Item description for City of Pillars by Dominic Peloso...
Men In Black...An Ancient Manuscript...A City that Isn't Supposed to Exist...No matter how paranoid you are, you're not paranoid enough!
Mitchell Sinclair is an innocent man who accidentally comes into possession of an ancient text. Soon he is being chased to the ends of the earth, pursued by shadowy forces who seem intent on getting the book back and eliminating all evidence of it. As he attempts to stay alive and translate the mysterious document he uncovers horrific and ominous details of an ancient, worldwide conspiracy. But the question is, can he find the answers he seeks before he loses everything?
City of Pillars charts one man's journey into madness, past the narrow confines of Western notions of reason and scientific reality. As he decodes more and more of the secrets of the City of Pillars, Sinclair is pushed farther and farther outside the bounds of traditional society and is forced to discard his morality piece by piece to stay alive. He is forced to answer the question:
How far a I willing to go to uncover the truth?
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.56" Width: 5.56" Height: 0.63" Weight: 0.78 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2000
Publisher Invisible College Press
ISBN 1931468001 ISBN13 9781931468008
Availability 66 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 23, 2016 07:52.
Usually ships within one to two business days from La Vergne, TN.
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Reviews - What do customers think about City of Pillars?
Diverting enough read Oct 6, 2007
This book was first brought to my attention in 2004 by James Ambuehl, as of some interest to Cthulhu mythos fiction fans. He mentioned it again a few months ago and I was able to get a used copy for afew bucks plus shipping. City of Pillars dates from 2000, from The Invisible College Press. It is a decent 215 page trade paperback; my copy is a little beat up, being used. Cover art by Juliana Pelosi (the author's wife? sister?) was pretty forgettable. Editing was decent with only a few typos or word substitutions (eg: poured for pored)
This book is only very tangentially connected to mythos stories. It centers around Irem, the ancient city mentioned a few times in passing by HPL (here is the Wikipedia link for those interested: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iram_of_the_Pillars). There is an ancient manuscript (albeit witten in human tongues by human hands) and a vast global conspiracy (but not the Cthulhu cult). That's it, really. Otherwise it is not a Cthulhu mythos story.
Briefly, Mitchell Sinclair is an up and coming attorney who cuts in front of a car remarkably similar to his at a toll booth. The guard tosses a manuscript into the back of his car, perhaps intended for the driver behnd him. Before he knows it, he is being hunted by men wearing black suits who want their manuscript back. They are relentless and ruthless, and Mitchell flees with the manuscript as the body count rises. The remainder of the book is devoted to his efforts to translate the manuscript and avoid capture, while visiting places whose identities he has been able to uncover in his researches. His need to know the truth, and either get revenge or at least understand his tormentors drives him to increasingly desperate and deviant acts.
Mostly I found City of Pillars a better read than, say, The Dark Destroyer. Partiuclarly, the first 1/3 to 1/2, when Sinclair is driven on the run, had a nice frenetic pace and good, tense atmosphere. I gobbled this part up in one night. After that, however, the plot changed from a continuous narrative into short, disparate vignettes, with some loss of momentum and interest. Quite a lot of mysticism and drug use was alluded to, although not elaborated on as well as it might have been. For example, Mr. Pelosi mentions the divine geometry and the Kaballah, but not in any detail. There were bits about meditation and mathematics, almost like just mentioning them was supposed to make us buy into the protagonist's transformation. Maybe these were thrown in to attract the New Age afficianados to the book? After a while it was like word salad in some parts and window dressing in others. If you ever saw the movie Pi you can better see how the Kaballah can be integrated into a narrative framewok and further a plot. The absence of dialogue and character develoment didn't really hamper a story like this. Even in the less well connected latter part of the book, the action bits had a good tense pace to them, and it was absorbing to see what Mitchell would do next, how low he would sink. I guess the biggest let down was the ending where nothing was really explained and I was left feeling like the author had pulled fast one.
Oh well, it only took me a couple of days to read it so I liked it better than some of the mythos dogs I have been slogging through lately. By all means try it, if you can find a cheap copy.
Quite intense Aug 9, 2006
It was a day just like any other day in Abraham Mitchell Sinclair's life. After saying goodbye to his perfectly beautiful wife he left his perfectly beautiful house in his new black 1958 Cadillac Sedan and started the drive to his work at the law firm in San Francisco where he was on his way to becoming partner. A few more years of hard work, and the life he and his wife had would be even more perfect.
But whoever said happiness lasts forever? In Sinclair's case it ends when he gets to the Golden Gate Bridge. Stuck in the usual morning traffic rush-hour he suddenly spots an open spot in the line of cars next to him, and fast as lightning he drives there; right in front of another black 1958 Cadillac Sedan. Then when it becomes his turn to pay the man in the tollbooth he discovers a strange Man in Black standing there, who without a word throws him a mysterious package. But being the busy man that he is, Sinclair doesn't care too much about the unexpected gift.
Which soon will change, quite drastically. Because as soon as the package - which contains a large bunch of papers with strange writing - enters his life, everything is turned on upside down. People are getting killed all around him, he loses everything in life that means something to him, and wherever he goes the mysterious Men in Black always follows close behind. And when he starts translating the documents, a whole world opens up for him...
City of Pillars is a piece of fictions filled with Men in Black, spectacular action, esoteric thoughts, and paranoid conspiracy theories. Sinclair's travels take him around the world and lasts for several years, but it never becomes boring and it's most definitely one of those books you just don't want to stop reading once you get into it. Peloso writes in a fascinating and thoughtful way, and even though most of his reading includes things that most skeptics and hardcore scientists refute instantly he still manages somehow to make the reader really think about it all. Even though it's a work of fiction. Because what if, just what if, some of the things he writes about indeed were true?
It's truly a mindboggling story, page after page, and if it hadn't been for several quite annoying proof-reading errors it would absolutely get the top grade.
Fast paced and intense May 23, 2006
This fast paced James Rollins style novel features a stoic hero pitted against a seemingly insurmountable foe. Pillars takes it's readers on a global adventure featuring an ancient text and a world wide conspiracy. This book asks us to examine our own strength and perseverance, forcing ourselves to ask the question, "How hard would we try and just how fast can we run?"
A conspiracy book that's not a conspiracy book. Jan 3, 2002
A man is pushed to the brink of madness as he tries to decode an ancient text and stop a secret conspiracy from taking over the world. But this book isn't about the conspiracy itself, it is more about how a conspiracy, any conspiracy could succeed in today's modern society. It focuses on complacency and indifference, qualities that are required to live in the crowded, impersonal society we now live in, but qualities that make it so simple to manipulate the world from behind the scenes. How many of us would take on the challenge of 'outing' a worldwide conspiracy if we ever found evidence of one? It is much easier to keep our mouth closed, our belly full, and lie on the couch watching Baywatch reruns.
This book is more like Pynchon's "Crying of Lot 49", or Eco's "Foucoult's Pendulum" than it is to Wilson's "Illuminatus" Like life, the answers aren't all there, blatantly thrown in front of us. This book leaves more questions than it answers, but the satisfaction comes in the journey, not the solution. By the way, don't expect everything to turn out happy in the end, life isn't like that.
Illuminatus it ain't Jul 22, 2001
Setting aside the clumsy prose, awkward plotting, and lifeless descriptions, this book fails by having very little to say.
The narrator repeatedly refers to the "terrible things he has discovered" without deigning to reveal them. He stumbles upon a vast consipiracy ... whose purposes beyond chasing him around are never revealed. In capable hands, this kind of mystery can work, but in this case it reads like the author simply lacked the ability to execute on his ambitions.
Occasional cracks about materialism and the cluelessness of the public at large are the book's weak effort at social criticism. The book reads like the work of a bright but over-ambitious teenager. Get your conspiracy and satire fix somewhere else.