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Publisher's Summary

In a future uncomfortably close to the present day, the apocalypse has surpassed all expectations. Hideous demons roam the streets in an orgy of terror, drawing pleasure from torturing humans as sadistically as possible. Ira, a young San Francisco artist, becomes involved with a strange group of scientists and philosophers desperately trying to end the bloody siege. But the most shocking revelation is yet to come.
©2002 John Shirley (P)2002 Fantastic Audio

Critic Reviews

"Exciting, vigorously original¿" (Publishers Weekly)
"The narrator delivers his tale of a demonic invasion of our world with masterful power. Moving at a breathless pace, he evokes all the terror of that event..." (Booklist)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3 out of 5 stars
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    16
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    23
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    15
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    15

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
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    8
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    11
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    7
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    1
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Story

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Sort by:
  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Laurie
  • MERRIMACK, NH, USA
  • 06-28-04

Tedious and not what I expected

Ira, an artist, has just had his world ripped apart. Demons have invaded and are gleefully ripping humans to shreds one by one.

I listened to this as an Audible downloand and, apparently, this book is two books in one. Book 1 tells Ira's story and his battle with the Demons. This story began with a rip-roaring start but petered out somewhere mid-way when Ira, the woman he's in love with and a group of men who belong to a secret society attempt to figure out how to defeat the demons and reclaim their world. I lost interest midway as the story got bogged down in a lot of metaphysical talk and seemed to skip around too much for my liking. It also wasn't as "horrific" as I'd anticipated considering the plot. The ideas are all there (and are indeed frightening) but the telling of the story just didn't do it for me.

Unfortunately, Book 2 wasn't any better of a read for me. It takes place some nine years later and this time a group of greedy, power hungry folks foolishly thinking they're gods bring the demons back to life but not before the book goes into horrifying details about the evils these people are doing the environment. Ewww, for me it was a thoroughly unpleasant (and often boring) story. Not helping matters out any is the overblown reading by one of the male narrators who gets so worked up and gasps for breath so many times during his reading I thought he was surely going to expire from the effort.

I much preferred John Shirley's book "New Noir" over this one.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Waste of time

The description of the book does not reflect well in the story. It reads like an abridged version of a poorly told story.

17 of 21 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jon Weimer
  • KANSAS CITY, MO, United States
  • 08-30-12

The Other Reviews Are Sour Grapes

Here's the thing. It should be obvious from the other reviews that the reviewers not only are not objective but apparently have an ax to grind. Specifically, many of them have objected to what they see as anti-capitalism in much the same way as a certain type of reader finds anti-capitalism themes in The Lorax and The Muppet Movie. If you're one of those people (i.e., a slightly derranged, barely literate, avid Fox News viewer), you too are going to despise this book. However, for the rest of us, the book has an extremly unique voice in a world overcrowded with cookie cutter books and movies.

Is the book perfect? No. The reader was profoundly mundane, which I think marred the book a bit for me. But the story itself is not so much anti-capitalism as a cautionary tale about the quest for wealth and immortality without the consideration of the consequences. It is scary? Not at all. If you want scary that is the same only different, look to Dean Koontz. If you want a book that is lyrically visual, this is an allegory for our time, that is both at times funny and at times tragic, then this book is for you. I enjoyed it and believe that you will too.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Michael
  • Winnetka, IL, USA
  • 05-31-04

Pompous and clichid

This book is a disappointment. The prose is so overwrought that I found myself giggling. The characters are unbelievable and the demons sound like a cross between sci-fi creatures and drag queens. It doesn't belong to 'Horror' genre in any way.

8 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

I simply could not finish it

This book sounded pretty good from the blurb, but when I started to listen to it I kept hoping for the good parts to come around. If they did, I never heard them. This book is horrible and nearly put me to sleep while driving. I tried twice to listen to it before I gave up.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Just not very good.

I was kind of hoping that this book would be a bit of dark fluffy fun, but it was just way too trite for me to get into. I mean c'mon people, this story deserves a made for tv movie on the sci-fi channel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great!!!!

Love this book! Read it 3 times and listen to it a few times as well great sci do book

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good story - fabulous reading


I don't usually buy books read by the author but made an exception because Harlan Ellison was one of the readers.

Demons has the feel of old fashioned science fiction story and the narration is a scream. I enjoyed it thoroughly.

One of the other reviews said that it was too political -- I didn't see this at all. I'd recommend this book.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • rene
  • Henrietta, Tx, United States
  • 01-08-14

This is a good story, but is quite elaborate

What did you love best about Demons?

would make a better movie, the story is so elaborate,it's a difficult listen, a very interesting plot.

What did you like best about this story?

would make a better movie, the story is so elaborate,it's a difficult listen,a very interesting plot.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

the story is so elaborate,it's a difficult listen,a very interesting plot.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

the story is so elaborate,it's a difficult listen,a very interesting plot.

Any additional comments?

i got thru the story it is very good. the reading is tedious. very good story, a difficult listen.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Too vague.

I like a story that leaves you wondering about right and wrong, good and evil, etc. However, this one left too many questions about what was going on, and the two books seemed artificially joined after the fact.

The demons, their background, philosophies, etc., could and should have been explained in further detail. That would have been fascinating enough to keep me excited.

The Deus Ex Machina is also pretty heavy handed in both books, and kind of cliche'd as well.

Over all, it wasn't BAD per se', but just kind of disappointing.

The narration was quite good; I didn't find an inappropriate moment.

Anyway, my 2 cents worth.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Helen
  • 08-25-12

Couldn't even finish it

I've never read anything before by John Shirley but I thought this sounded good, (I like horror/ghost stories) but I really didnt like this one, I'm not sure if it was because of the narrating or because of the story.... Listen to a bit of it before you buy. I may give it another go when I have nothing else to do....

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Steve
  • 12-02-09

Such a disappoinment

I had big hopes for this book, it sounded very interesting, and for a large part it is... however it feels a bit bodged together, inconsistent, and actually too short

The beginning of the audio file, there is a message saying how this is actually two books written a few years apart, that's no big deal... however it *really* shows, the first one ends too quickly and I thought the second one went off in very different directions for the most part, and didn't have room to tie things up well enough

I came up with an analogy that I am quite proud of :) Think of the movie Alien, and the follow up Aliens; both good movies, both very different but following on, and made years apart... now imagine instead of 4+ hours total runtime, the movie makers had tried to fit both movies into 2 hours, that's what Demons is like

If the author ever 'rebooted' the book like hollywood does I would give it another go, I didn't hate it

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little spoilers
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I also thought it was a bit too wishy-washy-spirtitualism in some crucial plot elements. Though maybe that we just me.

And did I miss the tanks? Did they really give up trying to kill the demons after a swat team with small arms didn't have an effect??