The Demonologist
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The Demonologist

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3.29 of 5 stars 3.29  ·  rating details  ·  3,843 ratings  ·  794 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...more
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 BlissThe Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly BlackUnwind by Neal ShustermanAllegiant by Veronica RothSilent No More by N.E. Henderson
October 2013 TBR List
8th out of 9 books — 9 voters


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Community Reviews

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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...more
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...more
Bonnie
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...more
Andrew
“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
Cheryl
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
Laura
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
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...more
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...more
♡ 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...more
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
William
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
Julian
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...more
Mark
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...more
Gatorman
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
Joe
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...more
Woowott
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...more
Raven
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...more
Teresa
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...more
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
Sharon
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
Jesse
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
Jackie
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...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
Diane
The Demonologist does some things very well. Pyper writes paranormal thriller very well. The action is excellent and once the story picks up, it's a real page turner. Unfortunately the dialogue is awkward and hard to follow. Demonologist reads like a movie script, lacking description of any kind around long dialogue so it is hard to follow who is speaking while conversations may last several pages. Comparing the author bio to the main character, Pyper has clearly inserted himself into the hero's...more
Phil Dwyer
Well written? Certainly. Page turner? For sure. I raced through the final quarter of the book. And this is why the star rating system doesn't really work, because if you like this kind of book you'd probably give it four or five stars. I don't read very much in this genre, because (in general) I always find the endings anti-climactic. I had the same problem with Eco's 'Foucault's Pendulum'. So, if you like this genre, you're going to love this book. But for me it's a two star read because I was...more
Tanya Kurland
I'm nearly finished with this book and OMG what a terrifying ride! The premise - an English college professor is asked to go to Venice, Italy for his expertise on Milton's Lost Paradise (and by extension, demonology). He just found out that his wife is leaving him so he goes and takes his young daughter. After a disturbing experience meeting someone who may or may not be possessed he and his child are thurst into the real world of demons who will stop at nothing to tempt and possess your soul. T...more
Ken
The Demonologist tells the chilling story of David Ullman. A university professor whose lectures dwells on Satan's rebellion against God. This of course is backed by the writings of John Milton in his poem, Paradise Lost. Despite delivering lectures on the matter, David is a non believer. But his views are challenged when he was deceitfully lured in Venice to examine an unusual "phenomena".

Having very little knowledge about the author nor the book. I have no clue on what to expect, except of cou...more
Rose


Meh. This was completely mediocre. A tale of demonic possession using an academic of Milton's Paradise Lost as the tortured protagonist, felt just a wee bit cliche for me. Nothing new or original here, stuff has been done before. Would have been scary had there been some sort of dark atmospheric quality to the story. Overall, not scary and not really worth it in my opinion.
Linnéa
Well Goodreads, I think that this is a great book- I'm really happy I picked it up! And good for Indigo (major bookstore in Canada) putting it on the recommended shelf, because that recommendation is totally justified. The Demonologist is an exciting and vivid story that is imaginative enough to whisk you away from reality, yet clear and concise enough to make you let go of whatever beliefs you have regarding the supernatural (if only momentarily). This is a story that could very well have happe...more
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Loose Threads? (may contain spoilers) 2 16 Jul 18, 2014 02:38PM  
How did you interpret the ending in The Demonologist? 13 120 Jul 18, 2014 02:32PM  
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My new novel, THE DEMONOLOGIST, was an Amazon and Globe and Mail Best Book of the Year, a #1 bestseller in Canada, and won the International Thriller Writers Award for Best Hardcover Novel. It's about a professor of English specializing in Milton's Paradise Lost who comes to believe his daughter (a presumed suicide) has been taken by a demon. The film rights have been sold to ImageMovers (Robert Z...more
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“Sometimes people close a door because they’re trying to figure out a way to get you to knock.” 7 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.” 3 likes
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