and I’m sitting there with a glowing green copy of Join My Cult! and reading bits of it to my husband on the ride to work and my mind is humming with synchronicity and the effort required to attempt to make sense of all this to my dear boy, sitting patiently, eyebrows raised incredulously. Even as I’m reading it, I can tell, this is a book to be read at least twice.
The novel opens with the introduction of Gabrael, one of the most realistic portrayals of an illuminated adept or ‘Invisible Master’ that I’ve read in a while. Shortly after we are introduced to the hero, Alexi, constantly tossing flashes of insight over his shoulder, and his best mate Ken. There is large cast of other characters, most of which seem to be direct reflections of Alexi and Ken in various shades, deliberately giving it a sort of kaleidoscope effect.
Any attempt to summarize the plot would be futile: there isn’t one. At least not in the traditional sense. There are bits of story, and each scene is layered with characters and images with often profound occult significance, and it moves from one to another with no obvious thread to tie them together.
Densely packed with occult, philosophic and paranoid conspiratorial references this is not a book to be rushed through. It barely makes sense as it is. It’s a kind of Cosmic Banditos meets The Illuminatus! Trilogy meets disillusioned teen angst lit, and none of these.
Join My Cult! is a clever, insightful and daring adventure into the surreal depths of the subconscious mind, and, if you’ll forgive the pun, it has all the makings of a cult classic.