Guyana Punch Drunk

Terrific piece by Robert Marshall on Salon about how very disturbing Carlos Casteneda became after the success of The Teachings of Don Juan: fabricating stories about himself, hiding from journalists who might catch him in his drugs-and-ancient-wisdom hoax, cultivating diehard followers, devising a pseudo-religion/corporation.

L. Ron Hubbard, anyone? David Koresh? How about the Rev. Jim Jones?

If the comparisons seem extreme, consider: According to Mr. Marshall, some of Castaneda's closest female followers, his "witches," disappeared soon after his death. Possible suicides.

At their heart, I've often found something decidedly creepy in the novels of Bruce Wagner -- and I don't mean their portrayal of Hollywood as shallow, cold-hearted and self-obsessed. What a surprise that turns out to be. No, it's the cruelty: His books share the same will-to-power his worst characters evidence. You're either in or out, hip or square.

So to learn how close Mr. Wagner was to Castaneda's inner circle is ... not really all that surprising.

April 16, 2007 8:44 AM | | Comments (1)



Creepy scary.

I should also mention

(a) I like your blog (bibliogeek here so take my admiration for what it's worth ;) )

(b) I linked and quoted you in my current blog post (see web link)

(c) I wish Houston had a decent public radio station with things like book reviews. Maybe if they cut the 20 hours of classical music back to, you know, maybe 16 hours. Or they could do what WBUR did and play awesome programming all day. In the interim, I'll check your blog for reviews. I found my all-time favorite books from NPR reviewers.

(d) Tell me please that it's cool that I quoted you and linked.


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This page contains a single entry by book/daddy published on April 16, 2007 8:44 AM.

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