The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper – Book Review

The Demonologist by Andrew Pyper
Published by Simon & Schuster

Most of Professor David Ullman’s life has been dedicated to the story of Milton’s Paradise Lost. He central thesis is that Satan is the true hero of the work, along with demons. Of course he doesn’t believe in the veracity of demonology, this is the 21st century and he doesn’t even believe in God, let alone the Devil. But David’s disbelief is challenged after a strange person he refers to as the Thin Woman comes to his office one afternoon and requests that he come to Venice, Italy, because her employer needs for him to experience a phenomenon. As he and his wife are on the verge of divorce, David travels to Venice the next day with his twelve-year-old daughter, Tess. What happens while the two are in Venice will send David deep into study – and belief – of demonology with deeply personal consequences.

Ah, I loved this. Pyper has a way with words, and in The Demonologist he has created a beautiful and truly disturbing work of literary horror. David is very believable as a distressed father, as well as someone who has been melancholy and generally a little lost his entire life.  I also adored the Milton angle, that is what makes The Demonologist special (plus I’m just a sucker for academics and historians – other than Robert Langdon – tracking down monsters, a la The Historian).

This is a smart, slightly scary book and I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended

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