U.S. O.T.O. Grand Lodge
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Book Reviews
Review by Fr. Ash

Liber AL vel Legis—Centennial Edition
By Aleister Crowley et. al

Red Wheel/Weiser
Hardcover, 160 pgs
The latest edition of The Book of the Law, edited and designed by Hymenaeus Beta O.H.O., is stunning. It's bigger than other editions (about 7" x 6"), with a pleasant weight in the hands. Being a graphic designer myself, the first thing I noticed was the gorgeous typography, which borrows elements from early 20th c. sources. Also, the type is set large enough to be read in the darkest of ritual circles. It has a hefty cover and is printed on high grade paper, giving an immediate impression of quality, complete with a bound ribbon for bookmarking. I don’t think the paper is handmade, although the book is faithfully printed with red and black ink.

The contents of this edition are also unlike all others in that it is a cut-and-paste combination of two early editions—one from 1926 and the other from 1938. The primary features are the familiar typescript with the inclusion of the manuscript, reproduced with excellent definition. There is also a full color version of the Stele of Revealing, both front and back, along with Crowley's poetic paraphrases of the inscriptions.

However, there is more here. The five section "Introduction" is back, written by "O.M." There are other little treasures, including a second "Introductory Note" written by Ankh-af-na-khonsu himself. A short example gives its general flavor: “For as the experience of these one-and-twenty years has shewn too terribly, the Book cannot be ignored. It has leavened Mankind unaware: and Man must make thereof the Bread of Life.” Lastly, the editor includes thorough references and a short description of the source materials.

The moment I saw this edition, I said "wow!" This isn't just another printing of Liber Legis—it is a work of Art. HB has really outdone himself this time, letting his love of book design shine through. It is a beautiful addition to the bookshelf that every Thelemite will enjoy.