Excerpt from Daemonomania by John Crowley, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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by John Crowley

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  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 464 pages
    May 2008, 464 pages

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She tugged with her finger, and Sam with hers, until the strong link parted.

"There," Rosie said. "That's what you do."

"To get a wish?"


"What did you wish?"

"Well you're not supposed to tell," Rosie said. "It might not come true."

What had her own wish been? There had long been but one wish Rosie could formulate: a wish for something to wish for, something to fill the empty and unfeeling space where (it seemed) her feeling heart had once been. But then last fall she had gained something new to wish for, something to wish for on every evening star, to toot her horn for in every tunnel (hand on the car's roof as her father had taught her). And never to tell.

"I made a wish," Sam said.


Sam slid across the broad smooth leather seat of the car, which was a Tigress, her mother's lawyer Allan Butterman's car. Allan up front alone drove, and Rosie and Sam played in the back, in the richness of the tinted windows and the honeyed music of the rear speakers.

"I'll tell you."

"It might not come true, though."

"It might."

"Well what is it?"

"Not to take medicine anymore."

"Aw Sam."

That was, in one form anyway, exactly Rosie's wish. In August Sam had first experienced something that her doctor thought might be an epileptic seizure, though for a month she'd had no more. Then, just past midnight on the autumn equinox--a night of wild wind--Sam had her second seizure, a worse one than the first, taking hold of her small body and all its contents for nearly a minute, and no doubt about it then. And next day in the splendor of the blue morning, amid a pageant of fast-moving white cloud and the trees still softly gesturing with their turning leaves, Rosie drove Sam again to the doctor's, and talked long with him; and then went to the drugstore in Blackbury Jambs. So now Sam took a small dose of phenobarbital elixir, three times a day. Too young at barely five to swallow pills. Rosie had the bitter liquid with her, and a little plastic syringe without a needle to draw it up with and squirt it into Sam's mouth, after a battle, always a battle.

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Excerpted from Daemonomania by John Crowley Copyright© 2000 by John Crowley. Excerpted by permission of Bantam, a division of Random House, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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