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The Forbidden Book    by Joscelyn Godwin & Guido Mina di Sospiro order for
Forbidden Book
by Joscelyn Godwin
Order:  USA  Can
Disinformation Books, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Carrol Wolverton

A Novel of Forbidden Lust and Power ...

An Italian baron lusts for some higher magical state of mind and control over other people. His secret mission is to oust all Islamic interests from Italy and wherever else he might reach. He uses Catholic theology laced with mysticism and the occult to reach new mental heights all in his own mind.

Unfortunately, he is far more despicable than any terrorist. His attitude is one of supreme omnipotence. To say he's a snob doesn't begin to describe his self-importance. His two orphaned nieces are unfortunately under his control, and he uses them for his own purposes, sexual and otherwise.

Secret family manuals provide justification for his behaviors. He gives lectures that attract radicals by word of mouth; they camp out on the lawn and listen to his mystical ramblings. Things happen.

Churches get bombed. People get killed. No one links any of this to our omnipotent baron until an obscure college professor from the US named Leo gets involved in the mix. Leo turns out to be the unsuspecting lion who along with one niece, Orsina, figures out the whole mess.

There are magical rites, trances, bloodletting, bleeding through pores, temporary blindness, sexual transgressions, and loads of taboo rites, all for the purpose of reaching some higher state of being inherited by members of the aristocratic Riviera family, who also happen to be awash in money.

The novel is interesting because of its descriptions of ancient castles and rites. Nobody works, except for Professor Leo. It features wonderful settings and descriptions that transport the reader into a very different world, a scary but interesting world. The Baron does ultimately fail because he falls victim to his own shortcomings and gets too old to pull it off.

The tale will appeal to fans of Steve Berry and Dan Brown. The story line is preposterous but well told. Thinking about this, however, we have such persons as Charles Manson, Jim Jones, and Warren Jeffs who have attracted whole communities of followers. Maybe it's not so unlikely.

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