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3.53  ·  Rating Details ·  3,235 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
A woman is ravished...
and to her a child is born...
unleashing an unimaginable evil upon the world!

And they call him BAAL in the orphanage, where he leads the children on a rampage of violence... in California, where he appears as the head of a deadly Manson-like cult... in Kuwait, where crazed millions heed his call to murder and orgy.

They call him BAAL in the Arctic's hel
Paperback, 335 pages
Published October 1st 1988 by Pocket Books (first published 1978)
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(showing 1-30)
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Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
Reading the two-page afterword that followed this book, I learned that Robert McCammon considers this his "Angry Young Man novel", and that this was his first full-length publication. The story was born from feeling surrounded by powerless circumstances - in the twenties with little money, a dead-end job catering to under-appreciative employers, little respect from peers. Baal rose up to form a story that has been told and retold in so many ways before. It's not new, but as far as these types of ...more
Edward Lorn
Oct 30, 2014 Edward Lorn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: McCammon completionists
Baal is Rosemary's Baby and The Omen and Megido all rolled up in one burrito. The best parts about the novel are the opening and final acts, basically the first and last fifty pages of the book. I was successfully dragged into a character drama concerning a couple trying to cope with a pregnancy after the wife is raped and brutalized. Then the book changed, drastically, and I quickly lost interest in what seemed to be a religious thriller with supernatural undertones. Then it changed again, morp ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Works well enough on its own terms; jettison expectations of originality and depth and settle for a fast-moving evil-messiah tale with many gore set pieces and a suitably vile villain and you'll be fine. Somewhat superficial research ensured that I caught all the resonances and hints quite early on, as well as a few factual errors here and there. The prose is functional but occasionally aspires to more; sometimes it gets there. Not at all bad for a first novel. But it's more gross and sickening ...more
H Hunt
Oct 09, 2013 H Hunt rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
OMG! Robert McCannon is my new love, this story was an awesome adventure & I cannot believe this was his debut novel from 1978! Please read this scary fastpaced & still viable in this day & age novel. I cant say enough about this work or this author but these truthful words: A true genius & master @ this most difficult of crafts where so many are called but few chosen & fewer sti;; who possess the raw talent fiction & the horror genre demand. I recommend this novel as a M ...more
William Cook
Aug 11, 2011 William Cook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fucking wicked terrorist/assassin novel. That's all I'm going to say. If you like hardcore action, then this is for you. Quite surreal evocations in all his novels I have read thus far. Love it. And don't forget the RM horror injections!
P.A. Wunderlich
What a story! This book contains many elements of which character development might be its most notorious one. It is outstanding! I enjoyed each second of Baal...until the ending bombed it. Let me explain.

The generation of the antagonist was achieved with a superlative execution. The background of Baal and how he came to be is as accurate in both the psychological and the social spectrum. Other characters such as Michael, Dr. Verga, etc., are also very well developed. You familiarize with them q
Aug 29, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Robert McCammon is one of those horror authors influential to me as I delved into horror fiction from the mid-to-late 80's, not only as a reader but as a writer. In a word, I love his work. Even lately, with his Matthew Corbett series, which is a bit of a diversion from his more well-known modern horror works, McCammon stands up there, to me, as strongly as the big heavy-hitters of horror, like Stephen King.

BAAL was his debut novel way back when and it shows. Not his strongest novel (but hey, I
Glenn Rolfe
Jan 10, 2015 Glenn Rolfe rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Wow. Awesome book. Only the second McCammon I've read (the other being Boy's Life -one of my top 3 favorite books ever), I have a whole shelf of his other paperbacks at home. Looking forward to that next one.
In Baal, McCammon places bits of the story in Greenland, the US, and in the Middle East. The Middle Eastern scenes in particular were very easy to fall into. With all of the chaos going on over there today and all of the crap we see from these people killing one another on a day to day basi
Mika Lietzén
Apr 15, 2015 Mika Lietzén rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror
McCammon's new novel The Border is out very soon from Subterranean Press, but here's where it all began back in 1978; Baal is a very concise, pulpy and epic horror novel on a global scale, told in three acts.

Things kick off in seventies' grimy America, as the future mom of the demon gets attacked on the street. She's saved in the nick of time, but gets strange burn marks all over her body. Later, she gets pregnant by her husband and gives birth to an obviously evil baby boy. When the father trie
Tobin Elliott
This started out so strong, then it just seemed to lose its way. I found, starting at about a third of the way in, not really caring about what happened.

When I really sat down and analyzed why, the answer was obvious. It was (at least for me), two things.

The first was, Baal was centre stage for the first third, then essentially disappears until the very end. Don't call a book BAAL then make him absent for the bulk of the storyline.

The second issue was that, of the three characters that ultimatel
Jun 06, 2015 Sarah rated it really liked it
When Baal was still in his crib he drove his mother to murder. As a child, he terrorized a Catholic orphanage and enlisted children to be his first followers. This is the story of an incarnated demon who drives ordinary people to horrific violence and plans to usher in the end of the world. The biblical god Baal (cast as a powerful demon) travels from place to place spreading war, death, and violence in his wake- growing stronger with each soul he corrupts. A confrontation with the forces of goo ...more
Jul 27, 2015 Μιχάλης rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Οποίος έχει διαβάσει αρκετά βιβλία της σειράς αυτής, πιθανότατα να έχει καταλάβει ότι αρκετοί συγγραφείς δε θα μπορούσαν να γράψουν μια καλή πρόταση ακόμα κι αν εξαρτιόταν ή ζωή τους από αυτό. Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο είναι ή εξαίρεση στον κανόνα, αφού ή γραφή του Μακκαμον είναι Ε-ΞΑΙ-ΡΕ-ΤΙ-ΚΗ κι ας είναι αυτό το πρώτο του βιβλίο ( αργότερα θα πάρει Bram Stoker με τα Swan Song και Mine) και, συνολικά, το βιβλίο σου αφήνει υποσχέσεις για έναν μεγάλο συγγραφέα που είναι ακόμα στα σπάργανα.

Δυστυχώς ό
Paulo "paper books always" Carvalho
One of my first books on my huge collection of almost 2000 books was Swan Song by McCammon. I heard it was like Stephen King’s The Stand so I bought it. But as the The Stand it was a massive book of more than 800 pages. So I put the book on the shelf next to Stephen King’s and others large books of 800 pages and they have been there for years. Why didn’t I read it since both those two books have top ratings? Because they are massive and I get scared about their length. But one day I will read it ...more
Apr 25, 2008 Kristen rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
I read this book in an evening; it's a fairly quick read if you don't lose interest. I had no problem with it, but I can see where others had issues with it. This was McCammon's first book, so it is by no means his best. The story of Baal (a daemon or demigod of evil) who is born from a raped woman and manages to gather together a frenzied following of believers. The "good guys" we follow include a theology professor, a half Eskimo hunter and the mysterious "Michael" in their quest to end Baal's ...more
Sep 03, 2014 John rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: robert-mccammon
I feel bad for writing this review. I am a big fan of Robert McCammon and it bothers me that I have a bad review for one of his books. If this would have been the first McCammon book I ever read I probably would have never read another one of his. Thank God I didn't or I would have missed out on some great books. The first 1/4 of the book was pretty good then got really boring and dragged along. This was McCammon's first book and you can see how much he has grown since then. If you want to read ...more
Mar 19, 2016 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

So I'm a McCammon fan - since reading Swan Song and Boy's Life, I've really come to admire the guy's writing. But Baal is definitely a fledgling McCammon novel - while there are moments of brilliance, it also becomes moderately transparent at times. So much of this has been done before: see other reviews for the comparisons to Rosemary's Baby, The Omen, and so on. And it's true - this isn't anything new. And for a young, inexperienced author to write something derivative isn't any great sur
Ale Rivero
Jan 21, 2016 Ale Rivero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Este es el tipo de historia que me gustan cuando las veo en películas, así que me pareció una buena idea probarla en libro. La forma de escribir del autor resulta bastante realista, y ya que la trama trata del advenimiento del fin del mundo a través de la figura del demonio Baal, ese realismo resulta bastante sangriento y macabro.
Lo que más me interesó de la historia es la importancia que se le da al fin que persiguen los personajes, sobre su desarrollo personal. Creo que el único personaje que
Apr 08, 2012 Luke rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I read this book years ago. I don't remember it very well. The one detail that remains with me is that it seems Mr. McCammon had just learned the term prefab and used it somewhere in the ballpark of 9000 times.
Mar 14, 2015 George rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
Ο άρχοντας των Δαιμόνων. Πρόκειται για το πρώτο βιβλίο που έγραψε ο Ρόμπερτ Ρ. ΜακΚάμον το μακρινό 1979 και από τότε μέχρι το 1992 έγραψε κάποια πολύ ενδιαφέροντα και πολυδιαβασμένα βιβλία τρόμου όπως τα Swan Song, Boy's Life, The Wolf's Hour, Mine, They Thirst, Stinger, Gone South, Mystery Walk, Usher's Passing, The Night Boat και Bethany's Sin, ξαφνικά όμως σταμάτησε να εκδίδει οτιδήποτε για δέκα χρόνια και ξανάρχισε με κάποια ιστορικά μυθιστορήματα, μέχρι που το 2011 φαίνεται ότι ξαναέπιασε τ ...more
Brian Schwartz
Mar 05, 2015 Brian Schwartz rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
For a first book, Baal was pretty darn good. As I said, it was a novel of its time when spiritual thrillers such as The Exorcist, Rosemary’s Baby , and The Omen were selling big. Despite plowing heavily trod ground, McCammon is careful to make sure his novel is not derivative of any of those religious thrillers.

As with most first novel efforts, the plot is linear. There are no subplots in play. The story is the story and it progresses from point A to point B with no deviation.

Character developm
Felix Zilich
Влияние писателя Роберта Маккаммона на жанр “хоррор” можно сравнить только с влиянием Стивена Кинга, Дина Кунца или Клайва Баркера. Несмотря на это, я до сих пор читал из него только пару романов, и было это еще в классе десятом-одиннадцатом. Причина у подобного безобразия очень простая. Маккаммон – это не просто хоррор в хорошем смысле этого слова. Маккаммон – это настоящий коньюктурный трэш.

Чтобы проиллюстрировать это достаточно взять один простой жанровый сюжет и показать на его примере то,
The debut novel is so often an author’s strongest - it can feel like the most polished and precious of an author’s entire canon. I have been a fan of McCammon’s for quite a few years now, but my familiarity is more with his recent novels. It has taken me a bit of time to track down this, his debut novel. And with hopes set high, it quickly becomes apparent that McCammon is one of those authors who has really honed their craft over time. This debut is far from being his strongest novel!

Its bigges
Edward Burton
Feb 20, 2016 Edward Burton rated it liked it
Robert R. McCammon wrote this at 25, his debut novel. His Boy's Life is one of my favorite novels of all time, and Gone South, despite its melodramatic tone isn't a bad read either. This novel reads like a long short story you'd find in an old Cemetery Dance or The Horror Show Magazines. It certainly doesn't rank up with McCammon's best, but reading this novel one can easily feel McCammon's blossoming future successes.
Paul Nash
Oct 27, 2014 Paul Nash rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
This book was ok for me. My first McCammon novel was Boy's Life and it blew me away, it was awesome. I'd have to say this wasn't a good follow-up to read after Boy's Life...but it was still good. This was his first novel and you can definitely see that when reading it. I'm going to read these in chronological order so up next is Bethany's Sin. I just can't wait to get to They Thirst and Swan Song! I'm looking forward to this journey. Happy reading everyone!
I'm a big fan of this author but this wasn't my favorite of his books. As others have said, this was his first published book and it shows. I'm glad I read it but it was sort of slow going. Still enjoyable but I wouldn't recommend it to someone reading McCammon's work for the first time.
Ginger Branson
McGammon is one of my all time favorite writers. I usually devour his every word with a voracious appetite. Baal fell so short of his usual genius that I didn't finish it. I made it about 3/4 of the way through, and just totally lost interest. So sad for me!
Matt Evans
Aug 20, 2014 Matt Evans rated it did not like it
Baal gets one star because Goodreads won't allow me to give it no stars. This book is bad in every sense of the word except for the slang sense where "bad" means "good" or "really cool." This book should be read only to show one how not to write.
Jan 06, 2010 Maicie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition

Boy's Lifeis one of my favorite novels so I don't understand why I haven't read more from this author. I found Baal, McCammon's first novel, at the thrift store. It's certainly an okay book - it's just not on the scale of Boy's Life. I've head raves about Swan Song and now he has a new book out - Mister Slaughter.

Baal is pretty typical demon vs. angel fare. I would recommend it for McCammon fans who want to say they've read everything he's ever written. You know, McCammon snobs.
Ellie Rodriguez
Jun 27, 2014 Ellie Rodriguez rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-challenge
What a fantastic read. I couldn't put it down. Great characters and the story was a roller coaster. A must read for horror fans.
Bryan Ericson
Apr 14, 2016 Bryan Ericson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stopped-reading
I got 100 pages into this book. There is your t ypical horror fare, but a couple of violent assults that are beyond disrasteful. I do not recommend this book. Not one of Mccammon's best.
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  • Sibs
  • In the Flesh (Books of Blood #5)
  • The Amulet
  • All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By
  • The Parasite
  • The Bridge
  • Fountain Society
  • Breeder
  • Razored Saddles
  • The Mammoth Book of Monsters
  • The Taint and Other Novellas
  • The Orchard
  • Vampyrrhic
  • Dark Gods
Robert Rick McCammon was a full-time horror writer for many years. After taking a hiatus for his family, he returned to writing with an interest in historical fiction.

The sixth book in his Matthew Corbett historical fiction series, Freedom of the Mask, was published in May 2016.

The second book in the Trevor Lawson I Travel by Night series, Last Train from Perdition, will be published in October 20
More about Robert McCammon...

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