Book Review: “Infernalia” by Michael Rose

25 July, L A.S. (2015)

A thought-provoking and enjoyable collection of Satanic thought.

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Ever since Anton LaVey founded his Church fifty years ago, various sharp and diabolic individuals have applied Satanism to their respective lives. Some of those individuals have taken time out of their busy, diverse, and indulgent vital existences to express in written words their observations on various aspects of the world around them. Few diabolists have given us more insightful, entertaining, and refreshingly honest essays than has Magister Michael Rose.

Though I had read a couple essays from Magister Rose on the Church of Satan website, I first read Infernalia only in this Third Edition, and the book did not disappoint me in the slightest. The writing is clear, concise, and clever. The author never shies away from expressing frank and oft-insightful opinions that would confuse, anger, or disturb most people.

A few of my favorite essays were “A Quest for Democracy?”, (because I am a huge history and politics geek and like seeing a Third Side perspective on such things,) “Choose Your Devils Wisely,” (because I liked its concise history of different perspectives on the devil,) and “The Lion and the Child” (because it inspired me and makes great use of metaphor.) The Mass of Saint Francis, inspired by the Hellfire Club, is a great and joyful Satanic ritual.

I finished this book in one sitting, thanks to its engaging style and wit. One of the great things about the Satanic worldview is that different individuals can and will have widely divergent opinions on topics such as music, art, politics, and, well, anything! I did not by any means agree with everything that Magister Rose said, but even when I disagreed with his findings, I still found myself thinking. I like a book that makes me think! If you are familiar with Satanism and wish to read more ideas from a truly Satanic point of view, I recommend this book to you. I can’t speak for previous editions, but I sure as Hell enjoyed this one, including the new foreword by Magus Peter H. Gilmore.

-G.R. Wilson

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