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Publisher's Summary

Gerard Sorme has been hired by a New York publisher to edit a book on Esmond Donelly, notorious 18th-century Irish rake, friend of Rousseau, Boswell, and Horace Walpole, and author of a bawdy work on the deflowering of virgins. 

Sorme's quest for information on Donelly takes him to the home of a pyromaniac and flagellant in Baton Rouge, the labyrinthine corridors of the British Museum, and a remote castle in Ireland. As he digs deeper into the mystery of Donelly, Sorme uncovers a tale of intrigue, conspiracy, and murder involving a secret society, the Sect of the Phoenix, that dates back to medieval times. But the Sect still exists, and Sorme's researching has not gone unnoticed by powerful men who have their own reasons for wanting the truth about Esmond Donelly to remain hidden...

©1970, 2018 Colin Wilson (P)2018 Valancourt Books, LLC

Critic Reviews

"The God of the Labyrinth (1970), the third book of Wilson's 'Gerard Sorme trilogy', is a novel in the mode of Jorge Luis Borges that explores two of Wilson's major interests - philosophy and sex - in the form of a thrilling literary mystery. 'He writes a clear, light prose, and he makes his interests, however bizarre, seem important." (Punch)

"One of the more earnest and interesting writers of his generation." (The Guardian)

"He has the kind of story-telling power which could charm the birds off the trees." (The Journal)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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    4 out of 5 stars

Sex,history but no Video tapes.

A very sexy mystery mixed with history and some Philosophy.

The Narrator keeps all the elements together with a good performance.


This is not a classic work of Art but it is entertaining for those
who enjoy this type of genre.



This book was given to me for free at my request and I provided this voluntary review.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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The book was an ok listen

The book was a fine listen to get me thru my commute. That being said, I don't think I will re-listen to the book again in the near future.

The story took about an hour to really come together for me. The first hour of the book seemed to jump around from topic to topic and was hard to follow what was going on. After about the first hour, the story really came together and everything was good from there. The characters sometimes feel a bit flat, but the writing was good enough to keep me listening without boredom (again, once I got past the first hour).

The narration was good. No unusual vocal ticks. I did find that I couldn't listen to the book any faster than 1.25 (I usually listen at 2x), but I think this is in large part because I don't typically listen to narrators with accents.




*I received this title for free in exchange for an unbiased review!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I wanted to like it, but I didn't...

This book reminds me a lot of the sort of pseudo-intellectual conversations you had in college while listening to Morrissey when you thought you were being deep, but when you get older you realize that it's circular self-aggrandizing nonsense.

I like a main character who has flaws, but there has to be something redemptive about the character as well. This guy thinks he's brilliant, repeatedly cheats on his wife sans guilt, and bemoans his life. What's to like? I quite simply didn't care what happened to him, and that's never good.

The reader was okay. His narration was fine, on tone, and solid. But the characters in the book are from all over the world, and alas I don't think accents are his forte. He made a run at one or two, but wasn't consistent and didn't make the voices distinct enough that without the "she said" I wouldn't know who was talking. I imagine he would be an excellent narrator for a non-fiction work as his voice is otherwise lovely and kept my attention (not droning, or weird affect).

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review, which is unfortunately what I've given it.

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  • nerak
  • 07-17-18

Interesting and unusual mystery

I was provided with a free copy of this audiobook in return for an honest review.

Although this book was not really one that I would have bought, I was highly impressed with skill of the writer. He has a natural tone and language that makes philosophical discussion easier to understand.

Philosophy is such a tough subject to get right and to include it in a novel like this is something most writers would be scared to attempt. I was very much impressed by the writing style, the feel that you were actually inside the head of the main character and how the author created someone who feels real.

There are a couple of elements that were not my cup of tea, the securely exploits were not my thing, but I cannot deny that they were well thought out and incredibly well written. The narrator's voice, tone and paving was perfect for the style of the book.

I would certainly be interested in looking at anything written by this author in the future, a talent for skilful writing and character development is high on my list of requirements in books.

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  • Norma Miles
  • 06-11-18

The natural voice of the body.

When author Gerard Sorme is on a lecture tour of the U.S., he is asked to write an introduction to a book, soon to be published, by an Irishman whose name he had only just heard. Edmond Donnelly, the Irish Rake, born in the Eighteenth Century. There could also be a further book deal to write his autobiography if all went well.
Gerald begins his quest to find out more about his poorly documented subject and, in so doing, finds himself drawn into a tale of murder, and the pursuit of a secret society known as the Sect of the Phoenix. The journey brings him into (sometimes very close) contact with a number of curiously characterized interested parties.

As a one time admirer of Mr.Wilson, sadly this reader found The God of the Labyrinth to be an excessively long and tedious tale of a man's sexual indulgences in pursuit of knowledge, both of himself and the Irishman in question, and even of meaningfulness itself. Moving from one explicit but somehow unerotic sexual congress to another, with titbits of revelation in between, Wilson weaves in dribbles of literary and philosophical thinking far more interesting and exciting than the story itself. But it was only the fine writing and excellent narration which enabled this reader to force through to completion as fondle after desire and further penetration was painstakingly endured.

Narrator Paul Jenkins was superb. His becoming the first person story teller, Gerard Sorme, was played to perfection, the reading throughout clear and in character, well intoned and pleasant to hear. His voicings of all of those he met on his journey were similarly distinctive and appropriate to each person. An excellent performance.

Like many of my generation, I read and was influenced by The Outsider in my youth but later read only one other of his books. Perhaps I have just grown too old to appreciate the near shock tactics employed here, finding instead only a weary 'not this again' response to the continuing episodes related, the 'set pieces' he later mentions as being part of a pornographic novel, instead prefering a more didactic philosophical approach.
My thanks, however, to the rights holder of The God of the Labyrinth who, at my request, freely gifted me a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. And a special thanks to narrator, Paul Jenkins, whose reading enabled me to stick with it to the end.