We are proud to announce that BookBrowse has won Platinum in the 2024 Modern Library Awards.

Reviews of Daemonomania by John Crowley

Daemonomania

by John Crowley

Daemonomania by John Crowley X
Daemonomania by John Crowley
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

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

    Paperback:
    May 2008, 464 pages

    Genres

  • 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" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • 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.

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

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.

Reader Reviews

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Read-Alikes

Read-Alikes Full readalike results are for members only

If you liked Daemonomania, try these:

  • The Traveler jacket

    The Traveler

    by John Twelve Hawks

    Published 2006

    About this book

    More by this author

    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

    About this book

    More by this author

    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.

We have 4 read-alikes for Daemonomania, but non-members are limited to two results. To see the complete list of this book's read-alikes, you need to be a member.
More books by John Crowley
Search read-alikes
How we choose read-alikes
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" articles
  • 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 $45 for 12 months or $15 for 3 months.
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Join our inner reading circle, go ad-free and get way more!

Find out more


Top Picks

  • Book Jacket: Wild and Distant Seas
    Wild and Distant Seas
    by Tara Karr Roberts
    Tara Karr Roberts is a newspaper columnist who also teaches English and journalism. Wild and Distant...
  • Book Jacket: The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years
    The Djinn Waits a Hundred Years
    by Shubnum Khan
    Shubnum Khan's eloquent and moving debut novel opens in 1932, when a djinn that haunts a house by ...
  • Book Jacket: Transient and Strange
    Transient and Strange
    by Nell Greenfieldboyce
    Throughout her powerful essay collection, Transient and Strange, science reporter Nell ...
  • Book Jacket: Prophet Song
    Prophet Song
    by Paul Lynch
    Paul Lynch's 2023 Booker Prize–winning Prophet Song is a speedboat of a novel that hurtles...

BookBrowse Book Club

Book Jacket
Mockingbird Summer
by Lynda Rutledge
A powerful and emotional coming-of-age novel set in the 1960s by the bestselling author of West with Giraffes.

Members Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    The Adversary
    by Michael Crummey

    An enthralling novel about a small town struggling to survive, and a bitter vendetta between two rivals.

  • Book Jacket

    Strong Passions
    by Barbara Weisberg

    Shocking revelations of a wife's adultery in 19th New York explode in an incendiary trial exposing the upper-crust and its secrets.

Win This Book
Win The Cleaner

The Cleaner
by Brandi Wells

Rarely has cubicle culture been depicted in such griminess or with such glee."
PW (starred review)

Enter

Wordplay

Solve this clue:

I Wouldn't T H W A T-F P

and be entered to win..

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends the best in contemporary fiction and nonfiction—books that not only engage and entertain but also deepen our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.