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The Conspiracy Against the Human Race

A Contrivance of Horror
Narrated by: Eric Martin
Length: 8 hrs and 27 mins
5 out of 5 stars (65 ratings)
Regular price: $17.49
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Publisher's Summary

"There is a signature motif discernible in both works of philosophical pessimism and supernatural horror. It may be stated thus: Behind the scenes of life lurks something pernicious that makes a nightmare of our world." 

His fiction is known to be some of the most terrifying in the genre of supernatural horror, but Thomas Ligotti's first nonfiction book may be even scarier. Drawing on philosophy, literature, neuroscience, and other fields of study, Ligotti takes the penetrating lens of his imagination and turns it on his audience, causing them to grapple with the brutal reality that they are living a meaningless nightmare, and anyone who feels otherwise is simply acting out an optimistic fallacy. 

At once a guidebook to pessimistic thought and a relentless critique of humanity's employment of self-deception to cope with the pervasive suffering of their existence, The Conspiracy Against the Human Race may just convince listeners that there is more than a measure of truth in the despairing yet unexpectedly liberating negativity that is widely considered a hallmark of Ligotti's work.

©2018 Thomas Ligotti (P)2018 HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books

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A viewpoint more than an explanation

I "enjoyed" this book, though not in the way I usually enjoy things. I thought using pessimism as a lens for interpreting Buddhism and literature was great. I don't think it gave a clear answer to "what is pessimism and why might one subscribe to that belief", but maybe it did and I was unable to face it. It's a huge bummer, though, and I don't recommend reading it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Not for the faint of heart.

This is a beautiful book in which your whole positive outlook on life is turned upside down and questioned from a pessimistic point of view.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Very Thought Provoking

This book is the uncompromising exploration of pessimism and nihilism I have ever read. It is penetrating and insightful. It stimulated a lot of thought as I listened to it. I would say that it is probably one of the most intellectually honest documents I have read.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Honest Dive Into Pessimism

Citing influences within the horror genre and beyond, Thomas Ligotti explores the nature of the horror of being in this eloquent and cutting analysis of pessimistic existentialism. A must-read for weird-fiction buffs and existential enthusiasts alike.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Tom
  • Warm Springs, Georgia
  • 03-05-19

We are only Human Beings. Ask anybody.

“Behind the scenes of life lies something pernicious that makes a nightmare of our World.” What, you might ask, could this horrible force be? Surprise answer: Consciousness, the villain of the piece. The fact that we are born knowing the we will die makes the whole enterprise meaningless.

Ligotti is a renowned author of supernatural horror stories, the places where we go to both confront and escape the reality of Death. So, in this first non-fiction work he has produced, he devotes three hundred pages to asking Why don’t we just disappear and return the Planet to its Natural State.

He bases his existential pessimism largely on the work of the Norwegian Philosopher, Peter Wessel Zapffe, Horror writer H.P. Lovecraft, Schopenhauer and others, to conclude that awareness of Death’s inevitability makes all other positions pointless. It’s not a happy read and it is amazing that it kept my interest for its complete length. But he makes a powerful case while admitting in the final chapter that Zapffe could shout his Philosophy from the rooftops and no one would listen because “We’re only Human Beings. Ask anybody.”

Don’t read this book on your Birthday!

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life changing book

educational and thought learning provoking look at the nature of existence from and amazing, intelligent, and erudite author. a true master of the written word.

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Amazing!!!

Not only is the performance top shelf but this book is pure in the sense that it’s honesty is a utilization of the imagination juxtaposed to the human experience. A work of brutal unapologetic genius that most addresses what most fear to confront...