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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
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
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
The scope and ideas behind the book are fantastic; Jung, Sci-Fi, possession, spirituality, technology...and I could go on. However, this doesn't mean that they mix very well, at least not in this case, that of a first published novel.
Daryl Gregory is a well known short story writer and in this book he has still not mastered the art of moving between short fiction and novels. There were times when I cou...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
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
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
The premise starts out interestingly: since the 40s the world has been harassed by "demons" that possess people. It gets turned on its head and only gets better from there.
To recap...the bottom line for this book with me (and with...more
I had to get past those expectations at first, since I was in the mood for a horror novel, but I'm glad I did. I found the concept to be intriguing and original. Good pacing, good plotting, good characters. A solid effort.
I would have gave it five stars except for me, the end fell a little flat. I can't quite put my finger on why I didn't...more
For a debut, this book is extraordinary! Wholly original, have never read a book quite like it. An excellent journey towards the answer of what makes an individual. I really enjoyed this novel and look forward to more from Gregory...more
Moving away from your childhood home usually hurts, and so does coming back. Returning makes old aches ache again, and creates new one as being physically close points out the distance that grows between people as we age and change. Daryl Gregory’s fiction emphasizes that, and demonstrates that all this shit is extra intense if you’re possessed by a demon, or if you’re a zombie, or if your home town was the si...more
It's well written. Daryl Gregory has much in common with Matt Ruff in his overall balancing of viewpoint, action and misdirection. More than that, the book is well edited -- it doesn't waste time inflating the plot, and instead goes right f...more
Philip K Dick, that is. This book is Daryl Gregory's attempt to take on the persona of the greatly demented late SciFi master. The story includes many of the hallmarks of Dick's writing: identity issues, mundane backdrop, free association, childish protagonist. And PKD himself wanders through the plot. In the end, though, Gregory's sanity breaks through (oops, is this a plot spoiler?) and the story comes to a coherent, non-Dickian conclusion.
I stumbled across this little book quite by chance, and I’m so glad I did because it’s an astounding story that stays with you long after you’re finished reading.
Pandemonium is a novel set in a world exactly like ours, except for one thing – possession is real, and can happen to anyone. The story’s protagonist Del, experiences one such possession in his childhood, after a swimming accident. Now many years later, Del is involved in a ca...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.