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The Forbidden

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1873: When the ambitious Doctor Paul Clement takes a job on the island of Saint Sebastien, he has dreams of finding cures for tropical diseases. After witnessing the ritualistic murder of a young boy who was allegedly already dead, he is warned never to speak of what he has seen. Back in fin de siecle Paris, Paul's attentions turn to studying the nervous system and resuscitation through electricity. Paul is told of patients who have apparently died, been brought back to life, and, while they lay between life and death, witnessed what they believed to be Heaven itself. Using forbidden knowledge he swore never to use, he attempts to experience what everyone else has seen, but something goes horribly wrong. When Paul returns to the land of the living, can it be possible that he brings something else back with him, an unspeakable evil so powerful it can never be banished?

384 pages, Hardcover

First published June 1, 2012

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F.R. Tallis

5 books74 followers
A pseudonym used by Frank Tallis

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5 stars
98 (17%)
4 stars
203 (35%)
3 stars
187 (32%)
2 stars
65 (11%)
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20 (3%)
Displaying 1 - 30 of 98 reviews
Profile Image for Kimberly.
1,673 reviews2 followers
October 21, 2014
*I won a copy of this book through the Goodreads "first-reads".*

The imagery and atmosphere of France in the late 1800's was beautiful conveyed--especially throughout the opening chapters. I found it very intriguing to learn of the "new" science that was being initiated. In addition to this, I felt that Tallis did a great job of making the reader FEEL the time period; all of which served to make the premise of the story more enjoyable.

Unfortunately, I felt that the climax of the story was virtually solved about half-way through the novel, and the resulting scenes that came after just didn't seem "necessary" to me, personally. I almost got the impression that the additional characters and situations were added on simply to prolong the story, when the real "mystery" had already been solved--to an extent. Certainly, what I considered to be the main revelation could have been put off a little longer; however, once I realized that aspect, the story just didn't hold the same interest level for me, and became slightly more than filler.

Aside from that, I have to say that I really did enjoy Tallis' writing style. At times, the prose was almost poetic in nature, and the author did a great justice in expressing the traits, mannerisms, and beliefs of people in this time period.

I would certainly read other books by F.R. Tallis in the future.
Profile Image for Aisling.
Author 3 books97 followers
April 5, 2014
I would call this a gentle horror story and mean that in a most complementary way. Another reviewer said it was 'civilized'. This book combines beautiful writing, turn of the century France, medicine, morphine addiction and the occult in a seamless, down right terrifying way. This is the kind of book that although I finished it around midnight I had to force myself to pick up another book because I was not going to try to sleep after the screaming rollercoaster of an ending. The hero is contemplative and likeable and the descriptions of demons and hell will haunt you. Highly recommended to people who enjoy historical or occult themed. The back cover says "Alienist meets The Exorcist" and I think that is very true. There is also much of Shelley's Frankenstein in here (especially the questions of morality and science).
Profile Image for Roy Elmer.
287 reviews12 followers
June 25, 2012
Sometimes, you wander in to a bookshop and buy something because the cover just sort of piques your interest. This was one of those times.

After picking this one up, I read a review on here suggesting that it was a horror novel, and not a particularly good one. Having read the book, I can see where the reviewer was coming from. If taken as a horror novel, this doesn't work. It is not a novel designed to produce out and out scares, or one that relies on making your skin-crawl by lamp light. What it is, though, is something more than that.

F.R. Tallis is a clinical psychologist and clearly a very intelligent man. What he has done with this novel is produce a gothic novel that an early nineteenth century author would have written given the editorial freedom to do so. There are shades of Mary Shelley here in the atmosphere and ambience, something that Tallis recreates very well, but most of all this reminds me of fin-de-siecle novels, an important example being 'The Picture of Dorian Grey'. I won't give away any spoilers, but you'll see what I mean when you read it.

I can't give this five stars as the final spark that separates an excellent novel from a very good one just wasn't quite there, there were odd moments of anachronism in the dialogue, and I felt that the Haitian voodoo premise was a little underused. All in all though, well worth a read. Try it!
Profile Image for Sindy Castellanos.
912 reviews64 followers
February 7, 2022
Relato que despierta interés por su exposición de los avances de la ciencia y la medicina en el siglo XIX, y los acercamientos a la religión y lo que puede existir después de la muerte. Cada personaje representa arquetipos que, con sus ideas y acciones, invitan a la autorreflexión. Tiene pasajes inquietantes, debido a la maldad de los demonios.
A story that arouses interest in its display of the advances of science and medicine in the nineteenth century, and the approaches to religion and what may exist after death. Each character represents archetypes that, with his ideas and actions, invite self-reflection. He has disturbing passages, due to the wickedness of the demons.
Profile Image for Shaina.
20 reviews3 followers
June 21, 2012
The Forbidden was quite a quick read; the story is fast-paced and doesn’t have too many parts that drag. I enjoyed this book, although I kept hoping that the theme of voodoo or black arts, which are introduced in the beginning of the book, would play a bigger role. However they do not. This book is about a demon and a doctor. I must admit I found Dr Clément a good character, however as in most horror books they seem to become weaklings in some parts.

One of the main things I enjoyed in the beginning of the book was that it sort of reminded me of Sherlock Holmes. Also I loved that it was set in Paris for the most part, and I can just see it as the grunging back drop for this story. The other characters are good but not memorable.

Keep in mind the story is about possession so if you do not enjoy movies like The Exorcist or The Exorcism of Emily Rose then I certainly would not recommend it for you. There are some gruesome scenes, and of course vomiting and general disgusting human possession elements. Overall the book is alright, it’s a quick easy read and enjoyable. I think any horror fan would enjoy it but it’s not the greatest horror novel I have ever read.
Profile Image for María.
159 reviews178 followers
September 3, 2016
Lo primero que pensé al coger este libro es "Frankenstein, laboratorios, almas,..." y los ojos me hacían chiribitas, además, con esa portada tan sugerente no podemos si no encontrarnos con una historia de lo más oscura.

Y así es exactamente.

Ya estaba un poco cansada de novelas de misterio, quería algo diferente, algo que hacía tiempo que no leía y con esta lectura he quedado satisfecha. Me hubiese gustado devorarlo en horas, pero mi tiempo no me permitía hacerlo.

Nos encontramos en París en pleno siglo XIX, todo el mundo sabe que es una época oscura. La medicina está haciendo sus avances y se está empezando a experimentar la reanimación mediante descargas eléctricas, lo que hace a Paul Clément a ahondar más personalmente en sus experimentos hasta el punto de tornarse peligroso.

Está dividido en tres partes, y cada parte podría ser como un libro, ya que dentro del libro, cada parte tiene su propio final. Yo suelo llamarlo pequeña trilogía monovolumen.

Según el autor, sus influencias han sido la obra de Huysmans titulada Allá abajo, Justine del Marqués de Sade y Bel Ami de Guy de Maupassant.

Ciertamente, tiene un toque al menos de Bel Ami, pero para que nos entendamos mejor, es una mezcla entre la película Constantine, Frankestein, El exorcista y Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde.

Una maravillosa mezcla entre cuatro obras que si bien no tienen mucho en común, F.R. Tallis ha hecho que a través de un solo libro, puedan tener semejanzas.

Nos adentramos en una época donde una mujer que enseña el tobillo era una descarada, donde las pasiones ocultas son más apasionante por la amenaza del castigo divino y donde lo sobrenatural está separado de lo natural por un fino velo que puede atravesar cualquier ser maligno al más mínimo descuido.

La descripción de la época es sublime, e incluso algunos de los personajes que aparecen son reales. El autor se ha dado el trabajo de incluir en su novela personajes de aquella época que realmente existieron y que encajan perfectamente con la época y la trama del libro.

La novela nos absorbe como lo haría una de las peores pesadillas, y no hay mucha diferencia entre este libro y una pesadilla, y no lo digo en el mal sentido, si no por la forma maravillosa de rodearnos de una ciudad en el misterio y de como podemos ponernos en el lugar de los personajes y vernos sumidos en una eterna pesadilla.

No es que sea de terror exclusivamente, pero podemos encontrarnos con varias escenas bastante grotescas y las que menos, un poco gore, llevadas acabo por el mismísimo demonio. Os dejo un pequeño fragmento para que veáis que es a lo que me refiero exactamente:

"De pronto, el demonio que se ayuntaba con la mujer alzó un brazo y dejó ver tres grandes garras con las que rasgó el vientre de su víctima, lo abrió y extrajo un tramo de intestino. Acto seguido, se enrolló aquellas entrañas al cuello y miró a su público buscando aprobación." Página 74

Podemos visitar la Catedral de Notre Dame y junto con nuestro protagonista y dos compañeros, acudir a uno de los rituales más famosos de todos los tiempos. Sin duda, es un libro que recomiendo que se lea.

La única pega que le pongo es la traducción del título, pero bueno, el autor ahí no tiene nada que ver.
Profile Image for Todos Mis Libros.
244 reviews162 followers
February 13, 2016
Si sois amantes del terror, embarcaros en la lectura de esta novela os resultará una experiencia sorprendente y espeluznante.

No puedo más que decir que su lectura me ha dejado totalmente satisfecha porque he encontrado una novela que me ha dado todo lo que esperaba de ella y mucho más. ¿Cómo es esto posible? pues porque encontraréis mucho más de lo que a simple vista nos ofrece su portada y sinopsis, que no es poco.

En primer lugar tenemos una ambientación parisina que resulta sublime por lo bien trabajada que está y encima ambientada a finales del XIX que ya sabéis que es algo que me chifla. Con un montón de tintes góticos que le dan un regusto a novela clásica pero que nos sorprende a la vez, por lo cruento de alguna de sus escenas. Recordándonos que no estamos realmente ante un clásico del genero, sino ante un libro contemporáneo con grandes aspiraciones y que no escatima en desplegar todas sus dotes narrativas para mostrarnos los escenarios más terribles y sangrientos con todo lujo de detalles, como a mi me gusta: si procede escena sangrienta, pues que la haya.

Tanto la parte más terrenal como la sobrenatural, se entremezclan en la trama de una manera fluida y sin resultar estridente o poco creíble. No esperaba encontrar esta parte sobrenatural de una manera tan clara y expuesta, lo que resultó una sorpresa agradable para mí. Ya que esto confiere al libro de un toque de magia, pero magia negra y adulta, que da un paso más dentro del género y que me ha sorprendido, como os decía, y agradado mucho. Bueno, mejor pensado, creo que no le da un toque de magia sino que la disfrutamos a raudales. Sobre todo en el último tramo de la novela, utilizando esa pequeña linea que separa la vida de la muerte para adentrarnos en el averno y coquetear con todo tipo de demonios y seres del inframundo, creando situaciones de auténtica tensión en la que el regreso del más allá pende de un hilo en más de una ocasión y hasta aquí puedo leer...

Resumiendo: una novela sorprendente que no se parece a nada que haya leído hasta el momento dentro del género del terror (sí, puede tener algunos detalles que me hayan recordado a alguna que otra novela pero con grandes diferencias de fondo) con una gran ambientación en la que incluso toma protagonismo de una forma importante la catedral de Notre Dame y que nos ofrece un terror sin cortapisas para disfrutarlo y regodearnos en él sin tapujos, prejuicios ni ataduras.
Profile Image for Vivienne.
Author 2 books86 followers
December 16, 2012
Having enjoyed Tallis' historical novels that often flirted with the occult, I was pleased to find that he had elected to write a work of supernatural horror. Tallis writes that the direct inspiration was the 19th century French occult novel Là-Bas (The Damned) by J.K. Huysmans and also cited Justine by the Marquis de Sade and Guy de Maupassant's stories as other influences. He also mentions the more recent writings of the British writer Dennis Wheatley whose Library of the Occult series published Là-Bas and other classics of horror and occult fiction from 1974 to 1977.

All of these influences, including de Sade's, are evident though novel's overall tone did remind me most of Wheatley's occult novels that I had happily devoured in the early 1970s. Tallis certainly captured that sense of a rational man being drawn into the dark arts despite himself and becoming morally overwhelmed. Tallis' ability to evoke his historical settings has always been a strong appeal of his fiction and here is no exception as he brings 19th century Paris and France alive.

I found this tale of demonic possession quite a controlled work despite its often explicit scenes of sex and violence though this suited its first person narration by an essentially uptight 19th century doctor clinging to rationality in the face of the supernatural. Tallis is obviously a huge fan of this kind of tale of occult horror and the novel served as an homage. As a fellow fan I certainly enjoyed his foray into this area.

Profile Image for Cristina Isabel.
Author 9 books83 followers
June 2, 2014
I won this as a free ARC giveaway first reads and it was far from disappointing!

It's like Dr. Frankenstein meets The Exorcist in the concept of exactly how much "do you", the audience, really know about God and The Devil? Do you really believe in possession of ones soul or existence of evil spirits? What if you witnessed an exorcism, would you still believe?

In this suspenseful mind gripping tale of The Forbidden, Dr. Paul Clement witnesses an unspeakable act of horror which he is never to mention. In his trip back to Paris he begins to study resuscitation through electricity. Shortly after, he becomes fascinated with people who have had near death experiences and witnessed some type of Heaven. But the "forbidden curiosity" takes over and he births a nightmare that will not only affect him but the very lives he touches. Can Dr. Paul Clement extinguish this hellish nightmare before it takes over himself and others? Will Paul be able to save his soul and the soul of a young girl's before it's too late???
Profile Image for Richard.
1,268 reviews40 followers
October 12, 2014
I thought it was corny and derivative, but in a way that is kind of pleasantly familiar. If you like your evil spirits to actually carry pitchforks and possess little girls, causing them to curse and vomit prodigiously, boy is this the book for you.
Profile Image for Kirstie May.
65 reviews
June 27, 2022
Such a dark and captivating read.
This book transported me to the late 19th Century, in the Antilles at the beginning of the story, where we meet the protagonist Doctor Paul Clemente working on a Caribbean island, where he joins a small village and fellow physician looking for a man who has 'risen from the dead'. At the end of the ritual the Bokor "curses" him if he was to ever speak about what he witnessed on the island. Not long later he returns to Paris.
The rest of the story ensues of the protagonist of the story, Paul Clemente discovering how to bring someone back from the dead successfully, and about the light at the end of the tunnel we see at the end. Clemente then decides to experiment with a fellow doctor on himself by using what he learnt about in the Antilles, however instead of going towards the light, he ends up in hell, witnessing the horror that unfold there, and then becomes possessed by a demon himself before he's bought back to life. What happens next you'll have to read it for yourself, but this book won't disappoint you.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Maximiliano Graneros.
152 reviews4 followers
May 3, 2018
El laboratorio de las almas de F. R. Tallis
Ó lo que pudo llegar a ser…

La novela de Tallis, publicada en el 2012, bajo el nombre de The forbidden, nos cuentas las pericias de un doctor, Paul Clément, ambientada en 1872. Con tintes fantásticos, sobrenaturalidad y una reversión a lo que sería ”El exorcista”, nos adentramos a una novela ligera, no sin muchas reminiscencias a culturas, nombres, locaciones y tradiciones religiosas; de lectura ágil y rápida.

La obra en sí se divide en 4 partes a saber:

Primera parte: Condenación
Segunda parte: Posesión
Tercera parte: Redención

Subdividades, a excepción del prólogo, en ”capitulos”, con fechas y destinos donde transcurre la trama.

Así, en el Prólogo el protagonista, residente de París, luego de un asedio que tuvo la ciudad, decide ir a Las Antillas francesas, como médico en un hospital de monjas. Allí conocerá a su superior, un médico apellidado Tarvenir, quién le guiará en este nuevo mundo.

Junto a él conocerá, el hecho que dará el nodo principal de la obra, las costumbres paganas de los nativos. Tras un incidente donde se habla de un muerto-viviente, Tavelier le habla de como se llega a ése estado y lo impulsa a presencial la ceremonia propiciada por los bokor para liberar el alma del jóven muero-viviente.

Así luego de presenciar ”lo horrible” del ritual, es instado por el bokor a jurar que no dirá ni una palabra de lo que precencio, jurando a Dios -cristiano-, unos santos bajo el cual se iría al infierno de no cumplir con su palabra.

Un hecho importante es el que se esgrime como argumentación para logar ese estado de muerto-viviente causado por una ”maldición” de algún bokor. Travelier explica que no es más que un efecto dado a la introducción de venenos aplicados a la víctima por dicho bokor, que de realizarce bien, deja un sujeto docil y maleable a la boluntad de quien ”lo maldijo”.

Así, nos muestra el interes de Clément por la resusitación de los muertos, y como algo anecdótico, su juramento.

Prosiguiendo la lectura nos hayamos ante La primera parte:


De vuelta de su estancia en Las Antillas, Clément, retorna a París, codeandose por influencias logra ser discípulo de Duchenne, un emitente erudito en lo que respecta al uso de reanimación por mediación eléctrica al corazón. Trabajando con él acrescenta su fascinación por la reanimación, anexando además, por un testimo posterior de Duchenne, la contemplación de la vida después de la muerte, díriase, el Paraiso (o como más tarde nos inducirán, al Infierno).

Bajo la influencia de Duchenne, Clément se irá a trabajar a un hospital de prestigio, en el cual irá ganando fama. Ahí conocerá a un compañero médico, cirujano, con fé religiosa, interesado más que en la reanimación, en descubrir y exhibir al conocimiento acádemico y popular que hay luego de la muerte. En éste caso, la existencia innegable de Dios.

Empezará así una alianza con la cual, uniendo sus medios, trataran de desmostrar objetivamente dicha existencia. Con el transcurrir del tiempo el proyecto va a paso letargado y sólo obtienen 6 testimonios que hablan de una luz y sensación de extásis al morir, de pacientes que logran ser reanimados, por breve tiempo, para fallecer tiempo después.

Impulsado por la impaciencia y para corroborar en carne propia aquélla luz, Clément, recordando la artimaña de los bokor, le habla de sus planes de inducirse a un estado de muerte asistida, paro cardiorespiratorio por el uso medido del veneno de un pez globo, para luego ser resucitado a los minutos y poder dar testimonio de primera mano de su experiencia post mortem. Así incumple el juramento al bokor

Hay que mencionar a dos personajes trascendentales que aparecen en esta sección y que van cumpliendo ya la descripción que menciono. Bazile, un campanario de una iglesia parisina, ferviente creyente del dogma cristiano, que será amigo íntimo de Clément y con quien tendrán conversaciones de índole filosóficas sobre Dios, la muerte, los demonios y la vida posterior al deceso. Y a Thérèse Coubertin; esposa de un colega médico que trabaja en el mismo hospital que Clément, la cual será su amante y el conducto hacia lo que será la siguiente parte ”Posesión”.

Al realizar el experimento, Clément no irá al cielo, ni atestiguará el tunel con la luz que da éxtasis y gozo, descripta por otros pacientes fallecidos, se irá directamente al Infierno, siendo testigo, a esbozo y claro homenaje a Dante Alighieri, donde, tras deambular y ver los horrores del mismo, se encontrará con un grupo de demonios, que torturan a una mujer, de forma sexual y sanguinaria. Luego de presenciar dicha tortura, Clément es revivido, no sin antes dar nota de que un demonio sintió su presencia y logro estar cara a cara con él, antes de ser reanimado.

Aqui entremos en la segunda parte:


Clément, rehuso hablar de su experienia con su colega, dando por fallido el experimento, así mismo también le dio la negativa a Bazile, con quien había sostenido los debates teológicos y le llego a comentar su plan para dar a esclarecer lo que hay más allá de la muerte.

No obstante, el experimento dejo secuales en él, una suerte de fotófobia, hábitos nocturnos, que fueron racionalizados por el mismo Clément como efectos colaterales a la perdida de oxígeno en el cerebro, Junto a estos sintomas, empezo a germinar algo en él. Una lasciva superior, y una tendencia al vampirismo, la ”corrupción moral” (prácticas de sexo salvaje, hiriendo a la pareja en el proceso), y cierta tendencia al rechazo de los íconos religosos, como la curz.

En está etapa Clément logrará ”matar” al marido de Thérèce, produciéndole un paro cardiaco, tomando neta posesión de ella, y logrando satisfacer sus deseos concuspicientes ”depravados” hacia ella. También la hará adicta a la morfina.

Con el paso del tiempo Clément se sentirá horrorizado sobre su apetitos, su ganas de succionar sangre, el sádismo marcado en su carácter. Así, dándose cuenta de que alberga un mal dentro suyo, luego de intentar matar a Thérèce de la misma forma que lo hizo con su esposo, decidirá suicidarse. Hecho que no se concretará dado a la intervención de Bazile. Éste suponiendo que su amigo podía estar en posesión de un ente diabólico, experimentando sobre Clément sin que éste se diera cuenta, logro preveer sus intenciones y rescatarlo del suicidio.

Bazile, lo llevará ante su viejo maestro, el padre Ranvier, quien fue alejado del sacerdocio por ser poco ”ortódoxo”. Junto a él, asistiremos a una especie de ritual exorcista, aunque no convencional, dado que Ranvier utiliza ”mágia” en sus métodos. Erudito en la historia de la Iglesia de Notre Dame, llego a conocer rituales célticos y uso de talismanes y objetos ”mágicos” de protección, más allá de los objetos utilizados por el convencionalismo religioso-cristiano.

El ritual culminará con la muerte, no sin dramatismo y encarnizada, de Ranvier y el sellado del demonio que poseía a Clément en una esfera de cristal.

Con ésto pasaremos a la última sección. No sin antes mencionar que Thérèce, al principio sumisa y complaciente con Clément, decide cortar los lazos con él al notar los daños que le estaba causando e irse a vivir a la casa de sus padres.


Aquí Clément, gracias a sus indagaciones, logra saber el paradero de su amante, y junto a una información dada por un colega, se emprende en un viaje a un poblado cerca de donde vive dicha mujer. Ocupando el cargo de residente y protector de dos pacientes con ataques severos de epilepcia, una de ellos es Anette, una niña de doce años con una gran imaginación y aparente intelecto superior concorde a su edad.

En esta nueva etapa conocerá a la familia de Anette, los Du Bris, quien le contrato, y a un cura párroco, Lestoumel.

Pasará sus días investigando sobre el ocultismo, dado que conserva la esfera donde está pricionero el demonio que lo poseyó, intentando averiguar como devolverle al infierno. Éstos serán apasibles, dado que logr contener el ataque epiléptico de sus pacientes, dispone de tiempo para hacer lo que le plazca.

También le seguirá obsesionando Thérèce. A quién más adelante irá a ver, pese a la negativa y rotunda petición de no acercarse màs a ella, mediantes cartas. Al estar en su poblado se encontrará con su amante consumida y casi en su lecho de muerte, dado al abuso de la morfina. Terminará muriendo y dejando a Clément un profundo vacío interior.

Desarrollando el eje principal aquí, los días apacibles de Clément se verán truncados por augurios de que su mayor temor se ha cumplido. A pesar de las protecciones y resguardos que tuvo para con la esfera, está estará trizada, y notará como el espíritu maligno hace acto de presencia gestionando sobre la pequeña Anette, y su madre Hélène.

El comienzo del final se dará cuando Annete es poseida por el demonio, haciendo que rompa la esfera para poder adentrarse en ella por completo. Intervendrá el padre Lestoumel, a quien le solicito consejo Clément y dirá que es necesario realizar un exorcismo en la cátedral de Notre Dame, luego de oír la historia de Clément, y mostrándole al prtagonista que resguarda un ejemplar del libro que creía perdido de la biblioteca de la casa donde recidia (un antepasado de los Du Bris estaba sumamente interesado en el ocultismo), y allí se dirijirán, junto a la madre de Annete.

En París Clément buscará ayuda en su viejo amigo Bazile, con quien, luego del exorcismo dejo de estar en contacto, quien aceptará ayudarlos.

El párroco, con la ayuda del mencionado libro, un texto consagrado a la demonología y el exorcismo, escrito por un alquimista, Bezial, la niña y Clément irán a la torre norte de la Notre Dame, gracias a la ayuda de Bezial pudieron tener acceso a ella, y realizarán el exorcismo, no uno tradicional, ya que dicho libro alberga conocimientos más ancestrales que los cristianos.

Creyéndose vencedores, Clément increpa al demonio quien trataba de materializarse en este plano mientras es arrastrado al portal donde será despojado nuevamente al infierno. Para rematar la trama, el demonio arrastrará a la niña hacia dicho portal y Clément irá en su busqueda.

La logra localizar, pero justo son rodeados por demonios y su ”conrincante” aparece para empezar a deleitarse torturando a la pequeña en frente de Clément. Éste último creyéndose perdido pide disculpas a la niña, y buscando un pañuelo para limpiarle las lágrimas, da con un amuleto que rescato del ”Libro de Salomón”, resultado de su extensa lectura en los libros ocultistas de la residencia de los Du Bris. Dicho amuleto surte efecto y aleja a los demonios, con momentos de tensión de por medio, el protagonista logra devolver a la niña al plano al que pertenece, sumando más tención se nos pretende que él quedará en el limbo de ambos mundos, pero logra zafarse y volver.

Terminado el suceso, Clément decedirá quedarse en Paris y volver al hospital que había dejado. Es aceptada su reincorporación y pasan los años, logro alcanzar rangos màs elevados dentro del mismo, y llevar una vida apasible.

Finalizando la obra, Clément a pesar de su éxito se siente desolado y solo, pese a su amistad con Bezial, dando un paseo se reencuentra con Hélène y su hija, quienes se alegran de verle y le dicen que ahora reciden en París. Le informan que viven junto al hermano de Hélène, quien siempre quizo irse del poblado y vivir en la metrópolis y quie gracias a la medicina dada por Clément logró su proposito siendo un periodista destacado. Hélène disolvió su matrimonio por la infedelidad de su marido.

Pactan un encuentro para después y Clément siente que quizá ahora su vida puede volver a tener significado.
Profile Image for Lee Allen.
Author 12 books85 followers
November 10, 2019
An engrossing tale of psychological horror and demonic possession by Frank Tallis, writing as F.R. Tallis.

‘The Forbidden’ begins as Dr Paul Clement travels to Saint-Sebastien, an island in the French Antilles, with dreams of making advances in medicine that will help a great number of people. There he witnesses a ritual that will change the course of his life and he is cursed that, if ever he is to speak of it, he will go to Hell. He returns to Paris, taking up a position at the Salpetriere, where he becomes fascinated by the accounts of patients’ near-death experiences.

As he is drawn to undertake his own experiments, Clement chooses to make the journey himself – a terrifying experience during which he travels beneath the earth and witnesses some of the torturous horrors of Hell. But is his encounter with demons a fulfilment of the curse or simply the conjurings of his dying brain?

Abandoning his experiments, Clement attempts to return to normality, going about his work and embarking on an affair with a colleague’s wife. But he begins to notice that some things have changed. He fears madness, but is soon confronted with a greater fear – that when he returned from Hell, something monstrous and powerful returned to the world and his body with him.

Reminiscent of 19th century Gothic horror masterpieces - like Bram Stoker’s ‘Dracula’ - and the occult works of Dennis Wheatley, ‘The Forbidden’ is enthrallingly told. Even in his most flawed moments, Clement is an endearing character. With him, we dream of the great future before him, experience the terror of the unknown and his harrowing near-death experience, his struggles as he befalls the evil entity and succumbs to desire and temptation, and finally the battles to save his soul and the souls of others.

From his background as a clinical psychologist, Tallis threads authentic psychological detail throughout his fiction, making for a fascinating character-driven novel; also drawing on historical fact to create a vivid sense of France in the 1870s and 80s.

This was the first of Tallis’ horror novels, followed by ‘The Sleep Room’, ‘The Voices’ and his most recent, ‘The Passenger’, while he has also written a series of crime novels set at the turn of the 20th century featuring psychoanalyst Dr Max Liebermann, which have been adapted for television and will broadcast soon on BBC2 in the UK under the title ‘Vienna Blood’.

With psychological depth and supernatural mystery, ‘The Forbidden’ is a suspenseful study of the diabolical and the resilience of the human spirit.
Profile Image for Amy.
146 reviews
March 27, 2014
I received this book in a goodreads contest.

Not something that I would pick out myself, I was dragging my feet starting this book. I am SO sorry that I did.

What an unusual, thought provoking and suspenseful book. I was hooked from the prologue. The story is set in the 1870s and touches on magic, possession and exorcism. An odd combination but so well written from Monsieur Clement's point of view.

He is a doctor in the 1870s and is infatuated with the nervous system. He comes to a isolated island from Paris to study. He learns of black magic and it changes him. After his initial retreat to the island, he returns to Paris to a hospital and focuses on after life resuscitation. His findings are unbelievable and he keeps busy with these but becomes obsessed with it. He decides to talk to another professional and perform a radical experiment. He asks the other doctor help him "pass on" to see if the rumors about the afterlife are true. He doesn't experience the "bright light and euphoric" feelings that others recount. He experiences dark, malicious and demonic beings. When he is brought back to life, he brings with him and evil that starts changing him.

The books is suspenseful and keeps you wanting to read more until you find the answers. I am always glad to explore new authors and books outside my norm.

Profile Image for Nicola Hopewell.
10 reviews
September 2, 2017
I really liked this book, the writing is beautiful and the details really fill your mind with images that support the story and time in which it was set, late 19th century, Paris.
At first when I read the synopsis I assumed some kind of Flatliners vibe but it turned out to be a gripping story. I very much enjoyed the use of real historic figures in medicine and science and the links of occultism and Notre Dame, the research and Tallis's clinical mind and intellect are very evident throughout the book and this in itself makes the story very interesting.
The depictions of hell were actually terrifying and I felt quite spooked some evenings when it came to turning my bedroom light out! I got the impression the book isn't aiming for gory, shock-horror but more a scary thought provoking depiction of the unknown. I kind of guessed midway through what was going to occur with the ending but it didn't make it any less enjoyable. I would have liked to have seen more exploration of the Bokor character but still it set the scene well and I would highly recommend this book.
Profile Image for Fran Murphy.
13 reviews1 follower
April 10, 2013
"The Greeks inform us that Pandora's Box contained all the evils of the world, and that when she opened it these evils were released. There was, however, something left at the very bottom; Hope." The Forbidden is an atmospheric tale of demonic possession set in a suitably Gothic Paris in the late C19th. Notre Dame looms large over the city, and keeping watch from the heights of the cathedral are the chimera, captured in etchings by the artist Charles Mayron, who died young in an asylum. He is just one of the real life characters whose name crops up briefly in this beautifully written and evocative book, along with Guilleme Duchenne de Boulogne whose work you may have seen in the unsettling photographs of his electrical experiments on patients, stimulating facial expressions with electrodes.

Profile Image for Debbie.
1,258 reviews
April 29, 2014
Tallis is the author of one of my favorite mystery series, the Liebermann papers, but the second suspense I have read of his. After being introduced to the idea of re-animating the dead after a trip to the West Indies, Dr. Paul Clement returns to Paris where he experiments with the resuscitation of the "just" dead with electrical currents. Experimenting on himself he returns to earth not from Heaven, but from Hell and unwittingly brings back a demon that destroys not only his life but those he loves.
199 reviews
July 26, 2016
In this psychologically grim and gripping historical it's 1873, and a forward-thinking French doctor experiments with electricity to bring back the heartbeats of the nearly dead, with varying results. After hearing of the 'white light' some have witnessed, he decides to take himself to the brink to experience first-hand the mysterious claim. He witnesses something very different, returning to a strangely altered life with an unspeakable 'souvenir'.
Profile Image for Faye Ridpath.
503 reviews22 followers
March 28, 2014
I received this book for free from Goodreads First Reads.

In many ways, it reminded me of "Flatliners", but a much darker version.

It is a horrifying book.

It is also very thought provoking, and raises some interesting concepts. My mind is still reeling and puzzling over one question raised in this book that I consider a religious paradox.

A very chilling book.
Profile Image for Angela.
232 reviews
July 12, 2014
The historical aspects were interesting. I've not read a book about possession and exorcism and I've decided it's not my thing.
Profile Image for Nicole.
1,632 reviews8 followers
February 14, 2016
I felt like Therese's decline and ultimate expiration had very little consequence for the protagonist, which didn't seem realistic.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
21 reviews4 followers
December 19, 2017
Originally posted: https://rebeccaspearblog.wordpress.co...

If there was a recipe for the kind of book I love, it would include religious debate, the Gothic and 19th century medicine – and this book has it all. The story follows Paul Clement, a 19th century Parisian doctor who has a passion for resuscitation and what lies in the ‘beyond’. After he goes full Flatliners (stops his heart so he can see what happens after death and is then bought back) he gets a full glimpse of what lies beneath, and unfortunately brings something back with him.

The story feels like its in three separate parts that don’t completely gel together. There is the idea of old magic in the beginning, and although the thread is almost pulled through to the end it never quite meets in the middle. This is the general feeling I had for all of the book. It tries to introduce a lot of ideas but never really quite explores them fully. I love a good debate about the benevolence of God, and this does have the potential to have a fully rounded argument but it doesn’t quite come to any conclusion – even if there was no solid conclusion to have. Taking on the idea is a massive task for any author, and I think this was more ambitious than the novel was able to fully portray.

All in all, I wanted more. The characters are great and well rounded and I enjoyed the second part in the country much more than in the city but this shouldn’t have been the case. 19th century Paris is the personification of Hell, and this should have been used so much more. Notre-Dame was mentioned but it didn’t become a character in the way I would expect from a traditional Gothic novel.

If you’re looking for an easy and interesting read that I would recommend The Forbidden. It’s by no means perfect but it is fun, and actually quite well written.
Profile Image for PesadillasDePapel.
40 reviews4 followers
March 28, 2020
Hablar de esta novela resulta ser complicado, ya se los adelanto. Intentaré resumir todo cuanto pueda. La historia se centra en Clément, un estudioso y médico del siglo XIX que intenta desafiar la muerte y asume un rol de doctor Frankestein, aunque con ello consigue por el contrario poner de cabeza el orden natural de la vida y arrastrar demonios de la oscuridad más demencial que se pueda imaginar cualquier lector.
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Lo admito, esta novela es admirable por su laboriosa y sus arduas indagaciones en terrenos tan espinosos como la teología, la filosofía y el ocultismo. En lugar de mostrarnos la simple historia de posesiones demoníacas, sucesos paranormales y extraordinarios, Tallis nos aborda con temas más profundos, cuyo primer referente se sitúa en Montaigne. Ya ese hecho, nada gratuito, nos permite avanzar a terrenos más complejos como el significado de Dios, la trascendencia dea vida y los misterios de la muerte.
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La novela está plagada de referencias literarias. La asombrosa hipertextualidad se pierde de vista: Stoker, Shelley, Dumas, Sade, Víctor Hugo, Dennis Weatly y J. K. Huysmans. Estos dos últimos nombrados directamente por el autor. Asimismo, agregaría a Clive Barker en el universo más moderno del horror crudo y visceral que muchos conocemos.
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El ritmo narrativo es pertinente. Los personajes están bien constituidos. Sus emociones y relaciones armonizan con cada uno de los sucesos y conflictos planteados.
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Debo decir que es lo mejor que he leído en el género thriller de ocultismo en mucho tiempo. Recomiendo su lectura y su posterior análisis, el cual estaré dando en breve a través de mi canal, pues es una novela más que interesante.
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Profile Image for Steven Belanger.
Author 5 books23 followers
April 5, 2020
A very well-written piece of historical horror fiction that may move a tad too slow for some, though it's actually building up for each of it's three main climaxes, this book is well worth your time. More well-known for his historical mysteries in 1890s Vienna (written as Frank Tallis), this one is probably the best of his stand-alones. They're all well-written, but they tended to the depressing and had unnecessarily bleak endings. This one isn't, and doesn't.

The title is unhelpful. In essence, this story mashes the horror of the Apocalypse, of religious Hell (which comes across as very Boschian), of possession, and of the unknown. Part Exorcist, part religious allegory, it's Friedkin's tale if written as historical noir fiction. I didn't like one scene, right out of one of the Hellraiser movies, but that's the only real complaint.

It may read a little slow for some, especially in the third act, but the domesticity and rural splendor is a build-up to the point: that past mistakes can seep into the pleasant everyday. That a lack of self-control of one's vices can do the same. It's a story of possession, but also of obsession.

Profile Image for Alison C.
1,107 reviews12 followers
March 19, 2018
Paul Clement is a doctor in late 19th century France who, after witnessing an inexplicable event in St. Sebastien, returns to Paris to begin studying the nervous system. He believes that he has found a way to restore life to the lifeless and learns that people who “die” and return often experience a tunnel, white light, and a sense of peace. He determines to try his method upon himself, but instead of those experiences, he finds his soul in Hell and only with great difficulty can he return. But his brush with death has not left him unchanged; indeed, it has changed him completely, and very terribly…. I really like Frank Tallis’ Liebermann books (about a psychiatrist in Vienna, a friend of Freud) and decided to try his horror (which he writes as F. R. Tallis) because of that series. While "The Forbidden" was okay, it really just plays on old voodoo and demons-from-hell stereotypes, which means the reader knows the outcome of almost every scene and certainly every event. Mr. Tallis’ writing is quite vivid, so read it for that rather than for originality.
Profile Image for Ken Fredette.
961 reviews52 followers
February 7, 2022
I've read all the books for the Vienna Blood series, and I wanted to see what this was like. 1873 like Vienna Blood we have an earlier date for the book, so is this why he uses his alias as F.R. Tallis. This book was similarly written but with a decidedly further use of gargoyles and evil beings. What Paul wanted to do originally was to find a way to resuscitate the dead through using batteries for electricity. Using himself as a guinea pig, he killed himself and after about 3 minutes shocked himself back to life with the use of a friend. However, he was in Hell rather than Heaven, and this was the rest of the story. Good and bad points. This story has many sexually explicit parts to it which were kind of shocking after Vienna Blood series, but it later evens itself out over time. I liked it as a way of thinking at the time.
Profile Image for Nat in Books.
237 reviews37 followers
January 8, 2020
El personaje principal tiene una personalidad muy marcada, pero lo cierto es que es una forma de ser aburrida, no me atrae nada personalmente. Respecto al resto de individuos, no me han producido ningún interés.

Además de que el autor escribe de una manera que no termina de convencerme, la ambientación de la historia no es mala, pero sí un tanto simple y no destaca nada en concreto.

Creo que el título hace que el libro capte la atención del lector, pero el argumento la apaga por completo. Durante el primer 25% de lectura solo pensaba en leer más rápido para llegar a algo; a veces, incluso quería llegar al final.

Es una historia coherente en argumento, personajes y su trayectoria, pero no he disfrutado nada la lectura.
Profile Image for mary.
846 reviews10 followers
July 5, 2018
Other than an overworked climax, this book was immensely well done.

I had never heard of Tallis before The Voices which I stumbled upon in the library while searching for something else for a patron. This is my second of his.

There is a strong narrative flow in his books, the language he uses is mature and confident, and the plots evolve slowly but never inevitably. In fact, as a reader of many supernaturals, I usually feel I am treading very well-traveled roads as standard plots unfold. Tallis seems to be creating the genre as he writes, even if the themes are ultimately familiar ones.
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