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How to Make Friends with Demons

3.69  ·  Rating Details ·  691 Ratings  ·  109 Reviews
William Heaney is a man well acquainted with demons. Not his broken family — his wife has left him for a celebrity chef, his snobbish teenaged son despises him, and his daughter's new boyfriend resembles Nosferatu — nor his drinking problem, nor his unfulfilling government job, but real demons. For demons are real, and William has identified one thousand five hundred and s ...more
Hardcover, 298 pages
Published November 1st 2008 by Night Shade Books (first published March 1st 2001)
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Jennifer
Nov 30, 2014 Jennifer rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graham-joyce
I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I picked this one up to read. I did not expect to sit an entire day and finish the entire book. I did not expect to cry. I though I might laugh, and yes I did several times out loud. I did not expect to have a verbal conversation with the story teller. At one point I might have said "Why did you not go home with that women you crazy man". Again I was sucked into this world. What world you ask. Well I am not sure. The world that cats see and we can't? The w ...more
Kristen
Aug 02, 2012 Kristen rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Well, I read all 308 pages of this book, but I'm not exactly sure how to write a review of it, because truthfully, I don't have the first clue of what the hell the book was about, or what actually happened in it.

There was something about demons attaching themselves to people, forgeries of rare books, poetry written by one person passed of as that of another, broken marriages, a slightly deranged story about what happened to a British soldier serving in Iraq that seems to suggest demonic involvem
...more
Kendra
May 18, 2010 Kendra rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“It was like falling off the world, and falling for days, until you hit a shelf. There you lay for a while until, struggling to your feet in the dark, you found steps hewn in the stone. Though your heart felt too heavy to climb the steps, climb them you did, knowing they were without number.”

Note: In the US, this book is "How to Make Friends With Demons" by Graham Joyce

Graham Joyce never fails for me. He remains my favorite author. Seamlessly balancing this world and the surreal, he uses clear s
...more
Tita
O nosso protagonista é William Heaney, que para além do seu emprego, escreve poesia para um amigo, organiza edições falsas dos livros de Jane Austen, mas desenganem-se se pensam que William é má pessoa. Nada disso, o lucro que recebe das falsificações vai para um lar de sem-abrigos. Além disso, falta um pormenor importante e que faz a ligação entre os personagens, Heaney vê demónios.
A escrita de Graham Joyce é simples mas estruturada, com um narrador que nos envolve na história e que nos permite
...more
Lynda Rucker
Apr 18, 2011 Lynda Rucker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Graham Joyce, so brilliant as always. It's frustrating that such a fine writer seems consistently unable to break out to the larger mainstream. He'd easily fit alongside, say, Michael Chabon, but I think he's better.
Nádia Batista
Oct 31, 2013 Nádia Batista rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Graham Joyce apaixonou-me desde o primeiro livro que li seu, Os Factos da Vida. Mal tive oportunidade de ler outra obra sua, não hesitei, e assim Memórias de um Mestre Falsário veio parar às minhas mãos. As expectativas para esta leitura eram muito altas, e não fiquei desiludida.

A história é acerca de um homem, William Heaney, que escreve poesia para um amigo - poesia muito apreciada - e que tem como ocupação falsificar livros antigos e raros, cujo lucro reverte a favor de uma associação solidár
...more
Michael Allan Leonard
Jan 04, 2017 Michael Allan Leonard rated it it was amazing
One of the most enjoyable, elegant stories I've read in a long time, and also one of the most difficult to classify: not quite a horror novel, not exactly a contemporary dramedy with humor that's often black. Neither a romance story, although that looms large, and containing an moving extended story-within-a-story of a British soldier in the Gulf War that would be well-worth reading alone outside of the context of the book.

William Haney is, at first glance, a seemingly ordinary man in present-da
...more
Stephen Theaker
The cover design of this book led me to expect a pseudo-Victorian adventure, but this is actually a modern, urban book set in a London of lobby groups and homeless shelters.

William Heaney got involved in some supernatural shenanigans at university and now, middle-aged, is up to his ears in dodgy deals that are starting to fall apart - and he sees demons everywhere. In the middle of this he meets an fascinating and beautiful young woman who takes an unaccountable interest in him, but he still fee
...more
allbooksnoheart
William Heaney is a divorcee with three kids, after his wife ran off with a quasi-celebrity chef, he works for the government and also has a side project in which he counterfeits antiquated books.
He also spends most of his time with the kind of society that most people of his class wouldn’t spare a glance to, helping out Antonia who runs ‘GoPoint’ a homeless refuge in the middle of London, constantly under threat of closure.
He can also see demons.
If you’re looking, however, for a straightforwa
...more
Alan
Mar 16, 2010 Alan rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Readers aligned along the Holt/Moore axis
Recommended to Alan by: Its title
Okay, so right, so this guy Graham Joyce, he's written a book called How to Make Friends with Demons, okay? And it's kinda like that other book by the guy who wrote the book on Practical Demonkeeping, Christopher Moore—it's chatty and light, but it's about the Forces of Darkness all around us. The obligatory comparison to Douglas Adams is misplaced; this isn't that kind of humor (or humour) at all. But, you know, it's pretty good, actually... a fresh voice, a fresh perspective on the whole demon ...more
William
Mar 06, 2010 William rated it liked it
I found this book while browsing the new book shelf at the Milwaukee Public Library.

It was published in the UK as "Memoirs of a Master Forger."

The protagonist has a real job which pays the bills, but moonlights in a ring that forges antique books.

The proceeds from the forgeries are donated to charity.

An odd book which also includes a Lovecraftian "Call up not...." theme.
Rosie Ely
Feb 12, 2013 Rosie Ely rated it it was ok
A coworker wanted me to read this. I just could not get into it. I really had a hard time grasping what the demons were supposed to represent and what the story was trying to say. In the end I gave up.
John Day
Sep 12, 2014 John Day rated it it was amazing
An amazing book. I recommend highly. Compares well with Neil Gaiman, but with a very distinctive voice. I can't believe I've never read anything by Graham Joyce before.
Miki Habryn
Feb 27, 2015 Miki Habryn rated it really liked it
Languidly paced, slow-boiled, charming, and lovely. It was never exciting, but I also never wanted to put it down. Not actually about demons at all.
Carmen
Mar 16, 2016 Carmen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-jar
I surprised myself and ended up really loving this book. It's not perfect but in some ways it really touched me.
Rick
Jul 11, 2009 Rick rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
William Heaney, head of the the UK’s National Organisation for Youth Advocacy, leads a troubled life. His wife left him for a celebrity pastry chef, his teenage son hates him, and his oldest daughter has moved back in with him — and brought along her boyfriend. Heaney can also see demons. In his latest novel, How to Make Friends With Demons, Graham Joyce brings these entities to vivid life for his readers, too.

Ever since a traumatic event in college some 20 years ago, Heaney witnesses the hidden
...more
Simon Mcleish
Mar 17, 2013 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in June 2011.

There are demons and angels around us, and some people can see them; William Blake was one such, and William Heaney is another. That is the premise of this novel. Heaney sees demons, but not angels, and he has them meticulously classified, into 1,567 distinct types, all of whom hang around and torment humanity (looking thoroughly miserable while they do so). He is an obsessive man on the fringes of the London literary scene, making his living by
...more
Sofia Teixeira
Um livro delicioso. Adorei adorei ler este livro. Confesso que já o tinha na minha pilha de livros há algum tempo e que ainda não me tinha despertado Aquela curiosidade, mas cada vez me convenço mais que cada livro tem o seu timing e que por vezes o que fazemos melhor é respeitá-lo.

Memórias de um Mestre Falsário é um romance que se devora. Mal se lê, devora-se. Graham Joyce brinda-nos com uma linguagem simples, mas cuidada. Desde a forma da narrativa, na primeira pessoa, à caracterização das per
...more
Liviu
The author is of course Graham Joyce and the book will be published in the US too as How to Make Friends with a Demon under his name, but the joke in the UK author byline works very well too...

I have never read Mr. Joyce's fiction before, tried once but did not hook me, but this book is so wonderful that it made me order 3 more books by him and if I like them even half as this one, I will get the rest too.

William Heaney is a mid-late forties UK government bureaucrat in charge of a Youth funding
...more
Barbara
Jun 23, 2014 Barbara rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Sinipse: William Heaney é uma fraude. Ainda assim, uma fraude cheia de charme. Escritor de talento, prefere escrevinhar poesia para um amigo (que se torna famoso à conta disso). Produz também primeiras edições falsas de obras de Jane Austen para espoliar os tolos e ambiciosos coleccionadores de primeiras edições. Mas não é maldoso. O dinheiro vai direitinho para um lar de sem-abrigo, e os seus crimes na verdade não fazem mal a ninguém. Há razões para não ter chegado mais longe. Quando jovem fez ...more
Rea
Jul 16, 2016 Rea rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: readers
What a beautifully strange book!

Let's be clear: this is not exactely a fantasy book. The plot remains rooted in reality, although POV characters may not be reliable narrators.

William Heaney spends his life deceiving people. A respectable social worker by day, he sells under the table rare collectible books he helped to forge to snob fools and actively contribute to a fraud in the small world of Poetry as a hobby. He won't compete for the Father of the Year award either.
And last but not least, he
...more
Mason Jones
Jun 23, 2015 Mason Jones rated it liked it
Graham Joyce has a nice way with words, and this book read clearly and easily. Protagonist William Heaney is a sympathetic character with flaws and good points alike, a realistically, partially broken family and a backstory that has left him able to see the demons that plague people. These are petty, everyday demons that make people do the petty, bad things that people do -- they're not showy, evil, Biblical demons. William's broken, yet ultimately is a good person trying to do good and stave of ...more
Alison C
Mar 09, 2015 Alison C rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Memoirs of a Master Forger, by William Heaney, is one of those "metafiction" novels, in the sense that the narrator and main character is called William Heaney, and he is setting out to explain how he came to be able to see demons and what that ability has meant in his life. Set in contemporary London, Heaney left a promising university career just before graduating, and in the intervening decades he's married, raised three kids, divorced - and watched demons, most of whom spend their time just ...more
Matt
Nov 11, 2014 Matt rated it liked it
I forget how this got on my list-- maybe I wanted to read some "sophisticated fantasy"? But this was okay, the story of a sort of nebulous premise-- there are these demons, see, but they aren't like the demons you think when you say demons. And they maybe mostly only exist in the mind of the protagonist. Or maybe not. In other words, it's status as fantasy maybe is a cover-- that the fantasy comes from the protagonist using a term we think we know in a decidedly not fantastic way.

It reads well e
...more
Peter
Sep 07, 2010 Peter rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The plot of this book was unexpected. Despite the title, there's really very little about the character's life as a forger in it. Apparently it's also published as "How To Make Friends With Demons", which I think is a more sensible title.

The story itself is rather clever, but the writing style betrays that fact. Perhaps that is intentional. I wouldn't say it is a particularly thought provoking novel though, and I found the main character was a little shaky -- the narrative didn't seem entirely r
...more
L
Sep 25, 2011 L rated it it was amazing
Shelves: magical-realism
This is a delightfully witty read, with interesting observations on the human condition along the way. I'm not sure if "magical realism" is a fair label or not. There are demons, though, right smack in the middle of everyday London life, and "fantasy-supernatural" really didn't fit, so . . .

William Heaney, our hero, lives with demons--his own, those of other people. He sees them everywhere and has a fair understanding of how they go about their business. He's a relatively high-level government b
...more
Jason Mills
May 31, 2014 Jason Mills rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans of Graham Joyce and demons
This pleasingly presented hardback is a Graham Joyce novel in disguise: the look and the pseudonym are forgery conceits in keeping with the book's theme. The gimmick must surely have impacted sales though; at any rate, it seems to have been later republished under Joyce's own name as How to Make Friends with Demons.

Our narrator is a lobbyist with a little antiquarian forgery business on the side. As his latest con inches along, we learn of his strange ability to see demons and the dark episode i
...more
Debbie
Mar 04, 2010 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an interesting idea, Memoirs of a master forger by William Heaney is a story about William Heaney. So is this a real memoir ? Fact or Fiction ?

Well I can reveal that Graham Joyce published this book called "How to make friends with a demon " and this is just under a different name.

William Heaney is a witty arty charactor with a dull government job who supports the local homeless shelter, despite a lack of money to do so. His backstory is interwoven with the main story and we learn how an in
...more
Hazel
Oct 22, 2009 Hazel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I cannot believe that no one else has read or reviewed this book. I admit at first it was completely different from what I expected. (If I had thought properly there would have been no reason for a Master Forger at the time the Jane Austen was publishing her own first editions!) This book completely exceeded my expectations and I only wish that it hadn't finished.

Following the main character as he wrestles with something that happened when he was at uni while working with his friends in the 'Ca
...more
Dee
Feb 14, 2012 Dee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A good read, but for my tastes it was rather too much like a made-for-television heartwarming midlife-reality-check with a hero who can see demons for no reason other than hiding the mundanity of the plot otherwise.

This was filed in the speculative fiction section of my bookstore. This is not speculative fiction. Sure, the hero can see demons, but there's no speculation about it. It doesn't ask what this means, what he should do with this, whether he'll survive this breach of 'reality'. It just
...more
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Graham Joyce (22 October 1954 – 9 September 2014) was an English writer of speculative fiction and the recipient of numerous awards for both his novels and short stories.

After receiving a B.Ed. from Bishop Lonsdale College in 1977 and a M.A. from the University of Leicester in 1980. Joyce worked as a youth officer for the National Association of Youth Clubs until 1988. He subsequently quit his po
...more
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“There is no "mid" about it. Life is a crisis from the cradle to the grave.” 38 likes
“The trouble with forgiveness is that some people don't want to be forgiven.” 33 likes
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