Pierce Moffett teaches--not happily--at a New York university. But going down to a nearby rural area, the Faraway Hills, for an interview for another job, he finds himself stranded (there's no interview, no job, only an old acquaintance living in the vicinity who is now, of all things, a shepherd). Still, Moffett finds himself seduced into moving to the Faraways--there's an obscure peace to the place, something abetted by research he's been conducting about the heretic Giordano Bruno. In reading Bruno and about him, Pierce has become convinced as if by epiphany that there is another, second, hidden history of the world, one prophesied by Aegypt: that pre-Egyptian gnostic entity of knowledge personified by Hermes Trismegistus. In parallel, in the Faraways, an in-the-midst-of-divorcing local woman, Rosie Rasmussen, is bespelled by the remarkably specific historical knowledge in novels written by a now-dead local writer, Fellowes Kraft--most especially, in one he wrote about Shakespeare and the Elizabethan mathematician and necromancer Dr. John Dee. That Kraft's novels and Moffett's research turn out to be the same thing is the main engine of synchronicity here--and the always-skillful Crowley (Little, Big, 1981, etc.) has the tappets going noiselessly and smoothly. But, still, Crowley's own necromancy as a given and apart, the book is pokey, sluggard with lecture and illustration and speeches. A critique of rationalism--though intelligent and in fine prose--still reads like a critique. And except for Rosie, all the characters are of stiffest straw. Not even unseen if profound celestial correspondences get this book to breathe naturally.