The Earth Will Shake

  • by Robert Anton Wilson
  • Narrated by Scot Crisp
  • 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

They have been with us throughout the ages: the "Invisible College" of wisdom and their adversaries, the destroyers. The history of the world is their story - a conspiracy as vast as time itself.
Naples, Italy, circa 1764: A young aristocrat is about to stumble onto one piece of the great pattern. As witness to a vicious assassination and victim of his passion for the beautiful daughter of his enemy, young Sigismundo Celine is forced to begin a mystical odyssey amidst an ageless clash of Freemasons, Mafia, and the Illuminati.
Sigismundo begins his journey of discovery accompanied by the boy Mozart, the immortal Dr. Frankenstein, and the infamous Casanova as the forces of light and darkness seek to claim him for their own. For all are certain that he is the long-awaited one whose powers - can he but master them - will remold the destiny of the entire world.
Before Dan Brown, Umberto Eco, and The X-Files, there was Robert Anton Wilson and The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles. Beginning in 1982 with The Earth Will Shake, Wilson set out to trace the conspiratorial and philosophical underpinnings of Western history. By the third and final novel, the Chronicles expose the historical cross-currents of Freemasonry, the American Revolution, Rosicrucians, the Marquis de Sade, and the Illuminati, revealing a saga as elaborate and startling as history ought to be!


What the Critics Say

"A delicious treat....Wilson is a vivid portraitist with a perfervid imagination, and he regales his readers with occasional infusions of wit. Buy and enjoy." (Analog)
"More important than Ulysses or Finnegan's Wake" (Timothy Leary)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Hugely entertaining and informative.

Robert Anton Wilson described himself as “agnostic about everything” and called his writing an attempt to break down conditioned associations and look at the world in new ways. It is with this understanding tucked under our hats that we approach “The Earth will Shake”. This is the first of three books in a series called the “The Historical Illuminatus Chronicles” and follows the adventures of a young Neapolitan noble, Sigismundo Celine. Set in the late 18th century, Sigismundo is a young man perfectly conditioned to his station in life. A member of a wealthy aristocratic family, he is dutiful to the codes and expectations of his class and is a devout and obedient catholic. Piece by piece Sigismundo is impelled by circumstance to begin questioning everything he believes. Beneath a worldview dominated by the Church of Rome and policed by the brutal Dominican’s he discovers a subculture of secret societies and heretical thinking, but even here truth is difficult to determine. In his search Sigismundo must explore deep within himself and learn to question everything he is told. Along the way there is plenty of adventure, a swift flowing plot and a bounty of interesting and complex characters to keep the listener engaged. For those who enjoyed John Crowley’s “Aeygpt”, this novel covers similar ground but is an eminently easier listen. Wilson was an erudite writer with a great skill for disseminating psychological and esoteric concepts within the framework of a fictional story. This is a superior audio production with an excellent narrator. A hugely entertaining and profound work. Well written and deeply appreciated by this reviewer.
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- Andrew

A powerful start to the series

While starting out a little slowly (not for lack of drama - the book starts with a murder during Sunday mass in the church), the book steadily builds up momentum while weaving together narrative threads like the complementary harmonics of a sonata.

Intrigue, murder, lust, revenge, class conflict, conspiracy, the book covers the gamut of topics and ties them together in the central character of a somewhat likeable, but very human, Napoli musician - Sigismundo. Starting with the character aged 14 years, and following him for the next six to seven years, the book takes him through his slow maturation while introducing an increasingly complex series of plot elements.

Where is the rest of the series, I need closure!
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- Kamal "Management consultant, video game player, avid reader of all types of books, and happily married father of four. I'll read just about anything, from Fantasy and SciFi, to mysteries and ChickLit."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-26-2007
  • Publisher: Deepleaf Audio