The Necronomicon [31st Anniversary Edition]

On December 1st of this year, Ibis Press re-released the infamous ‘Simon’ edition of the Necronomicon – a ’31st Anniversary Edition’.  Strange-ass book collector that I am, of course you know I just had to pick one up as all the other hardcover editions have sold out very quickly & demand quite a premium on Ebay – if and when they ever show up at all.

For those unfamiliar with the text it is a book of summoning evil spirits & the like reportedly written in the 8th century by the “Mad Arab” and mentioned commonly in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and cronies (although Lovecraft always maintained the work was fictional).  I have no doubt that this edition is . . . ahem, not what it seems but it feeds my weakness for grimoires & ancient books of lore – even those of questionable origin and authenticity.  Especially dubious is the fact that the editor ‘Simon’, who reportedly disappeared back in the 80’s, will autograph one of the limited edition, leatherbound copies.  Uh, ok – so much for sticking with the backstory, there Simon.  If this were the Witness Protection Program, Big Pussy would have had you already.

Anyhow, this new edition has a more mundane cover when compared to the previous 4 editions, although the raised sigil and lettering on the front & side of the book are nicely done in silvery foil.  The binding is cloth and seems secure enough, but is hardly archival quality.  Typical modern publishing techniques here.  I’m sure the more elaborate leather version is well, nicer.  Not gonna shell out the bucks to find out, sorry.

The text is unchanged from previous editions as far as I can tell with the inclusion of a new introduction as well as maintaining all four previous introductions.  But no additional chapters or ‘bonus’ rituals.  Still, it’s a beautiful piece which needs to be taken for what it is – not so much a work of serious study as it is potentially a prop or conversation piece.  I doubt it be a grimoire anymore than the ‘Essential Calvin & Hobbes’ but do find the interweaving of Sumarian Myth with Lovecraftian characterizations to be interesting & worth inclusion into my library.

And if I hear later bloodcurdling shrieks in the middle of the night, then I might possibly take back my Calvin & Hobbes comparison.  Assuming those shrieks aren’t from the wife yelling at the dog.

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2 Responses to “The Necronomicon [31st Anniversary Edition]”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Where can I buy the book?

  2. Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research on this. We got a grab a book from our local library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such wonderful information being shared freely out there.

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