July 7, 2006
The Weiser Concise Guide to Alchemy
By Brian Cotnoir, edited by James Wasserman
Publisher: Weiser Books (May 2006)
Pages: 127 - Price: $12.95
Review by Lee Prosser - firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Cotnoir is a practicing alchemist. He contributes to Parachemy: Journal of Hermetic Arts and Sciences and is the author of Alchemy: The Poetry of Matter. This is one of his finest works to date, and it will serve as a reliable guide for those genuinely interested in magick and alchemy.
A product of over thirty years of dedicated research, this book is one of the very finest introductions to alchemy in print. Concise, accurate, and entertaining are three words which best describe this well-written account of alchemy.
Information on distilling and extracting aqua vitae and the "spirit of wine" is given. As well as information concerning the purifying of salts, and obtaining different oils of metal from stones and minerals. The material shared with the reader is clearly written, and what could be heavy duty stuff in a less competent writer's hands, comes across superbly clear and genuinely educational in the words of Brian Cotnoir. This writer knows how to explain well and write well. He is a master of his material and shares it openly and freely with the reader. It is an enjoyment to read what he has to say about alchemy.
The introduction is written by James Wasserman in his usual lucid and creative manner, and its content is highly enjoyable reading. Cotnoir's book is a small masterpiece, a book that educates in the true sense of helping learn and applying alchemy to one's personal life. For those interested in alchemy and related topics, this is a fine reading experience.
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