Richard Kaczynski is known for his scholarship in Western esotericism, particularly in his books Perdurabo: The Life of Aleister Crowley (2010), Forgotten Templars: The Untold Origins of Ordo Templi Orientis (2012), and The Weiser Concise Guide to Aleister Crowley (2009). But his newest book, The Billionth Monkey, takes him into the uncharted watersr of humor and urban fantasy:

It’s like a meme come true. When urban legends mysteriously start to become real, a gawky junior professor and a goth who shouldn’t exist race desperately through pop culture landmarks and defend themselves against fabled assassins in order to stop a Millennial under-achiever from impossibly destroying the world.

Despite stepping into the world of weird fiction, Richard has not abandoned his fascination with Western esotericism. Indeed, he assures us that his novel includes references to Fortean and esoteric topics including:

The Thoth Tarot, To Mega Therion, Apocalyptic beliefs, cryptids, egregores, The Exorcist, Gustave Flaubert, ghosts, Goetia, the Golden Mean, kabbalah, Lilith, UFO lore, the Men in Black, Native American mythology, Neoplatonism, Nephilim, New Orleans Voodoo, Marie Laveau, non-Euclidean geometry, Plato, St. Brigid, séances, Rupert Sheldrake’s theory of formative causation, Staniland Wake (a Victorian writer on phallicism), tulpas, and Tibetan Buddhism.

The book also sneaks in a quote from Aleister Crowley (“One of my favorite quips of his,” Richard says) plus numerical Easter eggs galore.

Lon DuQuette calls the book “an adrenaline shot into the heart of twenty-first century American cultural consciousness” and “as delightfully funny and entertaining as it is enlightening.” Meanwhile, comic book creator Steve Englehart says, “This book is endlessly creative. If you even think you like weird fantasy, you will love The Billionth Monkey.”

The Billionth Monkey is available in paperback (, ebook, and limited edition hardcover ( formats.

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