The Illuminatus! Trilogy

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The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels written by Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson first published in 1975.[1] The trilogy is a satirical, postmodern, science fiction-influenced adventure story; a drug-, sex- and magick-laden trek through a number of conspiracy theories, both historical and imaginary, which hinge around the authors' version of the Illuminati. The narrative often switches between third and first person perspectives and jumps around in time. It is thematically dense, covering topics like counterculture, numerology and Discordianism.

The trilogy comprises The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple and Leviathan. They were first published as three separate volumes starting in September 1975. In 1984 they were published as an omnibus edition, and are now more commonly reprinted in the latter form.

In 1986 the trilogy won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, designed to honor classic libertarian fiction.[2]

The authors went on to write several works, both fiction and nonfiction, that dealt further with the themes of the trilogy, but they did not write any direct sequels.

Illuminatus! has been adapted for the stage, and has influenced several modern writers, musicians and games-makers. The popularity of the word "fnord" and the 23 enigma can both be attributed to the trilogy. It remains a seminal work of conspiracy fiction, predating by years such novels as Foucault's Pendulum and The Da Vinci Code.


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