Labyrinth of Chaos
by Brian Wallace
Category: Fiction / Literary
288 pages; ISBN: 156184148X
Rating: 8/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Paul Lappen
Alan Agrippa is a young American with the money, and the desire, to embark on an open-ended excursion through Great Britain and Ireland. He starts in London, visiting an aunt and uncle who live there. They happen to have a young French woman named Ronia living with them while she works on her graduate degree. The sparks between Alan and Ronia are immediate. In between academic requirements, Ronia spends a lot of time with Alan as they explore London. They meet members of a reggae band who invite them to an outdoor concert being held in the city.
Ronia has to stay behind while Alan decides to explore the rest of Britain. He drives north toward Wales, then stops in Oxford, then finds himself north of the border in Scotland, staying in bed and breakfasts along the way. He meets a lot of interesting people, including a Jesuit priest, a female purveyor of voodoo and a quantum physicist. Ronia rejoins Alan in Scotland and they finish the journey in Ireland.
Lest you think that this is your average travelogue novel, it isn't. Alan and Ronia spend their time journeying through the terrain of mysticism, physics and the human mind. When they aren't talking advanced psychology, they're reading Joseph Campbell or the non-fiction writings of Aldous Huxley. They do some of their mental journeying with a little "help" (specifically from pot and acid).
This is a very specialized novel that is not for everyone. Some familiarity with psychology, like the writings of Carl Jung or John C. Lilly, would help in reading this book. For those who want to give their brain a major workout, this is the book.
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