Dead Names, Dead Dog: A Correction on Both Parts

If Dead Names has proven anything, it’s that a book can be wrong in many amusing ways. Another way we haven’t covered is when a book, despite the author’s best efforts, simply doesn’t take into account information that appeared afterward. The following is a case in point.

In The Necronomicon Files, John said the following about “Simon’s” book:

Certainly, not everyone who uses the Simon book exploits it in this way, but as an inexpensive, underground “bible,” the poor man’s Keys of Solomon, it must be irresistible to the would-be lodge leader…

“Simon” fires back:

This is, of course, the general attitude of some occultists toward the Avon paperback who cannot accept that an inexpensive grimoire might be a genuine grimoire, an attitude made even more risible when one discovers that inexpensive editions of the Keys are equally available in all of America’s chain bookstores… When these dollar elitists get past the list price of the Necronomicon, it is possible that even they might do some good and productive work in this field.

Only two responses are necessary to this. First, the Key of Solomon the King is not as “equally available” as the Necronomicon (trust me, I’ve looked in enough chain bookstores to know). Second, “Simon” makes the crucial error here of confusing elitism with misanthropy. John and I dislike all of you equally.

That would have been my response until yesterday, anyway.

I was wasting some time in the local Barnes and Noble, casually glancing through their section on European history. Shelf-browsing is a time-honored research technique for learning new things. For example, I now know that most of European history is about Templars, Freemasons, or World War II. I’ve already mentioned all three in my project, which means I’m almost done!

Then, there before me, I saw it – The Knights Templar and the Key of Solomon the King.  That’s right.  Tor Books, in its infinite marketing wisdom, has created a book for those consumers unable to decide between a really cheap book on the Templars and a really cheap grimoire, labelled it “fiction,” and then shelved it under “history”.

Actually, what’s presented is just most of a really cheap grimoire – they’ve excised two of the plates with all those unnecessary instructions for making the tools and the protective circle – but that’s not important.   What’s important is that this book only costs $8 – the same as the “Simon “book – and it gives you another book on top of that.  Plus, there were more copies of this book in Barnes and Noble than the Necronomicon itself!

Faced with this evidence, I’d like to issue a retraction.  The Necronomicon, from this time forward, is to be considered the rich man’s Keys of Solomon.  Obviously, “Simon” has joined the ranks of those dollar elitists who think they’re better because they’re using a book that costs twice as much as another.  We can only hope that he get past it and eventually does some good and productive work in this field.

Don’t worry, though.  I still dislike all of you equally.

Published in: on December 17, 2006 at 7:12 pm  Comments (3)  

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Yeah, I saw the paperback Key of Solomon. It was pretty weird but I guess it is pretty out of copyright…

  2. That it is. It’s clear that they’re not marketing it to occultists, though I’d think they should, I don’t know, include a book on history instead…

    Plus, I noticed after a more careful examination that they cut the references to those plates out of the text as well, meaning the excision was deliberate. If they’re going to publish a freakin’ grimoire, why not commit to it?

  3. […] In my last post about the Necronomicon, I might have failed to mention one other aspect of the book’s availability.  That’s its translation into many different languages, and its ready appearance on the Internet, whether in the expurgated version of the “Necronomican” from the Coroner or a full-out adaptation on a black screen with classy bowing skeletons and death metal MIDIs, the Necronomicon is certainly a hot online commodity. […]


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