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As other astute people have chimed, this story turned out to be much deeper and a lot different than I originally expected (in a yippie, yippie good way). This book was such an enjoyable experience and made me want get a serious preach on sermonizing its greatness. While containing elements of science fiction, fantasy and horror, I don’t think the novel neatly fits into any of those containers and s ...more
Four and a half stars. If you want a review with links, see my blog at: http://clsiewert.wordpress.com/2014/1...
Pandemonium reminds me of those times when my foodie friends are dragging me to a “fabulous new restaurant” where (mostly) familiar ingredients are deconstructed, spiced and recombined in a creative way. At least this time, instead of an unsettling mess, it resulted in one of those perfect, satisfying meals that fulfill a sensory need as much as a physical one. Not so unusual that I’m ...more
Full of swimmingly good metaphors and delicious similes, AND seamlessly throwing down a very unique demonic possession story landscape with psychic undertones
AND … AND …
Bringing in a Sinead O’Connor female priestess character AND …
A Philip K Dick character straight out of VALIS who discourses on Theodore Sturgeon’s More Than Human and erudite explanations o ...more
I’m going to say something that sounds unkind, but really it’s a compliment from me: for a long time now I’ve kind of thought of Daryl Gregory as something of a poor man’s Sean Stewart. I must first admit that this happened before I actually read any of his books (this one is my first), and was based on what I could glean of them from the jacket blurbs and comments/reviews. It probably also comes from the fact that I once ran across a posting made by Gregory on a message board or bl ...more
I can't believe that this is Daryl Gregory's first book. It's absolutely amazing. Don't go by the blurb, it doesn't even come close to describing it. The characters and the situation are so well done, it all seeme ...more
Taking place in a world much like our own, but with the critical difference that demonic possession occurs openly and is widely acknowledged (even if whether said demons are evil spirits or something else is hotly debated), Pandemonium is told from the perspective of Del, ...more
Pandemonium isn't quite fantasy (it quickly reveals itself to have elements of Alternate History & SF). Gregory creates a world where demonic possession is normal, sort of, at least society's learned to deal with it when it happens; but the story of Del, who was once Possessed as a boy is the heart of the narrative. It has a personal, intimate tone. The st ...more
Nonlocal intelligence. Possession Disorder Variant. Socially Constructed Alternate Identity. Demonic possession. Whatever the term, Del Pierce is all too familiar with the process. While the hundred-odd "strains" of demons in Del's world aren’t interested in temptation or damnation, no one wants a demon to jump to them. When a demon possesses a person, acts out a familiar role, a static pattern, and woe betide anyone who gets in its way. The Truth, wrapped in a trenchcoat and fedora, brings ...more
I was very surprised to discover after finishing that this was Daryl Gregory’s first novel. His writing is much more polished than I would expect, with fully-fleshed characters and a strong first-person narrative. I ...more
Honestly, I think it helps a lot in appreciating this book if you have a background in classic science fiction. At the very least, it enables you to appreciate both the ironic and the humorous elements in the book. But in general, the book is a riveting read. It moves fast, has ...more
The premise is simple: A world just like ours except that possession by demons is real. It happens infrequently and is usually brief, leaving the victim shaken, but unharmed. Except for a few. You see, there are different demons that have been identified. The Little Angel, who possesses only girls between 10 and 12 with long curly dark hair and whose kiss can kill. The Painter, who uses materials at hand to paint specific pictures without saying a word, and then departs. T ...more
This book had a great premise -- modern day demon possession, set in a world similar to our own.
Gregory does a wonderful job with the alternative history here -- Eisenhower is killed by a demon known as the Kamikaze, leading to a persecution of and prejudice towards Japanese-Americans -- and he ties together all the bits and pieces fairly well.
I couldn't give this more than three stars, though, for a couple of reasons. One, I felt like there was just too much going on in this book. There's a lot ...more
Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the recent changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.
In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
That is the phenomenon behind the alternative world Gregory otherwise sketches. Some possessions provoke deadly accidents, and one demon, a little girl in a long white dress, is an angel of death for those already suffering terminal illnesses. Others are destructive or merely disconcerting intruders society has adjusted to.
As a child Del Pierce was possessed by the demonic version of Dennis the Menace known as The Hellion. Most of the pr ...more
Reviewers were happy to see a fresh take on a well-worn subject of sci-fi and horror stories: demonic possession. They suggested that by creating a world where demons are commonplace, Gregory has in fact found a way of making the subject novel. Critics were even more impressed by Pandemonium's well-developed characters. As one reviewer noted, the possessions of the story affect the trajectories of the characters' lives in the same way as mental illness, without transforming this novel into an al...more
Stars : 3.5
Bechdel Test : FAIL
Deggan's Rule : FAIL
Gay Bechdel Test : FAIL
Please note: I don't review to provide synopses, I review to share a purely visceral reaction to books and perhaps answer some of the questions I ask when I'm contemplating investing time and money into a book.
Imagine Herman Hesse and Theodore Sturgeon eating acid with Philip K. Dick then spending the whole day reading classic comics while watching Bil ...more
I never came back to this. But it's lingered in my head, so much so that I quickly grabbed his new one... and it's made me rethink my rating, upward.
I'm not sure who'd I recoomend this book to. My geeky sci-fi friends would appreciate the concept and the not-so-subtle pop culture r ...more
While this is primarily a clever and fun read in a fantasy/sci-fi sense (it's about demonic possession), it's also not a bad allegory for the dangers & rewards of listening to the voices in one's head: the ending here suggests that mystical threats are also promises, and responsibilities, psychic forces which pop culture encourages us to suppress and/or pervert into twisted caricatures-- and that what we should be doing is harnessing these powers to steadier mor ...more
He is also the writer of comics such as Dracula: The Company of Monsters and Planet of the Apes, both from BOOM! Studios.
His first collection of short stories is Unpossible and Other Stories, by Fairwood Press (October, 2011).
Daryl lives in State College, Pennsylvania.