Illuminatus! Part One
The Eye in the Pyramid
Robert Shea & Robert Anton Wilson.
Dell: 1975. Mass market paperback. First printing. Very good.
"It was the year when they finally immanetized the Eschaton. On April 1 the world's great powers came closer to nuclear war than ever befiore, all because of an obscure island named Fernando Poo. But, while all other eyes turned to the UN building in apprehension and desperate hope, there lived in Las Vegas a unique person known as Carmel. His house was on Date Street and had a magnificent view of the desert, which he appreciated. He liked to spend long hours looking at the wild cactus wasteland although he did not know why. If you told him that he was symbollically turning his back upon mankind, he would not have understood you, nor would he have been insulted; the remark would be merely irrelevant to him. If you added that he himself was a desert creature, like the gila monster or the rattlesnake, he would have grown bored and classified you as a fool. To Carmel, most of the world were fools who asked meaningless questions and worried about pointless issues: only a few, like himself, had discovered what was really important - money - and pursued it without distraction, scruples, or irrelevancies."