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2.73  ·  Rating details ·  133 ratings  ·  30 reviews
They were going to tell stories. Let's go away for the weekend, said Megan, and leave our phones behind and turn off the computers and television and stop time because time is moving too fast and soon we'll all be saying where the hell did our lives go? We'll cook some food and drink some wine and each tell a story.

IT IS THE MIDDLE OF WINTER. Seven friends leave their ord
Paperback, 230 pages
Published July 23rd 2014 by Text Publishing
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Average rating 2.73  · 
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 ·  133 ratings  ·  30 reviews

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 Reading Reindeer
REVIEW:  DEMONS by Wayne Macauley

DEMONS is an incredibly adorable and endearing novel with which I fell instantly in love. Seems odd, of a novel in which mostly all the characters, and those in their true (or imaginatively constructed) stories, are self-centered, selfish, sniping, greed- or lust-motivated, and too frequently, clouded to their own emotional vulnerabilities and self-motivations. Nevertheless, DEMONS contains such a wealth of imagination, is so excellently constructed, I read it in
Larry H
Feb 19, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley
I'd rate this 2.5 stars.

Full disclosure: I received an advance copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review.

"I wonder if stories can change how things are in the world or if they're just us telling others what we think the world looks like?"

Seven friends gather at a beach house in Australia one winter weekend. They've made a promise not to bring their children, and to cut themselves off from the outside world for a few days—no cell phones, no internet, no television. They
Sep 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
The individual stories recounted by the characters were more interesting than the main story itself. There was not enough character development and too many characters and consequently I didn't really care about any of them.
Jun 29, 2014 rated it really liked it
Demons is the fourth novel by Australian author, Wayne Macauley. A group of eight friends arrange to spend a technology-free weekend in a coastal dwelling on the Great Ocean Road. The plan is to eat good food, drink wine and tell stories to pass the time. Three couples arrive on Friday afternoon, but, at the last minute, events conspire to prevent the fourth wife from joining them: instead the husband turns up late with his reluctant teenaged daughter in tow. The adults share gossip and news and ...more
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: arc-review
ARC for review.

So, when I read about this on NetGalley, here's what I read:

"They were going to tell stories. Let's go away for the weekend, said Megan, and leave our phones behind and turn off the computers and television and stop time because time is moving too fast and soon we'll all be saying where the hell did our lives go? We'll cook some food and drink some wine and each tell a story.

IT IS THE MIDDLE OF WINTER. Seven friends leave their ordinary lives behind to travel to a remote coastal
Mar 16, 2015 rated it liked it
A couple of years ago I read Australian writer Wayne Macauley’s The Cook, a deliciously dark satire about modern gastronomy, which amused and disturbed me in equal measure. Indeed, it was one of the most memorable — and original — books I’ve read in, say, the past four or five years.

His new book, Demons, has just been published in the UK and, for obvious reasons, I was keen to read it.

The narrative, as such, is structured around a group of (annoyingly) middle-class (snobby and pretentious) frien
Dec 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I wanted to love this book. I liked his last novel, The Cook. I liked the premise of this one – friends away at the beach for the weekend wanting to tell stories. And the friends are from my bubble – middle class, mostly middle aged, inner urban Melbournites.

There is the ex-alcoholic, the lawyer, the artist, the newly made politician and his teenage daughter. And more. The structure of the book is that they each tell stories. Some of the stories are about relationships, some about politics or gr
Jul 01, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: c21st, australia, 14review
An interesting title, eh? This is Wayne Macauley’s fourth satire – perhaps not in the same league as The Cook (see my review) – but nonetheless an ambitious book in its intent and execution.

Like The Canterbury Tales and The Decameron, the novel is framed around the idea of storytelling. A group of friends set off for a weekend away at a coastal hideaway somewhere along the Great Ocean Road: they’ve left their phones and other techno-toys at home but have brought a plentiful supply of booze and t
Aug 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
A quick and satisfying read about a group of seven middle aged friends who spend a weekend together in a secluded house off the Great Ocean Road (in Australia). It's winter, they open wine, cook some food and decide to tell stories that reveal things about social values and eventually lead to them revealing some secrets about themselves. A great social study of typical people opening up tricky situations. Recommended.
Jul 07, 2015 rated it liked it
Think of this book as a collection of short stories with some padding in between. That way you'll be satisfied with this dark, oddly haunting read rather than disappointed with the petty dramas of the main characters doing the story-telling.
R.A. Goli
Apr 11, 2020 rated it liked it
I absolutely hate when authors don’t use quotations around speech. It’s so wankery. Having said they, I didn’t have much trouble following along and actually enjoyed the stories the characters were telling.
Didn’t really like any of the characters - though I’m not sure I was supposed to - and after a while, the stories got less interesting and book itself got a little bit political/preachy/blah blah reflection of the human condition 😐.
I’d picked up this book because the cover, title and blurb of
Mar 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
I think the author started with an interesting premise (couples gather without technology in a holiday house to tell stories and reconnect as friends) but he has such a poor opinion of his readership that he decided to make the distinction between story and 'story within the story' so obvious that the enjoyment I should have felt in exploring the text was lost - and on page one.
Wooden, predictive and without grace, the story unfolds. I couldn't wait to finish it (book club book).
The gratuitous
Aug 15, 2017 rated it liked it
I liked this book. The stories the characters tell each other get better as the book progresses. Maybe because of their similar names, I never quite got a hang of who was which character and was married to who and did what for a living, except for Marshall the politician and Tilly his teenage daughter.
Jan 05, 2019 rated it it was ok
It was okay. Just.
Jan 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: first-reads
I received an advanced copy from Net Galley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you, Text Publishing!
Being mostly a reader of mysteries, Demons was a little bit out of my wheelhouse. The crimes and deaths in it are just as real, but the implications run much deeper than my usual fare. Four middle-age friends reunite in the middle of nowhere and tell stories. Stories that are so engrossing, I had a hard time putting the book down. All are sad and devastating. Between the stories, we see the c
Feb 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
The premise behind Demons seemed fresh and different - 7 friends in Australia get together for a weekend, sans all technology, to share stories, food and good drink. We learn a lot about humankind, in general, from the stories they share, but the close personal interaction exposes each character's weaknesses and flaws as well.

I really enjoyed the stories our characters told. They were each unique, insightful into the human condition and thought provoking. These stories may have been the best bit
Andrea Myers
Oct 09, 2015 rated it did not like it
Unfortunately Demons is another book that has added fuel to the fire that is my bad luck in choosing reading material at the moment. I feel as if it's an achievement that I finished it when it was so difficult to follow along when Wayne Macauley doesn't use quotation marks around speech. It may work for other authors but it really didn't here.

All the characters felt as if they were the same with little aside from their occupations to tell them apart and their interactions with one another were
Michael Livingston
Aug 31, 2014 rated it liked it
I have really loved some of Macauley's trenchant, hilarious satirical books and was looking forward to this immensely. It left me a little nonplussed. Macauley sets up a series of stories within a story structure, with a bunch of middle-aged friends taking a weekend away together to disconnect from the world and tell each other stories. The stories told are compelling and the atmosphere of foreboding builds as they find themselves trapped by bad weather, but the group are quickly revealed to be ...more
Feb 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: on-kindle, net-galley
It sounds like the blurb for a fairly standard Hollywood thriller. A group of old friends decide to go away for a technology free weekend in a remote seaside cottage in Australia.

Three of the couples arrive on the Friday but the final pairing sees the wife unable to attend so the man brings along his very reluctant teenage daughter for the weekend. They drink wine and eat good food and tell stories.

A storm converges on the area flooding them in and effectively trapping them in the house. Not a
Jan 09, 2015 added it
I kept waiting for this book to be about something other than awful middle-aged, middle-class people telling other people's stories and wringing their hands about the state of the world. Of course, that's the point of the book but if I was interested in those kinds of stories, I'd watch something starring Claudia Karvan.

Nitpicking: at one point I think they turn on a dishwasher in the middle of a power blackout. One day I hope to be middle class enough to be able to afford a dishwasher that run
Jan 31, 2015 rated it liked it
I loved the blurb about friends going off for a weekend without electronics to reconnect. I half expected someone to ax murder all the others at the end. Perhaps the ending, while far more believable, was more terrifying. I never connected to any of the characters, neither the ones in the story or the ones the stories were about. It was told in interesting little snippets and while I did enjoy the read, it will probably be passed along instead of going on the bookshelf with the others I plan to ...more
Mar 17, 2015 rated it it was ok
Thanks to Net Galley for the ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review

Several friends get together for a weekend at the lake to tell stories? I was intrigued by the premise of this book but found the pacing rather frantic and disjointed. The stories the characters told were the best part of the book. The character's interactions with one another left a lot to be desired. I have a hard time reviewing books I don't enjoy simply because I feel bad writing a less than positive review. Hopef
Jayne Lamb
Ugh. I hereby pledge to boycott any book that try to be more 'literary' by not bothering with quotation marks around speech. You have to be a really, really great writer to get away with it, and..well, this isn't.
Life's too short. If I don't get intrigued by either the plot, the characters or the writing style in the first couple of chapters (hopefully all three), that's it, over, no correspondence will be entered into.

Mar 23, 2015 rated it it was ok
First, I want to thank NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for allowing me to read this book for free for an honest review. I thought I would like this story. I have been opening my reading mind to other genres, but alas...I was disappointed. I felt I was reading a B-rated movie plot. A group of friends going away for the weekend with no cellular devices or ways to reach the outside world...and that is where the interest was lost. It just was not a book for me.
Feb 17, 2015 rated it did not like it
The book Demon, I felt had me losing interest, early into the book. I found the narration to be un-evolved and had no depth. I wish the characters were throughout and developed further. The story did not feel well thought out nor did I feel the ending was thought out closing all the loose ends

My thanks to Netgalley and the publisher Text Publishing for the digital copy to review.
Polly Krize
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
I received an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The premise of the book was of friends going away for the weekend...storm rolls in...

But that's basically where it becomes boring and uninteresting. Characters were not engaging and I did not feel anything for any of them...

Book did not hold my interest and is a little disappointing...just my opinion.

Penelope Casey
Jun 24, 2015 rated it liked it
Solid basic premise. Interesting stories within the story. Felt to stories could have done with some thread linking them- building the whole story-line to some sort of climax. But it just all got a bit weird and disconnected at the end. Real life may well be that way- so possibly this was the author's intent. Worth a read.
Jan 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: australian
I enjoyed where this was heading with all the stories, but then it just seemed to take a different tangent and I completely lost interest. Was going to be a 4 star read until the Truth or Dare section
Feb 03, 2015 rated it it was ok
This book did not turn out to be what I expected at all. I was intrigued by the idea of friends coming together for a weekend of cozy story telling. I found the stories detracted from the frame of the book rather than pulling it together.
Andy Weston
May 16, 2015 rated it it was ok
I am guessing this is Macauley's style, to link short stories together into a novel with a framework social setting. Though the stories hold some interest, this formula didn't work for me.
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Wayne Macauley is the author of the highly acclaimed novels: Blueprints for a Barbed-Wire Canoe, Caravan Story and, most recently, The Cook, which was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Award, a Victorian Premier’s Literary Award and the Melbourne Prize Best Writing Award. His new book Demons will be available in August 2014. He lives in Melbourne.

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