The new novel by the master of neoliberal motivational philosopher Iliyan Kuzmanov, The Devil I Know, is committed to the freedom of the individual and the law in various totalitarian realities. Iliyan reinvents timeless values with biting sarcasm.
Common principles dictate that all are blindly equal before the Supreme Being, but not the equality that communism and Nazism preach to us, but an equality that allows everyone to reach the maximum of their potential, to be rich, to be happy, to be able to change the lives of others, or simply to enjoy their own.
The book is the story of one man rejecting the voluntary control accepted by the amorphous crowd that has adapted to exist in a very dark and objective world. He chooses to be a monster cursed by everyone else, and because of that, he is free. Person who lives in the manner of a Robin Hood outlaw, a Queen’s pirate like Sir Francis Drake, or Andrew Carnegie the ‘soulless vampire’, once the richest man in the world, who built thousands of public libraries with his own money.
This is the story of a man who constantly broke the rules because despite his unquestioning love of the Law. But the Law he lives by – the Universal Law, the Law of God, the Law for all, is far different from the Law of the powerful.
The Devil I Know is a reminder of the loneliness to which awakeners are doomed, the loneliness of those overachieving modern businessmen to whom the rules do not apply because it is they who blaze the trails. The world is helpless against these monsters because they can reach places that the helpless masses even fear to dream of. But in the end, they are the ones bringing the light to others, even if they have to pay cruelly for the stolen fire.
No, no, this is not a story about how man becomes an arrogant beast, a primitive alpha male with a desire to rule, to command. This is a story about leaving the Golden Palace of the father so that the Buddha can find enlightenment. A story of paradise lost, somewhere out there in the East, where we are all sinners because we are human.
It is the story of someone who had it all, the same person who was reduced to a weak outsider because of the acts of another. It is the story of a man who gave up everything and was left with only his faith on the Path. An outsider who does not crave power and begs not to harm even the smallest of flowers before becoming a Beast. Alas, the beast is far from an uncontrollable monster, but more of an elegant Devil.
This is a story of how the lamb becomes a lion, and then makes lions out of the other lambs in the flock. A manual for rebellion, lost long ago in time, somewhere out there in the Devil’s New England mansion. A rebellion against the tyranny of the one and the tyranny of the many.
Because Iliyan shows us that it doesn’t matter how many tyrants want to dictate life. The book is about personal freedom, personal initiative, and free choice… about what private property means, what business means, what love means, and what it means to become the Devil. A tale of the Beast where Beauty will not find her happy ending.
It’s a modern fairy tale, a mystical philosophy, dark yet motivating, designed to get you through even the darkest night of your life. It is this darkness that allows Iliyan to cover so much wisdom within the carefully crafted pages. A tale of the incredible potential hidden in the infinite being called man. The Devil I Know is a tale of faith, of love, of the human will that drives man on even when there is nothing healthy left to latch on to.
Iliyan Kuzmanov is a rare writer, a social entrepreneur, an activist fighting against corruption in Eastern Europe and human trafficking, and a journalist with earth-shattering analyses. Iliyan’s first book “If You Meet Buddha, Kill Him!” became the first Bulgarian bestseller to enter Amazon’s Top 20 list and has won many international awards.
Iliyan has combined not only talent, not only personal experience, but also a rich family history filled with the wisdom he speaks of. A family related to the roots of the Ottoman Empire. Wealthy landowners, winemakers, military heroes, and public figures who built schools, libraries, and churches for the people of Bulgaria. But darkness has put its mark on this family history.
On several occasions, these same people encroached on the family’s land and business. In the 1940s, after the collapse of Nazism, came Communist People’s Power. And these same innocuous, poor people the family had once cared for over centuries screamed in one voice, “Kill the bloodsuckers, kill the vampires!” as they plundered everything that had been so generously built.
Next came totalitarianism, the grim national socialism that gave birth to monsters far more terrible than the Devil… even gave birth to Putin.
The Devil I Know him is as close to a must-read as you are ever likely to find…