CC Book Club: The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Thanks CC readers for joining in on May’s Book Club pick ‘The Demonologist’ by Andrew Pyper. I was really looking forward to this one as it was getting praise for being similar to ‘The Da Vinci Code’ and ‘The Historian’, two books that I really enjoyed. As always, this review will contain SPOILERS, so only continue if you’ve read the book!
‘The Demonologist’ is the story of David Ullman, Columbia professor who specializes in John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’. David is quite a down character, plagued by melancholy. One day, David gets a strange request from an even stranger woman and sets off the Venice, Italy. He brings his young daughter, Tess, and in Venice he witnesses a disturbing instance of demonic possession. He videotapes it and then decides that they must leave immediately. One catch; Tess ends up falling/jumping off the hotel, her last words being “Find me” and is assumed dead by everyone…except David. He’s sent on a wild chase to find Tess once he arrives home to NYC and must use his knowledge from ‘Paradise Lost’ to rescue her. This takes him all over the states and into Northern Ontario (represent!), finally coming face to face with the demon behind it all: Belial.
Like I said, I was super excited for this one. It had all the makings of an “Alex” book: history, the paranormal and a chase. However, I felt like it fell a little flat. Some moments I was definitely on the edge of my seat, but from about 80% onward (thank you Kindle for that stat), I could have put it down and didn’t really care what happened to Tess. Terrible, I know. But the book got boring! Also, I couldn’t take David Ullman seriously. Maybe it’s because I’m not a parent, but he was just SO broody and downtrodden and I actually can’t believe he even mustered up enough gusto to go on this wild goose chase.
For those of you who joined in, what did you think of the characters? Did you find them deep and complex or shallow? I think you can guess that I found them rather shallow. Pyper did give lots of time to develop David’s story, but I didn’t love it, and I feel like O’Brien was really left to hang. That was disappointing for me. What did you think of the paranormal, demonic theme? I do have to admit that some of the scenes of possession and the like were extremely vivid and did scare me. I’ve actually read that Pyper’s earlier works are scarier and I think I will give them a go in the future!
I can’t wait to see what you thought! And now for our June pick….Inferno by Dan Brown! Sorry, I couldn’t resist! It’s definitely the biggest new release this month! See you in June.