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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 members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Clydene
  • San Diego, California
  • 12-16-13

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.

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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  • Hunter
  • Huntsville, AL, United States
  • 12-17-13

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..

5 of 5 people found this review 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.

2 of 2 people found this review 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.

1 of 1 people found this review 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.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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good luck

I enjoyed this story. the imagination of Mr McCammon is amazing. good read good message

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One of the best

This book was not at all what i was expecting picked this title from lingering in my you might like list , its got a great story and the reader did a bang up job as well

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What can you say - early Robert McCammon

What can you say - early Robert McCammon. I'm sure whatever I write has already been said about this book. It is fascinating to see his imagery being developed and the learning process of creating full dimensional characters - almost like going back in time. The story is what you would expect form a master at the early stages of writing. Love the narration!!!

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good

its good just...you should know its his first if you read his past work its a great story but i see where he got the idea of 'Swan Song' its in the writing tone and the characters are similar in personalities as well. good. recommend why not if you like a book you have to put time in it and plus its audible;) east of eden and all quiet on the western front Highly Recommend.

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Great story!

I do wish it were a bit longer because I fell in love with the story....

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • pinkypants
  • 11-23-18

passable

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

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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.