Self and Unself, 33 Myths of the System, Ad Radicem, The Apocalypedia, Drowning is Fine & Fired
All my best work exists as printed matter. I post on the internet for much the same reason the carnival barker performs to the passing public. Not because I want people to buy, buy, buy, but because engaging with a complete text, particularly a [carefully set] printed book, is a different, deeper order of experience than reading articles on the internet. But don’t take my word for it…
‘One of our most vital contemporary essayists, implacably asserting the truth amidst a houseful of screaming liars.’
A multifaceted series of reflections on the nature of reality, each exposing the common root of human experience. Original accounts of art, metaphysics, gender, madness, technological slavery, moral philosophy and the nature and origins of the simulation we are fused to, but which is now cracking up, inform enquiries into censorship, superstition, video games and the diabolical ego that separates man from his own life. Clear yet enigmatic, incendiary yet friendly, original yet rooted in our tradition, Ad Radicem confronts and unsettles while reconciling the sensitive reader to an existence that, even in the depths of our dystopian unworld, is stranger and lovelier than can be imagined.
Five Reader Reviews
This is an outstanding, thought provoking, in fact life changing, collection of essays from the surest guide to the modern world I have found. Highly recommended - Twitter Comment (‘trophicegg’)
One of the greatest books of all time… A true masterpiece. - Amazon review (‘Snowstorm25’)
His message is acid, it's provocative and it's consistent. If everyone read and acted on this book, we could face the future with more optimism. - GoodReads review (‘Rene’)
I found that the muddled tombola of thoughts in my brain started to miraculously come together. My thoughts became sense, almost by magic… A genuinely thought-provoking and inspiring read. - Amazon Review (‘Jack’)
These essays blow massive liberating holes through the lies we are surrounded with and I sincerely hope many people read them and that they are not his last. That Darren has fought his way to the root of what is wrong with humanity is nothing short of miraculous. At last, a real philosopher! - Amazon Review (‘J.Dillon’)
Self and Unself
‘I loved it, the tone, the content, the lot.’
Bernardo Kastrup, author of The Idea of the World
An original, wide-ranging and accessible philosophy of all and everything, presenting the source and synthesis of metaphysics, science, art, language, sex, gender, character, culture, history, self-knowledge, love and death. Neither optimistic nor pessimistic, neither objective nor subjective, neither theist nor atheist, Self & Unself expresses the unfathomable paradox at the root of all branches of human experience, providing the reader with a new, radical ground of understanding, solving, en route, all the actually important questions of philosophy; who I am, who you are, why we are here and what on earth is going on.
Five Reader Reviews
…this book is extraordinary …Allen has written a book that has both a metaphysical rigor and a fierce aliveness to it!… Very unique, well crafted, and deeply enriching! - Amazon review (Ted Saad)
Truly original, deeply researched and intellectually supercharged, Self and Unself is an account of who and what we - civilised humanity, as we like to flatter ourselves - are truly. - Goodreads review (‘Mr. Paul’)
Thoroughly engaging, riveting, discombobulating, confronting and insightful. It's hard to find original wisdom and understanding these days but this has it. - Review on Twitter (‘@Thingsthatmat’)
…it is quite possibly the most difficult reading I have ever undertaken. Not because [the] prose isn’t masterful and the subject matter wholly gripping, but [because]… my self isn't particularly keen [on] examination… - Reader email (‘Mr.W.’)
…the only meaningful philosophical advance since Wittgenstein. …I think it's fair to say it changed my life and is one of the only times a book has made me feel like I'd taken drugs. The colours! - Reader email (‘Charlie’)
33 Myths of the System
‘A powerful book. A great title. A brilliant communicator… Breaks down many of the institutions that we believe in and see as somehow irreproachable and unassailable… fantastic stuff.’
Drawing on the entire history of radical thought, while seeking to plumb their common depths, 33 Myths of the System, presents a synthesis of independent criticism, a straightforward exposure of the justifications of the world-system, along with a new way to perceive and understand the unhappy supermind that directs, penetrates and even lives our lives. 33 Myths of the System confronts the fabrications of both capitalism and socialism, both left and right, both theism and atheism. As such it may be, for some, a challenging read. But if you are willing to face not just the world out there, but the anxieties and desires in here which sustain it, 33 Myths of the System — together with its companion Self & Unself — will be a liberating read.
Five Reader Reviews
So provocative… I love[d it]… hit with originality and force. - John Zerzan, author of Future Primitive, Running on Emptiness and A People’s History of Civilisation
It’s all so very clear and with just enough sugar to make the medicine go down so it can truly reach. It makes me laugh and it makes me hungry for revolution. - Chantelle Oliver
A revelation. This book is a whirlwind: confronting, critical, and upsetting. Pick it up at your peril; it will offend… visceral and compelling… controversial and provocative. - Jussi Pasanen
This is a fantastic book. - Damien Gayle (The Guardian)
I cried all the time while I was reading it. It also made me sick. As in actual diarrhoea and nausea. - Reader email (‘Areli’)
‘An excellent book; original, enlightening and amusing… Critical of conformity and subordination… readers may be inspired to go around seeing things as they are rather than as we are expected to see them’
Jeff Schmidt, author of Disciplined Minds
A scurrilous, lyrical and lunatic countercultural a-z that exposes and satirises modern society through an original collection of flash-essays and comic-philosophic vignettes, presenting an apocalyptically optimistic and deeply original way of understanding human nature and of living, and living well, in a collapsing civilisation.
The Apocalypedia is a revelation of the kaleidoscopic path that ordinary consciousness takes through the day, an omni-gatherum of connected depth and an uncompromising satire of [post]modern culture, laying a path through psychology, religion, language, history, philosophy and love, to fertile fields of enquiry which did not have a name… until now.
Five Reader Reviews
When I wondered around bookshops in my teens, 20s, 30s, ever since... this was the book I was looking for - David Edwards, Media Lens
Read with great interest and pleasure, and almost complete agreement. - Galen Strawson, philosopher and author of Freedom & Belief
Strikes again and again at the heart of the beast - Ran Prieur
Subversive, interesting, well-written and beautiful… extremely entertaining reading. Have not read anything like it before - Matt Bluemink, Blue Labyrinths
I loved it - Phil Elverum, The Microphones
I have also written two novels, which speak a far deeper, and lighter, language than my non-fiction. Again, please read what others say…
Drowning is Fine
‘Angry. Funny. Nightmarish. ArseHole-ish. Painful and sad …a tremendously smart, darkly comic, and surprisingly moving tale of life in today’s London. It will definitely get your head spinning. You may even discover it’s your own life in print…’
Daniel Hickman will do whatever it takes to become a great artist. He escapes from a meaningless job by fabricating mental illness and he escapes from an equally meaningless art scene by fabricating tiny clay heads. But nothing seems to give him the freedom he craves until one of the more bizarre of Daniel’s romantic failures leads him to an emotional Armageddon that threatens to obliterate him.
Five Reader Reviews
…brutally honest, funny, bleak, painful and has a clear ring of truth about it …I literally can't think of any other writer living today who understands these times with the same clarity as Darren Allen. - Amazon Review (Tom Fryer)
For all his faults, Hickman is a modern-day Blakeian mystic in a culture where this can never mean anything outside the dubious romance of self-sabotage and self-destruction, hence why Daniel’s arseholish nature rises to the fore in a novel whose conventional form only reanimates the ghost of [our] highest values. - Steve Mitchelmore
I think it's a fucking masterpiece. It's everything I look for and long for in a novel, and so rarely find. It's magical, it's Art with a capital A. It's already leapt into my Holy of Holies category of beloved books. - Reader email (‘Jeanne’)
A brilliantly written and hilarious story of an outsider – an alienated individual [seeking] an essential “I”… The insights and wisdom at the core of this book make it both moving and tragi-comic and lend it great depth, often lacking in modern literature. - Amazon review (‘David Moore.’)
I thought nobody wrote books like this any more! takes a dive into the belly of the world with grace, humour and wisdom …shades of Celine, Hamsun, Bukowski and Miller. - Amazon review (‘N. J.’)
‘Very funny, odd, clever, brimming with interesting characters and excellent dialogue, made me laugh out loud… I can’t stop thinking about it.’
Fired is a burlesque epic set in a world out of joint, a heroic journey of unself-discovery, a forgiving study of contemporary minds at the end of their tether, a heart-cooling, life-denying violin sonata as Rome burns, a good old fashioned supernatural love-story, an anarchic moonwalk into the Other Place and a black, situational comedy, in the tradition of English losers gloriously, pointlessly and pathetically fighting a battle they cannot win.
Five Reader Reviews
I [couldn’t] stop reading it. Brilliant characters and dialogue. Hilarious too, it had me helpless with laughter… - Reader email (‘M.F.’)
Fired is a magnificent work; provocative yet, finally, gentle… Mr. Allen is not just imaginative and wise in criss-crossing destinies, but quite remarkably compassionate. - Goodreads review (‘David’)
This is a must-read novel. It is beautifully written, captivating and at times off the charts bonkers. It’s also probably the funniest book I’ve read. - Amazon review (‘Gerard’)
Genius… A lovely, yet hilariously terrifying ride. Crazy as all hell and brimming with love, unconditional love. I was lying down for some time after. - Reader email (‘Z.H.’)
…really engaging and very readable, in fact completely absorbing. …On the other hand, utterly mental, totally crackpot, and deeply challenging. …I looked at it afterwards and thought “Can’t believe Amazon actually sells this!”, “Do I put this on my bookshelf or under my bed?”. “What now?” - Amazon Review (‘Dr. Tom’; now deleted for some reason)