Tag Archives: Stephen King

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper

 

“To know ourselves and, in turn, to endure the perpetual reminder of our solitude. To be cast out. To wander alone.”  ~~Andrew Pyper in The Demonologist

From Lauren’s Perspective:

Oddly enough, it was the advertising for this book that drew me in.  This doesn’t usually happen to me, as I am not usually the type of person to notice advertising without it being thrown in my face.  But the truth was, this book was sort of thrown in my face.  The advertising wasn’t particularly clever, but it was everywhere.  Every time I walked onto the subway I would see this bright red book cover staring back at me.  Every time I walked into a book store I would see a poster exclaiming “coming soon from Andrew Pyper”.  So finally, after having been bombarded with images of this supposedly amazing book, I took the time to read about it, and in a simple blurb about the book, I knew I had to read it.  I even knew that I would love it.

The plot was perfectly complex without being too hard to follow.  The books premise is based around Professor David Ullman’s strange encounter with a “thin woman” who sends him on a journey that results in the disappearance of his daughter.  The premise is, of course, much more complicated then that, but that sentence essentially sums up the plot.  The intricacies that follow this story, including the ever present link to Milton’s Paradise Lost, as well as the texts religious overtones are more than enough to keep you turning page after page after page.  From the first chapter, I couldn’t put the book down, which is exactly how I enjoy my books.  Intriguing, interesting, intricate.

The characters were as interesting as the plot.  Professor Ullman, our stories protagonist, was a doting father, studious professor who excelled in all things Milton while remaining a devout atheist, and a generally likable guy.  He suffered a few tragedies that sent him on a misguided mission which resulted in his whole world being turned even more upside down than it already was.  His faults gave him character and his strengths gave him charm.  Ullman’s main counterpart, O’Brien, was a likable know-it-all, who came off in a pretentious manner, but one that you could relate to and even wish to have as a friend in your own life.  She was the antithesis of Ullman’s cheating ex-wife, and the romantic undertones of their relationship was a pleasure to read because they didn’t detract from the books main message, but instead added to the depth of the characters and their need for comfort in times of fear, rather than their need to be loved.  Even the books secondary characters were well written.  Tess, though she appears very briefly before being lost to a mysteriously “unnamed” dark force, is a precocious eleven year old with a brain as big as her fathers.  She seems like the perfect daughter, if at times slightly moody.  My only complaint would be in the character of “the pursuer”.  He was mysterious to a fault.  His purpose in the story never fully grasped.  Who did he work for?  Why did he do it?  Was he human or other?  What made him care so much about the life of David Ullman?  These questions were skirted around but never directly resolved, so I found his presence slightly frustrating.  All other secondary characters in the book were well used and in some cases, incredibly creepy.  No one was there without purpose.

Moving on to Pyper’s writing style, I would call it more than adequate.  There was nothing spectacular or mind-blowing about it, but there was nothing disappointing in it either.  Sometimes a book can’t be all about perfecting the English language, sometimes it has to be about the story first and the words second, and in a book that entwines Paradise Lost with demonology with a cross-country spiritual journey to find a missed loved one, the story had to come first.  This is not a fault.  If the language had been too convoluted, the reader would have easily gotten lost among the words and been unable to follow this fascinating, and actually terrifying story.

Pyper’s tale has been related to Dan Brown’s DaVinci Code, but I think this is doing him a disservice.  Pyper is a much better writer than Brown, in my opinion, although both can surely tell an interesting story.  To me, Pyper’s writing is more similar to that of Steven King, in style and in story line.  There was just enough horror and scenes of spine chilling terror that fans of King would feel right at home within Andrew Piper’s words.

All in all, The Demonologist was definitely a good book and definitely worth the quick read.  Just be prepared to sleep with the night light on.

Rating

Plot – 4/5
Writing/Style/Form – 4/5
Characters – 4/5
Enjoyment/Entertainment Value – 4/5

Overall Score – 16/20

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A Brenner/Gowing Thought ~~ Part Seven

Well, here’s another thought instead of another review.  We’ve been busy as usual and I figured, better to post something than nothing at all.  We haven’t had time to converge on a book yet, but a new one is coming your way shortly, I guarantee.  If anyone out there has any suggestions for us, or books they’d like to see reviewed, feel free to let us know.

In the meantime, I thought we’d share some quotes.  These quotes inspire us to be writers, inspire us to be readers, and inspire us to respect the written word.  A good quote can do just as much as any good book can do.  It can make you stop and think, it can change your view or opinion, it can cause you to drastically change your life when change is needed.  I know a quote from a song was the catalyst that made me leave my home town and move to the big city.  Anything is possible with words.  Here are a few of our favourites:

SONY DSC

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.”  – Louisa May Alcott 

atwood

“I believe that everyone else my age is an adult whereas I am merely in disguise.” – Margaret Atwood 

bradbury

“Write!  So as not to be dead.”  – Ray Bradbury

bukowski

“Find what you love and let it kill you.” – Bukowski 

burroughs

“I myself am entirely made of flaws, stitched together with good intentions.”  – Augusten Burroughs

Carroll

“”Have I gone mad?”  “I’m afraid so, you’re entirely bonkers.  But I’ll tell you a secret…all the best people are.”” – Lewis Carroll – Alice in Wonderland

CS LEWIS

“We read to know we are not alone.” – C.S. Lewis

frost

“I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.”  – Robert Frost

Hemingway

“I love sleep.  My life has the tendency to fall apart when I’m awake, you know?”  – Ernest Hemingway

hemingway 2

“Write drunk; edit sober.” – Ernest Hemingway

john green

“Maybe there’s something you’re afraid to say, or someone you’re afraid to love, or somewhere you’re afraid to go.  It’s gonna hurt.  It’s gonna hurt because it matters.”  – John Green

kerouac

” Because the only people for me are the mad ones.” – Jack Kerouac

palahniuk

“Nothing of me is original.  I am the combined efford of everybody I’ve ever known.”  – Chuck Palahniuk – Invisible Monsters

poe

“I became insane with long intervals of horrible sanity.”  – Edgar Allen Poe

rowling 3

“Happiness can be found even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”  – J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter

rowling 4

“You do care.  You care so much you feel as though you will bleed to death with the pain of it.” – J.K. Rowling – Harry Potter

rowling 5

“Words, in my humble opinion, are the most inexhaustible source of magic we have.” – J.K Rowling – Harry Potter

rowling 6

“It is the unknown we fear when we look upon death and darkness, nothing more.”  – J.K. Rowling

Steven King

“Books are a uniquely portable magic.”  – Stephen King

vonnegut

“Everything was beautiful and nothing hurt.”  – Kurt Vonnegut 

collins

“It takes ten times longer to put yourself back together as it does to fall apart.”  – Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

Collins2

“You never forget the face of the person who is your last hope.” – Suzanne Collins – The Hunger Games

Do you have any favourite book quotes of your own?  If so, leave them in the comments, we love discovering new quotes and new authors, and maybe it will inspire our next review!

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The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

“The world was half made of death” – The Talisman by Stephen King and Peter Straub

From Lauren’s Perspective:

Outside of his short stories, this was my first foray into the terrifying world of Stephen King.  I took the advice of a few fans and all of them recommended The Talisman.  This book seems to have a cult following, people are absolutely in love with it, and I can’t say I disagree.

The book begins and ends with Jack Sawyer and it follows his journey across country in the hopes of saving his sickly mothers life.  Filled with other worlds (known as the territories), werewolf friends and foes, evil goat-like creatures with strange eyes, and much more in the way of fantasy and horror than you can count.  This intriguing journey will keep you going right until the last page.  You will long to discover Jack’s destiny, and devour the book in an attempt to understand all the intricacies of the worlds King and Straub have created.

The book is a long one, so ensure yourself lots of time to allow yourself to fully delve into it.  It does have a tendency to drag on at parts since, at its core, it is the story of a twelve-year-old boy walking from an east coast town in New Hampshire to California.  However, it is worth the journey.

The best part of this book would have to be the characters.  It is easy to love the fighting spirit of Jack Sawyer, despite his young age and terror of the unknown.  You want to see him prevail.  I fell for Wolf immediately, he was so upbeat and friendly, doing what he could despite his immense fear upon entering our world for the first time.  Speedy is a fantastically written character who cryptically gives Jack the information he needs to save his mom and fills in a bit for Jack’s deceased father.  And even Richard, with his obsessive need to reject all things abnormal, is likeable with his enduring love for Jack.  In fact, even the characters who stray on the side of evil are great in their own way and having the ability to write a character who is so easy to detest is harder than one may think.  The owner of the Oatley Tap, Morgan (Sloat and of Orris), Sunlight Gardener; they are all so basely evil you want to continue reading to make sure they get what’s coming to them.

The writing itself was mediocre, but the intricate storyline and elaborately made up world make up for the writing as it isn’t actually bad, it’s just not greatly memorable.

Overall, the book is an interesting read with many great qualities…although to be honest, for Stephen King, I expected to be a bit more frightened.

Rating

Plot –  4 out of 5
Writing/Style/Form –  3 out of 5
Characters –  4 out of 5
Enjoyment/Entertainment Value –  4 0ut of 5

Overall Score –  15 out of 20

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