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Baal  By  cover art

Baal

By: Robert R. McCammon
Narrated by: Ray Porter
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Publisher's Summary

AudioFile Best Voices - Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Audio Theater, 2014

Baal was Robert McCammon's first novel, a debut that would lead to some of the finest popular fiction of our time. Written at the age of 25 and published as a paperback original in 1978, it has been out of print for years. This deluxe new audio edition from Subterranean Press will give McCammon's many fans both newcomers and longtime fans - the opportunity to trace the development of an extraordinarily talented man.

The story begins with a horrific rape on the streets of New York City. Nine months after that violation, a most unusual child is born. His name is Jeffrey Harper Raines, but he quickly assumes his true name - and true purpose - as Baal, a new incarnation of the ancient prince of demons. The narrative recounts his lethal progress through the 20th century, which begins with the destruction of his earthly "family". From there, Jeffrey/Baal moves to a doomed Catholic orphanage, where he unleashes carnage on an unprecedented scale, then out into the wider world, where he embraces his destiny as the Prophet of the Damned, generating a legacy of chaos, violence, and despair.

Baal is very much a young man's story, raw and brimming with emotion. Listen closely and you'll hear the voice of a gifted storyteller struggling to be born. In 1980, the career that would encompass Swan Song, Boy's Life, and The Five still lay waiting several years down the road. This is where it began.

©1978 Robert McCammon (P)2013 Audible Inc.

Critic Reviews

"This chilling horror story…is truly terrifying… Ray Porter deserves kudos for his portrayals of the two main characters… Porter's true accomplishment is giving voice to the demonic Baal, whose voice is something between speech and a growl. This is not a book to listen to in the dark." ( AudioFile)

What listeners say about Baal

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Excellent Story

Robert McCammon was 25 years old when he wrote this novel in 1979 and it is obvious that he was and is tremendously talented. I remember seeing Baal in the bookstore,but I was in college at the time and didn't have time for fiction. The writing is engaging the story moves along at good pace and keeps the reader interested. The sex and violence in the book is more of a punctuation to the story and is not the focus of the work.

At first I thought the writing might be dated, but found that it was some of the best writing I can remember ever reading. I was concerned how date it might be as it was written before the internet and cell phones, which make up so much of our daily lives today, but the writing was so superb that I didn't really notice.

I spent a delightful weekend with this book and it was worth every moment. I would highly recommend this book.

Ray Porter did a great job with narration.

18 people found this helpful

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Two words. Ray Porter

It says I have to write twenty words, but I only need two. I wish I could just say Ray Porter.

10 people found this helpful

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Better than the Exorcist Movie!!!

Old school book Robert McCammon wrote this book in 1978 his first and its great.This book reminds me of Exorcist,Rosemary's Baby and The Omen!!!! Baal should have been named Damien.LOL, Intense from start to finish Baal is a bad dude the Prince of Darkness.If you liked Swan Song like me you must read the book you will love it..

8 people found this helpful

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Almost a prophetic work considering the Middle East today.

Good story, well crafted and obviously well researched. Overall an entertaining yarn with great characters, brought to life by the very talented Ray Porter. Hard to believe that McCammon was only 25 when he wrote this debut novel. I always judge an author and story by the degree of mental imagery it conjures up in my minds eye. In my opinion Robert McCammon is a gifted magician in that he is able to create mind movies. I've read all of his "Matthew Corbett" books, absolutely brilliant! I'll read them again soon, yes they're that good. I hope he writes more of these. He has recently become my favorite author. I would recommend Baal without hesitation.

5 people found this helpful

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It's a first work

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Yes. My first introduction to McCammon was "Stinger" It's kind of fun to go back and see the earlier work

Any additional comments?

Baal was definately a first work. I have read other stories by McCammon, and you can watch his maturation as a storycrafter develop. It's not a bad story, and I'm not sorry I bought it. When It's held up to his later work, though, you can definately see the progression as he improved his craft.

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I love R.R.Mc but….

For his debut it’s a pretty solid book, but this is a pretty wide miss if you’re thinking it’s gonna be something like swan song, the matthew corbett series, or the michael gallatin trilogy. Idk u be the judge

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Great performance, the stories OK

I have recently discovered the author, too much fanfare I decided to give them a try. He’s really hit or miss for me but it’s not bad. The narrator on the story, fantastic job, great work with all the voices in inflections.

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Best narrator ever

I read it in the 70s and enjoyed it. Listening to Ray Porter was wonderful! He made it even better! Now I'll be listening to more books narrated by him.

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Really atmospheric - what a ride!

This is scary, yet mezmerizing. The depravity of Satan and his demons are well represented in this " hero's journey ' Wow, what forceful fiction. What exceptional gifted characterisation for a young author. I would love to read more of this kind of writing. Ray Porter as always is soooo good. Who could ever do the voices this well? Thanks Audible! What great production, but not for those who are too genteel regarding language. Baals foul utterences stripped the paint off my walls!
What ferocity.
A bit of a cliffhanger. Is there a sequel?

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Baal is Bad!

I am a huge Robert McCammon fan, that said, Baal is not a good book.

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  • pinkypants
  • 11-23-18

passable

excellent narration from ray porter. story was forgettable and a little all over the place.

2 people found this helpful

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  • sarahmoose2000
  • 04-17-15

Damien

A Damien-style imp is born as the result of a rape. His childhood continues with him using others to achieve much evil doing. Got lost a bit towards the end as the story jumped from desert to ice plains.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Toadjuggler
  • 03-22-22

Boring and poorly plotted

Headline says it all. A fairly bog-standard 70s occult thriller but with really poor plot planning. Loads of unnecessary character development, erratic pacing, weak main characters. Just, you know, a boring story told by a mediocre writer.

Very close to just giving up and I've only an hour left to go, I just don't care what happens any more.

Mr Porter does his usual excellent job but even he can't polish a t-rd.

EDIT: I did manage to drag through the last hour. An hour I'll never get back. I will not be revisiting this writer.

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  • Paul M
  • 10-06-21

A short tale of terror that's as much a thriller a

"A woman is ravished...
and to her a child is born...
unleashing an unimaginable evil upon the world!"

That pretty much sums up the storyline to this one. Dipping into demonic cults and steeped in Mythology this book is perfectly written to match its subject matter.

I'm surprised to see that this was McCammons first novel as he writes with confidence. It's not hard to see why he went on to have such a great career as a horror author.

4 stars for this short and not even slightly sweet novel.