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Review: The Simon Necronomicon E-mail
Written by Old Theobald   
Thursday, 21 December 2006

ImageThe Simon Necronomicon

"Spirits of the Burning Disc, Remember!"
-The Simon Necronomicon

The Simon Necronomicon, that little black paperback from Avon, is undoubtedly the most common of the commercially available Necronomicons.  The book was originally released as a limited run of 666 leather-bound copies.  A cloth-bound hardcover followed, in a run of 3333 copies.   In its mass-market paperback incarnation, this book holds the dubious honor of being the easiest Necronomicon to find.

The first part of the book is made up of essays, charts, warnings, etc, intended as a modern commentary on the Necronomicon.  There are a few blatant mistakes in this section which undermine its credibility.  Sumerians came from Sumer, not "Sumeria."  Marduk and Pazuzu are not Sumerian demons, but deities from the later Babylonian and Assyrian civilizations, respectively.  Lovecraft did not depict any sort of “Christian myth between opposing forces of light and darkness, between God and Satan,” he depicted an amoral universe. Simon seems to have been confused as to which writings were Lovecraft’s, and which were Derleth’s.  (This is an easy mistake to make, as August Derleth published a number of his own works under the name “H. P. Lovecraft,” after Lovecraft’s death.)

The 200+ pages of actual Necronomicon in this book define a system of magic based on an attempt to place Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones in the context of the mythology of Sumer and other Fertile Crescent civilizations.  This is a suitably ancient context for the Old Ones, on an artistic level, at least.  The book can inspire real fear in a reader willing to experience the emotion.

The well known quotes from the Necronomicon are not present in this book.  Alhazred’s much-discussed couplet is nowhere to be found.  You will not read about how “Yog-Sothoth is the key and guardian of the gate,” which would actually fit in quite nicely with the gate-walking rituals.  You will not even find the name Abdul Alhazred in the text itself, though he is mentioned in passing in the introductory essay.  If we discount Simon’s introduction, there seems to be little reason to call this book “Necronomicon.”  The book refers to itself as “the Book of the Black Earth,” and it might be better introduced into the Cthulhu Mythos by that name, as a distinct and separate tome.

Much has been written about the usefulness of this book to practitioners of magic.  In "The Necronomicon Files," occultist John William Gonce III claims that the book was "deliberately engineered to blow up in the faces of its users."  As I am not an occultist, I am probably not qualified to comment on this.  I will say that there is a spell in the Simon Necronomicon that can supposedly bring about the end of the world.  (See the warning on page 187.)  Now, this is a mass market paperback.  It's been in the hands of thousands of angry teenagers.  If you'll walk over to the window, and glance out, you will probably observe that the world is still there.  Draw your own conclusions.

It should be mentioned that there are several pirated versions of this book floating around, both hardcover and paperback.  The pirated hardcovers tend to be much more affordable than the official hardcovers, which show up on eBay and various used book dealers.

Discuss (1 posts)

Review: The Simon Necronomicon
May 05 2008 15:22:40
This thread discusses the Content article: Review: The Simon Necronomicon

but a lot of the information in it has been replaced there are flaws in some of the sigils and alot of the spells have had lines taken out of them

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