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The Demonologist

3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  4,478 ratings  ·  884 reviews
A stolen child.

An ancient evil.

A father’s descent.

And the literary masterpiece that holds the key to his daughter’s salvation.

Professor David Ullman is among the world’s leading authorities on demonic literature, with special expertise in Milton’s Paradise Lost. Not that David is a believer—he sees what he teaches as a branch of the imagination and nothing more. So when t
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published March 5th 2013 by Simon & Schuster (first published March 1st 2013)
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Eve & Adam by Michael  GrantBlack City by Elizabeth  RichardsSecrets by Darcia HelleThe Boy Recession by Flynn MeaneyThe Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Wishlist October-November
5th out of 30 books — 10 voters
Untangle Me by Chelle BlissAllegiant by Veronica RothThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackUnwind by Neal ShustermanThe Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
October 2013 TBR List
5th out of 9 books — 10 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Amy M
I picked up a proof from the bookstore I worked at thinking it looked interesting and wanting to give more Canadian authors a fair chance, I went for it. I found the author's included letter intriguing: he being of skeptical mind set out to convince fellow skeptical-minded readers of a world full of demons. I figured he'd have his work cut out for him trying to convince me of Christian mythos! Challenged accepted.

David is a man at odds with life, his faith, his own self. He has molded his entire
Amanda Marie
oh wow. when I first heard about this book, the people discussing it said it was scary. the room got quiet and chills ran down spines. I instantly wanted to read it. I was lucky enough to have been given an early copy and oh my goodness.

the story is very well written. the plot is fluid and understandable. despite its references to Milton's Paradise Lost and the academic protagonist, you don't need to be a scholar to enjoy it.

as for the scare factor, its definitely there. there are moments when
A copy of The Demonologist was provided to me by Simon & Schuster/Edelweiss for review purposes.

'Wandering this darksome desert, as my way
Lies through your spacious empire up to light
Alone, and without giude, half lost, I seek...'

'The Demonologist' is a sophisticated thriller that focuses solely on John Milton's 'Paradise Lost' (and I think it should be noted that it's not a prerequisite to have read Milton before 'The Demonologist' either.) It's not overly steeped in symbolism without suffi
“There are things in this world most of us never see,” I find myself saying. “We’ve trained ourselves not to see them, or try to pretend we didn’t if we do. But there’s a reason why, no matter how sophisticated or primitive, every religion has demons. Some faiths may have angels, some may not. A God, gods, Jesus, prophets—the figure of ultimate authority is variable. There’s many different kinds of creators. But the destroyer always takes the same essential form. Man’s progress has, from the beg ...more
Skip it. This book may work better as a movie, a horror film with lots of creepy music and scary images of twins. But as a book it is not very exciting. I was extremely disappointed on so many levels. One. I thought this was going to be about Heaven and Hell, Good and Evil, God and Satan. I thought it would challenge me to think about my beliefs. Nah. It is about someone who talks to the dead in Milton-speak. Tiresome. Two. This should have been a short story. The characters are just sketched ou ...more
This book had real promise, but somehow just missed. It may have been that it took far too long to figure out why the demon was interested in Ullman, or what in his history led him here, or how the Pursuer and the Thin Woman were related to everything... or it may have been the exaggerated conceit of using John Milton's Paradise Lost as a roadmap. Whatever it was, I liked this less than I'd expected. And the comparisons to The Historian don't help, as Kostova fleshed out the story far more than ...more
One of my favorite horror reads of the year. Very literate with quite a bit of exploration of the literary source of demonic activity. I particularly enjoyed the discussion of how demonic entities enter into and control a person's life. Whether you attribute these influence to an intelligent entity or individual psychosis, the concept provides much food for thought on how we allow ourselves and our lives to spin out of control.

This novel was great in every way, in my opinion. I would class it al
Maxine Marsh
Rounded up from 4.5*

This book was thoroughly engrossing--I read it in 2 big spurts in 2 days. Things have never been quite right for David, having always suffered from 'melancholy' and his marriage is falling apart. He teaches demonology and literature and is an expert on Milton's Paradise Lost and related ancient dark texts. After receiving a mysterious offer to go to Venice, tragedy strikes and he looks the vague darkness that's always followed him through life square in the face.

David sets ou
Abhinav Agarwal
Makes me question the devil's competence, the author's grasp on storytelling, and David Ullman's hold on sanity.

David's marriage is a mess. The protagonist has to have little going right for him in such novels. Except his daughter Tess who is the only ray of light in his otherwise dismal existence. And truth be told, the one thing that this book gets somewhat right are the bits about the father and daughter interactions. When his wife informs him of her decision to move out of their house, David
♡ Half Blood  Prince ♡
i really wanted to rate this higher than i did. i'm not sure what went wrong -- alright, i lie. i know exactly where it went wrong. i'm not a fan of dan brown or books in his area, and the demonologist turned out a little too dan brown for my liking.

there were far too many coincidences, deux-ex-machinas going on to get the plot moving forward, and much of the narrative somehow took the sense of urgency and action away from what should have been emotionally thrilling scenes. i did enjoy a few sce
Paula Cappa
One fine supernatural thriller.

We all know the conscious mind can sometimes become so devastated with life’s depressions that it can create hallucinatory events. And we also know that the subconscious mind can sometimes create our very own demons. Or maybe these demons are truly among us in this world. The Demonologist will keep you guessing about these options. This novel is a page-turning supernatural thriller, full of darkness and psychological horror. Andrew Pyper's style of writing is calm
Christine H
I can think of no higher compliment to give Andrew Pyper and his masterful work than this: I was much too entranced by his story to be scared by it. Pyper, himself calls his story “an unapologetic, full-fledged horror novel”, and early reviews had billed it as a book that would cause readers sleepless, terror-filled nights, so I prepared myself to crawl out of my skin, keeping the lights on and the doors locked as I traversed Pyper’s landscape. As it turns out, I was kept awake for two consecuti ...more
I was lucky enough to get my hands on an ARC of this book so I could eagerly consume this latest work by an author I have been a fan of since his first novel, LOST GIRLS. Pyper never disappoints, and this latest thriller is no exception.

From the very first page, Pyper draws the reader in to a character and situation that begs the reader to keep turning pages - and he doesn't let up throughout the entire book. He plays upon a parent's special love and deepest fears and insecurities beautifully, d
Here is a much-hyped book that simply did not meet expectations. Some of the scenes were disturbing and frightening, but far too often I felt the main character, Professor David Ullman, rambled on about nothing or was able to miraculously figure out the next step in his adversary's plan by coincidence if not sheer luck. For instance, and without trying to ruin it for anyone, Professor Ullman is able to figure out where the book's antagonist is by using a line from "Paradise Lost" that reads "Smi ...more
Life Between Coffee Spoons
David Ullman is a Columbia scholar who has devoted his life to studying Milton's Paradise Lost despite being an atheist (two facts he seems to find in opposition). When he is approached by a mysterious woman to jet off on an all-expense-paid trip to Italy to play witness to an event, he jumps on the chance to flee his failing marriage and get away with his daughter, Tess. But things don't go as planned, and when Tess seemingly commits suicide, David is off on a whirlwind adventure to get her bac ...more
First of all I have to say THANKS for the opportunity of winning this book by the Goodreads Giveaway contest… Thank you.

Well… my thoughts about the book:

A “Demonologist” professor should know a little more about the subject of demons than what is written in the pages of this book. Lack of research from the writer? The need to publish an unfinished book, fast and in a short notice in the middle of the creative process? …Perhaps.

A very good start I must say. A puzzling trip to Venice was a very g
A terrific horror story/thriller from Pyper involving one man's struggle with demons, both real and imagined, in his quest to find out whether his daughter died in a rooftop leap or has been imprisoned in a demonic world. The writing, as always with Pyper, is top-notch and the dark subject matter makes for a truly creepy experience. My only real qualm would be with the ending, which was a bit underwhelming considering the intense build-up. Overall, though, this is a wonderful book that takes a m ...more
Mar 24, 2015 Squire rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Squire by: James Campbell
A sophisticated and literate supernatural thriller. But, for me, it was more successful as an idea than an a novel.

David Ullman, a professor of demonic literature, particularly Paradise Lost, at Columbia University initially refuses an offer to travel to Venice to witness a "phenomenon"; but when his wife leaves him, he decides to take his daughter on a vacation to Italy. There he witnesses a case of real demonic possession; however, the trip ends with the disappearance of his daughter and the k
I did not expect to read such an old-fashioned literate horror novel, especially after Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon books have emasculated this particular sub-genre into a series of tepid thrillers. Unfortunately, this probably means that The Demonologist is something of a curiosity, unlikely to appeal to the torture-porn crowd. While there is genuine suspense and outright creepiness here, there is hardly any gore or bloodshed.

It is ironic therefore that Andrew Pyper’s superbly paced novel plays o
It's meh-fabulous.

Here's the thing: This author delivered one of my favorite creepy novels, Lost Girls. It's a quick but lush read, rich in atmosphere, subtle when it isn't grabbing you by the ankle in the dark. Lost Girls is powered by a narrator/protagonist that the reader ought to hate (self-absorbed coke-head lawyer bent on making partner by winning acquittal for a serial killer) but winds up liking. To my way of thinking, the creation and redemption of a memorable, believable antihero is a
After reading The Warded Man which contained demons, I went on a search for books about demons, adding books to my wishlist in a frenzy – The Demonologist was one of them. Please note that The Warded Man and The Demonologist are NOTHING alike!

It is a fast paced mystery/thriller which could be seen as Contstantine meets The Da Vinci Code maybe with a bit of The Exorcist thrown in too. The story follows Professor David Ullman, who is an oracle on the works of Milton’s Paradise Lost. His career is
I really had high hopes for this book. The story line is a familiar one; a man is willing to literally do anything and brave any danger up to and including fighting off assassins and actual demons to bring his daughter back from hell itself.
As I say it is a familiar type story-line but capable of being exciting and suspenseful none the less. Not in this book however. I never had a sense of anything spine chilling, spooky, or even the slightest bit exciting. His daughter is taken by what should
I wish I could use decimal points here. Because I enjoyed this far better than 'The Never List' or 'Night Film.' But it still has issues.

I like horror. I love it. My genre of choice. And I've read Pyper before and found him to have vast potential. Sadly, this isn't scary, and his potential goes unfulfilled here. Whereas I usually feel like books need to be edited to get rid of extraneous crap, I felt like his editor should have told him to flesh things out more. I could believe the human charact
From the outset, Andrew Pyper plunges the reader into a nightmarish tale of demonic possession in this taut, intelligent and utterly gripping thriller, rich with literary allusion, tinged with horror, and providing a fascinating exploration of the darkest corners of the human psyche. As Professor David Ullman experiences a truly terrifying descent into a hellish world at odds with his normally morally detached study of demonic literature, he embarks on an emotional and physical journey fuelled b ...more
Marisol (RGV Book Junkies)
"I've made an entire career of doubt. Yet here I am. Seeing the unseeable."

David Ullman is a self-professed "atheist bible scholar" and "demon expert who believes evil to be a manmade invention". So when a mysterious visitor offers this Columbia professor a first-class trip to Italy in exchange for him to witness and give his expert opinion on a "phenomenon" - he accepts the cryptic assignment and uses it as an opportunity for he and his troubled daughter, Tess, to temporarily escape his crumbli
A haunting and desperate search for his daughter brings David Ullman face to face with his demons. But are they real or imagined? A true scholar and avid non-believer, David is repeatedly tested and everything he's ever believed comes into question.
Andrew Pyper masterfully weaves a tale that keeps the reader wondering whether or not David's fantastical journey to rescue his daughter from the clutches of one of Satan's minions is real, a product of his imagination, or the beginnings of a breakdo
Nethra Ram
An intriguing premise that doesn't quite get developed as a story that connects. The protagonist sounds absolutely disjoint and bored and takes you down with him, given that his daughter is missing and might have been abducted by a minion of the Devil. You'd think Professor Ullman would tear apart heaven and earth to find his daughter but he just randomly takes a road trip, all the while providing detailed descriptions of scenic routes, hotel room decors, exclamations on road signs and even tell ...more
What drew me to this book was that it was inspired by John Milton's 17C epic poem, Paradise Lost, and now I have a new appreciation for the meaning of 'pandemonium'. David Ullman is a professor of literature at Columbia University whose marriage to his wife Diane is falling apart due to the fact that, "Her husband and child share some troubling darkness and, among its many side effects, it has left her on the outside." When a mysterious woman comes to his office requesting his expertise in under ...more
4 1/2 stars. Sometimes I hate the ratings system, yet here I am applying a rating to Pyper's excellent novel. I just gave a 5-star rating to Dan Brown's Inferno because, over the period of time I read it, I couldn't put it down. Pyper's novel is better- maybe a more appropriate phrase is "more accomplished"- than Brown's. From the writing style to the characterizations, it's a clear notch above what Brown offers. So, why the lower rating? For a part of this, otherwise, gripping story, it just... ...more
Two of my favorite writers, Gillian Flynn and S.J. Watson, blurbed this book, and I took that as good omen because these folks know what it takes to create a tale that will keep a reader up late and glued to the pages. And Maclean's declared it "a fast paced Exorcist-meets-DaVinci Code", which sounded hilarious in a way, but, after reading it, I have to agree.

This is a story of a man, his daughter and something very demonic, and unnamed. The main character, Professor David Ullman, is an expert o
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How did you interpret the ending in The Demonologist? 15 143 Apr 20, 2015 03:29PM  
Horror Aficionados : The Demonologist 29 93 Apr 07, 2015 04:22AM  
What's The Name o...: Fiction set in Venice - father (academic) and son (possessed). [s] 3 25 Oct 25, 2014 12:09AM  
Loose Threads? (may contain spoilers) 2 21 Jul 18, 2014 02:38PM  
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My new novel, THE DAMNED, about fraternal twins and near-death experience, will be published in Canada and the US by Simon & Schuster on Feb. 10, 2015. Film rights have already been sold to Legendary Pictures/Universal (Inception, Interstellar, Godzilla, the Dark Knight films). My previous novel, THE DEMONOLOGIST, was an Amazon and Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year, a #1 bestseller in Canad ...more
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“Sometimes people close a door because they’re trying to figure out a way to get you to knock.” 9 likes
“Your melancholy. Or depression. Along with nine-tenths of the afflictions I’ve studied, diagnosed, attempted to treat. Call them whatever you like, but they’re just different names for loneliness. That’s what lets the darkness in. That’s what you have to fight.” 4 likes
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