Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Baal” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating


3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  2,716 ratings  ·  62 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 California, where he appears as the head of a deadly Manson-like Kuwait, where crazed millions heed his call to murder and orgy.

They call him BAAL in the Arctic's helli
Paperback, 335 pages
Published by Pocket (first published 1978)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Baal, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Baal

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Edward (The Book Pusher) Lorn
Oct 30, 2014 Edward (The Book Pusher) Lorn rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
Erin *The Paperback Stash*
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
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
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
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!
Paul 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
Glenn Rolfe
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
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
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
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
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
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.
Paul 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 as the contorted-malevolent background of a violent human being can be. Other characters such as Michael, Dr. Verga, etc., are also very well developed. You fami
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
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!
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
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.

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
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.
Baal is Robert McCammon's first book, a book he refers to his "angry young man" book. I don't know that I necessarily see it as an angry book, but it's definitely not happy. Baal is the story of the pagan-god who is brought back to mankind in the form of a child born as the result of a brutal rape. As he grows as does his power and his lust for war and chaos. The book is good, though not anywhere near the storytelling prowess or breathtaking prose that McCammon develops later on in his career. I ...more
Pankaj Verma
pacy, a little scary, imaginative, nonsense terrorist story
Abraham Valverde
El comienzo es brutal por la puesta en escena y la salvaje violación, luego la cosa sigue bien hasta que Baal, todavía como un niño, llega a un colegio religioso. Posteriormente, la historia del cura que viaja al desierto africano no está mal, pero a partir de cuando el otro cura va a por él la historia va perdiendo bastante interés.
La segunda parte del libro es bastante pesada, pero la primera es bastante buena. Y el final es muy forzado y no está acorde con todo lo que ha pasado antes y conque
Olaf Thunderfoot
Short, fast read. Decent character development and story for a first novel.
Nick Iuppa
Great read. Extremely well written. Strong characters. Exciting scenes of chaos, with the final local reminiscent of Lovecraft's The Mountains of Madness. Do characters have to evolve and grow to be memorable? Maybe Baal's strongest characteristic is that he's never going to change; he is what he is, pure evil... depend on it. That's the scariest thing of all. He's brutal, confident, unrepentant, vicious, obscene. I found the ending surprising and especially powerful.
Kim Higgs
I did not go into this one with high expectations due to even McCammon himself saying it was not his best. It was the first book he wrote, where he started his journey as an author. This being said, the story was not great but you can see signs of greatness to come from this guy. For anyone who loves him, this is a must - others I would stick to his great works such as A Boys Life and Swan Song.
Mandy Andersonn
A little rough around the edges, yet still a decent read. The main problem (as I see it) is that this novel has so much more potential. The last half of it seemed rushed and there wasn't nearly enough time spent with/on Baal. I would love to see a re-write from McCammon now that he has more experience as an author. Even as it stands though, it's worth a read.
Dr. E.a.
Man v. Demon


Take me out to the Baal game,
Take me out to the clod;
Please put a Cross in my Cracker Jack
Just to ensure that we both will get back.
Let’s root, root, root for the Angels,
If they don’t win it’s a shame,
For it’s one, two, three strikes he’s out
At the old Baal game.

Dr EA Richards
Chris Neumann
Aug 02, 2012 Chris Neumann added it
Shelves: horror
This is Robert McCammon's first published work. The author himself admits it to be not very good, and while I agree that is isn't his best work, it still is readable. It is a cool take on The Omen. Outdated a little now, but when it came out in the late 70's it probably gave people some good scares. Recommended if you want a good old-school chiller.
This wasn't as powerful as I recall when I first read it around age 12 or 13 but some of the horrific imagery did stay with me for a long time. It's a solid early attempt by someone who would become a better writer.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • Sibs
  • All Heads Turn When the Hunt Goes By
  • Books of Blood: Volume Six (Books of Blood, #6)
  • Fountain Society
  • Friday Night in Beast House
  • The Amulet
  • Mirror
  • Dominion
  • Breeder
  • A Winter Haunting
  • The Orchard
  • Vampyrrhic
  • The Hungry Moon
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.

A new contemporary novel, The Five, was published in May 2011 by Subterranean Press.

The fifth book in the Matthew Corbett historical fiction series is The River of Souls. It was published by Subterranean Press in trade, limited, and
More about Robert McCammon...
Swan Song Boy's Life The Wolf's Hour They Thirst Mine

Share This Book