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Pandaemonium

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  2,101 ratings  ·  152 reviews
Bad language. Scatalogical humour. Razor wit. Convoluted plot. High readability. It's the new Christopher Brookmyre novel.

The senior pupils of St Peter's High School are on retreat to a secluded outdoor activity centre, coming to terms with the murder of a fellow pupil through the means you would expect: counselling, contemplation, candid discussion and even prayer - not t
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Hardcover, 1st Edition, 394 pages
Published August 13th 2009 by Little, Brown
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Average rating 3.83  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,101 ratings  ·  152 reviews


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Fiona
Listen up, nerds. Because you're going to love this book, so much. I'm going to write a review of it, and it's going to stand your hair on end, but in the meantime: this is the philosophy-loving, physics-enjoying, video game playing, potty-mouthed mythology-spotting plot lover's ideal holiday read.

The audiobook is excellent.

I hope this is selling it for you, because I've just finished it and I'm a little bit beside myself here. You know that euphoria you felt in the first sixty seconds after fin
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Moray Barclay
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Even when venting off, Christopher Brookmyre is poetic. When hard man Kirk is taken aside by Mr Kane, the schoolboy expects a mild telling off, only to be ripped apart: “Do you know how many bright Scottish boys from places like Gleniston end up making the least of themselves, just because they’re afraid getting the head down and scoring good grades would clash with their hard man image? Too fucking many.” Christopher Brookmyre’s memories from his own school days in the Scottish town of Barrhead ...more
DC
Sep 07, 2009 rated it liked it
Most of Brookmyre's books fit in the crime (with a dark sense of humour) category. This one is a slightly new direction, more horror gore-fest yet ultimately SF — with a dark sense of humour. Yet it still reads like a crime novel.

Take a coachload of Paisley schoolkids heading for a retreat to deal with the emotional effects of a recent violent incident at their school, an underground military base where physicists are working on a top-secret project, a Cardinal leading a Vatican team to deal wit
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Bob
Jun 18, 2019 rated it liked it
Well, that was a bit of an experience. I'm a big fan of Brookmyre. There is something remarkably refreshing about the way he writes while at the same time (usually) containing plenty of absurd violence and heartfelt social commentary. His books are much more enjoyable than that statement makes them sound. This one is a bit different though: he's took a mighty swerve to one side and given us horror, gore, religion, adolescent nightmares that none of us care to remember and managed to weave it all ...more
Chrystyna
Jun 22, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've been contemplating what to say about this. Normally CB's books have a pattern: comically inept criminals, unlikely heroes, Scottish theme (either based in Scotland or characters are Scottish), but despite that, they do always feel different. A lot of these are present here, but this time the genre is 'Gothic Horror' rather than 'Crime'.... and I'm not sure that it works for me. It certainly isn't as good as his usual stuff, but having said that I did still enjoy it.

So the blurb on the jack
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Josh
Oct 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, read_2015, own
"There's something worse than primal brutality here: there's fury, there's bloodlust, there's hatred."

PANDEMONIUM is certainly a convergence of two distinct worlds with the end result being bloody, blasphemous, and nothing short of brutal.

I read a couple of reviews of this book prior to delving in (something I don't tend to do all that often) whose sentiments mirrored that of my above sentence. Early in reading (as in 200pgs +) I thought I was looking at a different book to what was being revie
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Debbie
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy Christopher Brookmyre's novels, so when his latest was recommended by another of my favourite authors (Diana Gabaldon) I wasted no time in reading it!

Brookmyre's novels are a paradox in that they are full of certainties and uncertainties. The certainty is that they will involve violence and lots of blood, humour, satire, entertaining characters, red herrings and plot twists and a great dollop of Scottishness. The uncertainty involves those plot twists. The only thing you can be su
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Godzilla
Nov 15, 2010 rated it really liked it
A bold change of direction away from the normal Brookmyre book revolving around a tightly plotted crime.

This one involves demons, teenagers, religious debate and quantum physics: quite a heady mix.

The characters are, as ever, skillfully drawn, and the dialogue crisp, funny and realistic. Some knowledge of Scottish vernacular will help, but the effect is startling.

Two strands of the story gather pace, and then they collide, violently. There are plenty of twists and turns, and I certainly didn't s
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Jenny Kirkby
Mar 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
A good story with some pretty decent horror scenes while posing questions about the Catholic faith vs science and throwing in a military cover up just for good measure. "There are only atheists in foxholes"....
Ian Mapp
Nov 23, 2010 rated it it was ok
Brookmyre really strecthes credibility with this one. I've said before that you know what you are going to get before you even read it - great turns of scottish phrases, anger against something wrong in society (although toned down in this one), cracking pace and plotting - and with this one - so great science fictions explaining how the back story could come about.

Group of school kids are off to a recreational centre in the wilds of scotland - after one of their class has been stabbed at school
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Robert
Aug 13, 2013 rated it liked it
I have to say that Brookmyre is not shining in this book much. The plot takes a really long time to blossom, making the reader lose interest fairly quick.
While the characters are fleshed out, almost three quarter of them will not last till the book's end, making the first half forgettable at best.
For me, the ending, although satisfying, did not make up for the rest of the book. Admittedly, there are questions unanswered, which leave the story open for a sequel, yet there is hardly anything that
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Julie
Dec 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
*Spoilers galore ahead*

As I did a pretty significant chunk of reading on one of the worst flights I have ever been on, I kept thinking to myself: 'You know what, it's fine. At least you're not in the Scottish Highlands, in a camp that's overrun with demons'. Gives you some perspective, this book.

Joking aside, I absolutely loved it: it entwines the tales of an experiment gone wrong and of a Catholic (Glaswegian) school retreat gone horribly wrong. It delves into some philosophy, and some religion
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Lauren
Dec 29, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy

I wasn’t expecting so much discussion and debate regarding religion and faith so maybe I went into this with the wrong expectations. I’m an atheist so reading this was just a complete waste of my time. I didn’t read anything that I hadn’t thought about before and I didn’t learn anything new from a different perspective. I actually found myself skim reading from about 50% in just to get it over with.

Would not recommend unless you are interested in reading about well known religious debates or rea
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Paul
Sep 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery-crime
Puerile. My first book by this author & i have several others by Brookmyre, so i suppose i will revisit him at some time, though i'm in no hurry.
I couldn't finish this book. The humour reminds me of Irvine Welsh, had Welsh been publishing at age 15.
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Gillian
Dec 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
This book took a while to get going, but once it did it was a great romp.
Jack Deighton
There is a distinct similarity in the set-up of most of Brookmyre’s non-Jack Parlabane or Angelique Di Xavia stories (and even in some of them) wherein a group of more-or-less innocents come to a confined place - usually in a remote part of Scotland - and are brought into confrontation with others intent on criminality or mayhem, who are overcome in the end. Pandaemonium conforms to these parameters precisely, except in one respect.

The innocents here are a cohort of schoolmates on an Outward Bo
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Tim
Aug 16, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the first Christopher Brookmyre novel I've read, and he's as good writer as I was told he is. He spends the first half of the book introducing us to a group a of well written, believable characters, exploring their motivations and relationships. For all their faults and foibles, you can't help starting to care about them and wanting to learn what their future holds. Then in the second half of the book he kills loads of them off, but in an entertaining, fast moving and exciting way, while ...more
Lila
Dec 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I liked the mysteries better, but this is a "Not for Sale in the USA"--so who could resist such suggestions of censorship? This is a pretty strong anti-Catholic science fiction with invading "demons" from "Hell" or so the military believe as they call in the church. The ending has some unsatisfactory loose ends. That school boy's account might be necessary for the ending, but he needs to be saved.
Amber Chaseling
Apr 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Ok, so the first half of this book was a bit of a slog. Lots of science and religion talk. The chapters with the school kids had me wondering where this was going. The second half of the book was all action so be prepared for graphic descriptions of dismemberment. Couple of good twists and an interesting ending. Wouldn't mind reading a sequel.
Sarah
I usually like Brookmyre’s work but I couldn’t even finish this: so much religion and the build up was so tedious. I didn’t mind the school bus stuff but everything else was just really tedious. I have been stubborn in the past about always finishing books but if the events of the last few months have proved anything, it’s that life’s too short not to be enthralled by a book.
Jordan
Nov 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting concept, great teen dialogue/characterisation, not sure if the ending was satisfying or brought the themes introduced in the book to a successful conclusion, unexpectedly (and unnecessarily) gruesome in some bits.
Carofish
Can’t rate this, as I didn’t finish it. Not sure whether I wasn’t in the mood, or it just wasn’t my thing. I generally look forward to read anything that Christopher or Chris Brookmyre has written. Maybe another time?
Ipswichblade
May 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual a superb read from Christopher Brookmyre. Fast moving, great characters, really interesting storyline
margaret holmes-middleton
Brilliant

Yet again a winner . Challenging all our beliefs ...truth is what you see. believe hat you know .no contest or is it
Phil Wildcroft
Oct 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Gets 5 stars for the sheer gall of combining theology, quantum physics and Glasgow teenagers.
Mohamed Sarraj
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
One of the best
Sarak77
Apr 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The most unputdownable book I've read in ages - funny, clever and very violent with a great cast of characters.
Jelena
Jul 01, 2019 rated it liked it
The only one of CB's books that I did not like.
Karen Head
Aug 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not what I was expecting as both his usual crime based fiction but once I got into it a thought provoking book.
LM Gilroyd
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So much fun! Totally unexpected find...roared through it. Alien meets Battle Royale meets Saved by The Bell
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Christopher Brookmyre is a Scottish novelist whose novels mix politics, social comment and action with a strong narrative. He has been referred to as a Tartan Noir author. His debut novel was Quite Ugly One Morning, and subsequent works have included One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night, which he said "was just the sort of book he needed to write before he turned 30", and All Fun and Games unti ...more

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“People didn't really like McDonald's, same as her mum didn't really like Catholicism, but when you were new in town, at least it was a known quantity. So that'll be a Quarter-Pounder and a Communion Wafer meal-deal to go.” 9 likes
“He checks the horns. They're small: not truncated like Hellboy's, but wee, budding, trainer-bra efforts. Definitely not the thing that killed Dazza. In demon terms, he's looking at a midget or a waen. He recalls the ten second rule, and though they only clashed for a moment, it was more than enough. He understands. He has the measure. There is no paralysis by fear. There will be no subconscious surrender to superior mental force and aggression.
In short, he can take this cunt.”
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