This is a feisty little book, and one curiously named. It's as far from a soapbox rant as I can imagine. When I think of a soapbox preacher I think of disjointed, absurd and wrong bullshit. "Devil's Soapbox" is none of those. It's just a straight, clear, strong-minded collection of essays. The only thing it shares with a soapbox rant is passion.
It certainly has more character than any given street preacher, even more than I'd expect from a legitimate Satanist expounding his views. You get a real sense of who Madden is, more than I've gotten from his posts here or expected to get from his essays. He has a real voice and something personal to say with it. And what he says is not what I expected either. Though he covers the usual suspects of Satanic philosophy from his own angle, he adds some new ones that have, and this is the highest compliment I can give a book, never been written about before.
The centerpiece of the book is two chapters on the similarity of the Dark Side (Sith) of the force and Satanism. It sounds funny and Madden isn't oblivious to the nature of a Star Wars essay- But he's right about it all and it's friggin' deep stuff when you think about it. I am very impressed with the extended universe Star Wars writers and have to wonder if they used the SB as a starting point for the nature of the "Dark Side" we've heard so much about. But Madden doesn't just give you the topical similarities and some clever Sith quotes- He puts it into real world practical application. One can muse about the "Matrix and Philosophy" all they please but they're not gonna tell you how to get ahead in the world with it, only some bullshit about a spoon and how it doesn't exist. Not very Satanic, we all know there is a spoon and you can eat yogurt with it, fucking Buddhists... Anyhow, Madden surpasses the blurry realm of ideas and confronts us with that rare mingling of thought and action that we Satanists so crave to find in literature. The book is worth its price for these chapters alone.
If you need to justify shipping costs you can take your pick from a synopsis of the Yezidi learned firsthand in Iraq, a brilliant analysis of modern military culture and training (also firsthand, and it SHOWS) and the problems arising in both, or chapters on subjects ranging from martial arts to Wiccan rituals to a fun and scathing "If I were President" batch of concepts. And there's much more, even Boobs!
The book also has a subtle merit that I just adore- It's a Satanic Lulu book with ads in the back, notes by LttD regulars and some familiar names (mine) in the dedication. That won't add a cent for a bookstore deal but it means everything to me. These are my friends, this book comes from here. Catcher in the Rye will never be able to claim that.
HAIL FREDERICK MADDEN!
(And read his book)