THE DISSIDENT MIND BEHIND THE DEVIL I KNOW HIM
The Devil’s Gospel by Iliyan Kuzmanov
Тhe Mystic World of Iliyan Kuzmanov
Iliyan Kuzmanov writes The Devil I Know Him with bravery, truth, and a distinct sense of lived experiences from his own life. In this book, Kuzmanov paints a vivid tale that features a clear metaphor for the communist society that still spreads itself across Eastern Europe to this day. And this lines up seamlessly with the author and journalist’s history in his home country of Bulgaria.
Kuzmanov has long since written about the corruption in modern-day Bulgaria and the Putin regime, which dates back decades into his own childhood. He uses his own anecdotes, experiences and discoveries through his troubled life to pain magical realism and symbolism throughout the novel, teaching us exactly what totalitarianism means to the man on the ground. He also touches on the wider cultural and religious ramifications of such political tyranny.
For those unfamiliar with his work, Iliyan is a best-selling writer and the winner of numerous awards in recent years, including the Golden Key For Contribution to the Bulgarian Society. With his first novel, Iliyan became the first Bulgarian writer to break into Amazon’s top 20 list, and even scooped the Writer With The Greatest Potential award in 2022. Kuzmanov was born in Bulgaria but studied in Canada before moving to Britain to make his fortune as a successful businessman. These days, he uses his money to fund his activism and fight the good fight on behalf of those who are unable.
In the context of Eastern European history, Iliyan is quickly making a name for himself as a brave journalist, historian and writer, with a clear focus on defending human rights. In this latest novel, The Devil I Know Him, you will also find LGDP representation, as well as a number of other societal groups who are so rarely given a voice. He speaks so openly and passionately about the fundamentals of Christianity and those who were prosecuted during the communist movement, as well as the truth behind human sin and the opportunity for redemption.
Kuzmanov depicts the spread of communist society across Eastern Europe, describing its transformative effect on the people as it turned them into an amorphous biological mass. Iliyan claims communism was like a zombie apocalypse that destroyed any flicker of personal initiative or business, killing those who believed in or sought after the spiritual world.
Iliyan himself has deep roots in Ottoman and Bulgarian history, as a descendant of a noble family of entrepreneurs and public figures who lost everything they had to the wave of communism. And now history repeats itself, as Iliyan Kuzmanov releases his own anti-totalitarian manifesto, outlining the threat of Putin, attacks in Bulgaria, and why Iliyan himself was forced to flee to the United Kingdom.
There is a reason that Iliyan Kuzmanov is being described as the modern-day dissident, and The Devil I Know Him is why…
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…
There is nothing better than to read brilliant writing by an author who has something new and innovative to say about spirituality. Iliyan Kuzmanov’s “The Devil I Know Him” includes a skilful and unique narrative that goes far beyond the understanding of dark paths, revealing to us a sacred way to enlightenment hidden within the human essence.
This novel is a surprising mystical gem that explains the immense capability of human will and faith. Behind our initial expectations of one-sided orthodox interpretations of such a bone-headed idea, we find a deep intellectual study that dissects the concepts of Good and Evil.
Iliyan Kuzmanov’s second novel is an enigmatic spiritual tale and a modern philosophical quest that explores different cultures and religions in search of freedom. Following his debut book, which explored the idea of personality, free choice and critical thinking, the bestselling author unveils “The Way”, casually guiding us towards the Eightfold Path of enlightenment in an idiosyncratic way.
The book masterfully draws intellectual bridges between the esoteric Buddhist wisdom known as Tibetan (Vajrayana), Indian Hinduism, Chinese Taoism and Legalism, Christian mysticism, Sufism, Roman cults, Egyptian religions, and Persian Zoroastrianism.
Iliyan provokes a palette of passion and emotion in his reader, breaking clichéd narratives while somewhat resembling a Taoist Road Trip, which is not a compliment given lightly. This novel paints the tale of an unusual mystical journey, a shamanistic pilgrimage if you will, a sole quest about individual submission to spiritual teachings and personal revelation.
Using modern means of expression, Iliyan draws an ancient anamorphic Buddhist painting, a distorted projection of the Devil and Lotus, a flower like no one. The lotus rises from the depths of a muddy river, blooms, and thrives. A story about a human who rises from the darkness of the world into a new way of thinking and living. A tale about love, faith, sacrifices, rebirth, and growth, by a mysterious purification of the spirit in fire.
Each character in the book serves as a sacred gate that opens a different mystical universe for the reader. It is an unsurpassed mastery to juggle symbolism with such ease and embroider a myriad of layers of perception. A turbulent overturning of the senses, and the reader can’t help but feel as if they have found themself in a darkened room full of flickering candles. Hazy reflections in which they search and finds answers without the need to even ask a question. A lost Taoist art of weaving words with profound meaning and repercussion.
The story of the Devil was captured by Kuzmanov accurately and presented elegantly in Faustian prose. A portrait of an unequal struggle. A failed conflict reminiscent of a forgotten Hindu epic between the fallen devil and the Eternal Order (Sanatan Dharma). A simple story about a man, about a devil, about someone lost far in the past and someone you long since parted ways with.
An awakening in tyranny, rigid in rituals and dogmas to reach Bodhisattva. A pilgrimage of Siddhartha and his companions, an ascetic renunciation of everything earthly to reach enlightenment in a journey to Nirvana. A work of mystical art that not only makes you think, but floods you with emotions, forces you to stop thinking and just feel… until you cease feeling too…