A Voyage to Arcturus

Cover image for


Author: David Lindsay
Published: 1920
Language: English
Wordcount: 93,591 / 278 pg
Flesch-Kincaid Reading Ease: 71.2
LoC Category: PS
Downloads: 3,989
mnybks.net#: 4429
Origin: gutenberg.org

"A book which is difficult if not impossible to lay down once one has entered the observator tower where the journey starts and glimpsed the dread blue sun which revolves by far-off Tormance." --Loren Eiseley

Show Excerpt

otted to them. Mrs. Trent kept stealing uneasy glances at them. Throughout the entire incident, Mozart's hymn continued to be played. The orchestra also had heard nothing.

Backhouse now entered on his task. It was one that began to be familiar to him, and he had no anxiety about the result. It was not possible to effect the materialisation by mere concentration of will, or the exercise of any faculty; otherwise many people could have done what he had engaged himself to do. His nature was phenomenal--the dividing wall between himself and the spiritual world was broken in many places. Through the gaps in his mind the inhabitants of the invisible, when he summoned them, passed for a moment timidly and awfully into the solid, coloured universe.... He could not say how it was brought about.... The experience was a rough one for the body, and many such struggles would lead to insanity and early death. That is why Backhouse was stern and abrupt in his manner. The coarse, clumsy suspicion of some of the witnes


Average Rating of 3.3 from 7 reviews: ****
Paul Smith

If you're into phylosophy, you might get something from this work but it's not for those who just like a good read.


Well, Darius, that just reveals the limited reach of your mind. Arcturus is a philosophical allegory, a post-Nietzschean Pilgrim's Progress. The inadequacy of successive perceptions is the point- all, ultimately is illusion, facade and suffering. 20th century Gnosticism? A multidimensional Zen mandala? Probably both, and more.

Look elsewhere for phasers or lightsabers.

Darius Naqvi

Pseudo-religious claptrap.

This really isn't a novel, and certainly not science fiction. It is a bunch of parables, and parables that really make no sense. The book is mostly without any purpose. The only thing that kept me reading it was that I could not believe how bad it was, nor could I believe that anyone could recommend it or refer to it as a page-turner.

Avi Hathor

This book is literally fantastic. I have read it several times, and I will read it again. It is one of the few science fictions books I like. No wonder C. S. Lewis liked it so much. He was a good enough writer to appreciate the art in such a book that is overlooked by people that only like an easy style. Here something so important is being said that the artist doesn't stop to polish the details — like Michangelo's "Men Tearing Themselves out of Rocks" — the roughness of the texture adds to the final quality of the reality presented.

Absolutely supurb.


I found this one a bit difficult to get into at first, but then I found it difficult to put down. At times a bit beyond me, but I loved the challenge and the creativity of this story. A book I'd like to come back to.

R Stephan

Well written esoteric poetic fantasy. Although having a crisp start, the story looks a bit as if invented as the writing was going, and I couldn't finish the book, not being satisfied with the plot. The dreamlike adventure and colorful descriptions may be just your drug, however.


My favorite book.

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