Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Demonologist

I am beginning to come around to a strong appreciation for the work of Michael Laimo. I had previously read his first novel, Atmosphere, and enjoyed it very much, although I thought it had a bit of looseness to it. I am even more impressed by another of his older works, The Demonologist.

The Demonologist evokes comparisons to William Peter Blatty’s landmark novel The Exorcist, although an updated, less Catholic-centric version. The protagonist is Bevant Mathers, a man who has overcome early tragedy in the los of his wife and become a late-blooming rock star. What Bev doesn’t realize is his success is the result of a fateful deal with a demon, one made by his wife, which resulted in her death. Now his debt has come due. He is part of a centuries-old plot by a demon to bind twelve other demons to his will and unleash Hell on Earth. Bev is the chosen vessel for one of these demons, a little imp called…Satan. His only chance is to work with Satan to defeat the plot (Satan doesn’t want to become another demon’s lackey), who he obviously can’t trust. The book is gripping and suspenseful.

My usual tiny nitpick: The demon-infested boy in the book is adopted by a Protestant minister, and is burned during communion when the wafer is put in his mouth. Do Protestants even do this? And if they do the ritual, I'm pretty sure they don't believe in transubstantiation, which would mean the worse thing that could happen to the little hellspawn is a sugar rush. (This is obviously a minute quibble.)


John Hornor said...

Maybe he was Episcopalian. We have the whole Eucharist thing, wine and wafers. But we put cheese on it and garnish with a little cilantro.

Ah, the Anglican church. It's Catholic Lite. All of the liturgy and none of the guilt.

Jim Mcleod said...

We don't have that in The Church of Scotland, probably because we are too tight (got that in before you could say it)

KentAllard said...

It just seems unfair you guys don't have to deal with the massive, unending guilt, but your wafers still have magic powers.

As a sidenote, as a kid (growing up Protestant - Baptist), I read Dracula at 7, thus warping me for life. When I got to the scene where Van Helsing scars Mina's forehead by pressing the wafer into it, I assumed it meant Nabisco, and couldn't figure out why vampires didn't like them.