MLA Gold Award Site

Summary and book reviews of Daemonomania by John Crowley

Daemonomania

by John Crowley

Daemonomania
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Aug 2000, 464 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2008, 464 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Book Summary

Crowley draws us into a cosmic tug-of-war between familiarity and strangeness. Dæmonomania is a journey into the very mystery of existence: what is, what went before, and what could break through at any moment in our lives.

For the people in this novel, the concerns of everyday life--children and love affairs, work and friendship--are beginning to transmute into the extraordinary and to reveal the forces, dark and light, that truly govern their lives.

So it is for Pierce Moffett, would-be historian and author, who has moved from New York to the Faraway Hills, where he seems to discover--or rediscover--a path into magic, past and present. And so it is for Rosie Rasmussen, a single mother grappling with her mysterious uncle's legacy and her young daughter Samantha's inexplicable seizures. For Pierce's lover Rose Ryder, whose life is lived half in dream, another path unfolds: she's drawn into a cult that promises to exorcise her demons.

A great cycle of time is ending, as it did once before, in the bygone days of witchcraft and wars of religion. The lives of Renaissance wizard John Dee and rogue philosopher Giordano Bruno, who was burned at the stake, haunt the present: their stories, true and false, are being reenacted in the peaceful Faraway Hills and may hold the key to the future. It is the dark of the year, between Halloween and the winter solstice, and the gateway is open between the worlds of the living and the dead. Pierce and Rosie, Samantha and Rose Ryder, and their enemies and allies--who have powers hidden until now--must take sides in an age-old war that is approaching the final battle.

Or is it? In a John Crowley novel, nothing is as it seems. Crowley draws us into a cosmic tug-of-war between familiarity and strangeness, couples us with characters much like ourselves, and then works his own potent magic on the proceedings. Dæmonomania is a journey into the very mystery of existence: what is, what went before, and what could break through at any moment in our lives.

When the world ends, it ends somewhat differently for each soul then alive to see it; the end doesn't come all at once but passes and repasses over the world like the shivers that pass over a horse's skin. The coming of the end might at first lift and shake just one county, one neighborhood, and not the others around it; might feelably ripple beneath the feet of these churchgoers and not of these taverngoers down the street, shatter only the peace of this street, this family, this child of this family who at that moment lifts her eyes from the Sunday comics and knows for certain that nothing will ever be the same again.

But though the world ends sooner for some than for others, each one who passes through it--or through whom it passes--will be able to look back and know that he has moved from the old world to the new, where willy-nilly he will die: will know it though all around him his neighbors are still living in the old world, amid its old comforts and fears. And that ...

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Reviews

Media Reviews
The New York Times Book Review

A major new novel from an author, whose writing is a dizzying experience, achieved with unerring, security of technique.

Library Journal

This third literary fantasy in Crowley's Aegypt series continues his trademark convoluted blend of past and present. The scenes in the novel move between the lives of historical figures such as philosopher/magician John Dee and Giordano Bruno and that of contemporary single mother Rosie Rasmussen, her daughter Sam, and the people surrounding her. Past, present, and people become intertwined in the age-old conflict between magic and Christianity, and everyday occurrences become somehow extraordinary. Crowley is at his best when illuminating the enchantment present in day-to-day life, yet in places he tends to allow his own cleverness to interfere with the stories of his characters.

Publishers Weekly

Combining brilliant storytelling with mind-catching philosophical musings, Crowley's latest novel pushes fantasy fiction toward its most thrilling, intelligent heights.

Reader Reviews
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Readalikes

Readalikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Daemonomania, try these:

  • The Traveler jacket

    The Traveler

    by John Twelve Hawks

    Published 2006

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    The Traveler explores a parallel world that exists alongside our own. A world that exists in the shadows of our own. A conflict we will never see. One woman stands between those determined to control history and those who will risk their lives for freedom.

  • Cloud Atlas jacket

    Cloud Atlas

    by David Mitchell

    Published 2004

    More about this book

    Read Reviews

    A brilliantly original fiction that reveals how disparate people connect, how their fates intertwine, and how their souls drift across time like clouds across the sky.

Non-members are limited to two results. Become a member


Search Readalikes again
How we choose readalikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Loney
    The Loney
    by Andrew Hurley
    Landscape can be a writer's best friend. Whether it's the mountains of England's lake...
  • Book Jacket: The Mirror Thief
    The Mirror Thief
    by Martin Seay
    It is easy to see why Martin Seay's debut novel, The Mirror Thief, has been compared to David ...
  • Book Jacket: The Association of Small Bombs
    The Association of Small Bombs
    by Karan Mahajan
    The Association of Small Bombs is a fictional story that revolves around an actual 1996 car bombing ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    The Alaskan Laundry
    by Brendan Jones

    A fresh debut novel about a young woman who moves to Alaska and finds herself through the hard work of fishing.

    Read Member Reviews

Members review books pre-publication. Read their opinions in First Impressions

Win this book!
Win The Children

From NYT bestselling author Ann Leary

The captivating story of an unconventional New England family.

Enter

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
Girl Waits with Gun
by Amy Stewart

An enthralling novel based on the forgotten true adventures of one of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs.

About the book
Join the discussion!
Word Play

Solve this clue:

I I A Greek T M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.