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Daemonomania Hardcover – Sep 2000

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books (Sept. 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553100041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553100044
  • Product Dimensions: 24.4 x 16.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,138,063 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Jason Mills VINE VOICE on 23 Oct. 2000
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The richest, subtlest and most poignant volume so far in this unique series. ("Aegypt" and "Love And Sleep" preceded it.) Pierce Moffett's affair with Rose Ryder takes him into dangerous territory, sexually and emotionally, whilst her own infatuation with Mike Mucho's off-Christian charismatic cult draws her away from him. Rosie Rasmussen's little girl may be ill, may be an angel, who knows? John Dee's adventures with alchemy and the scrying glass take him ever further from his god (that's one reading).
Crowley is able to instil terrible urgency into the most mundane and quiet events. I was often breathless with anxiety for these characters, and constantly on the edge of my seat. Crowley isn't for everybody, but if you aren't of the faction that would label him flowery, obscure or pretentious, get your wallet out and your intellect in gear: you owe it to yourself. Why, towards the end there's even a cameo by -
Find out for yourself.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Nicholas Casley TOP 500 REVIEWER on 25 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"All the angels are fallen angels ... It is in this that they are angels."

Thus declares the familiar spirit with whom Dr John Dee converses. This view contrasts with that of Dee's contemporary, Jean Bodin, who in his tract `Daemonomania' "asserted that `witches by the thousands are everywhere, multiplying upon the earth even as worms in a garden.'" Who the witches - or angels - are in this volume is as ambiguous, to this reader, as the moral of the tale. Or rather, the moral of the tales, for one realises by now that this Aegypt cycle is not a straightforward teleological exercise, but instead witnesses the development of Crowley's characters through each house of the zodiac. For example, in the ninth house we learn that Beau Brachman is a man of many previous lives, and also of his being a man with a precious and moving mission: "his vocation had revealed itself to him ... that [since] once he had failed often enough himself he would then spend years finding and caring for others who had failed: offer himself for them to love." A fallen angel angel?

Part three of Crowley's Aegypt cycle (which has nothing to do with Egypt) moves us through the zodiac's seventh, eighth, and ninth houses, namely those respectively (we are told in the preface) of marriage, the dead, and religious observance. It is the time of afternoon, of autumn, of the watery element: the humour is supposed to be melancholy, the wind from the west. All well and good, but by now this reader was starting to become weary with the vicissitudes of the characters, with the plodding and padding of the text, with little return for time spent and energy expended. Unless I've missed something.
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4 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 24 April 2001
Format: Hardcover
Pierce is still a part of the reader looking for the essence, albeit in this third part, his character has been defined: has growth into a sort of being which we readers feel confidence.
Unlike Aegypt and Love&Sleep, the end of this circle drawn by Crowley put us onto the line of knoweledge Bruno walked through during all his life: that's the edge of the real and the unreal, the gap our soul has to fill up with magic sense : with Love.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 27 reviews
20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Powerful addition to AEgypt series 14 Aug. 2000
By Brian Drayton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Daemonomania was worth the wait. I have enough faith in Crowley's craftmanship to believe that the multiple threads initiated in Aegypt and sustained through Love and Sleep and the present book will be resolved effectively in the final novel (if we all live so long, he to write, I to read it). The pacing of the plot and character development are paradoxical -- leisurely, and as always with Crowley revealed in minute details of language and juxtaposition, yet the total effect of these tiny strokes is a tremendous force of urgency. I reread the previous two novels just before reading this one (it has after all been some years since Love and Sleep), and the sense of flow was quite powerful. The lapidary writing, and the wonderful Crowley dialogue provide a lot of pleasure to the reader who loves great prose. Few resolutions are provided, and I suppose that this novel, of the three so far, will be least effective as a stand-alone, but then I think that Crowley has clearly commited himself to the tetralogy project, and the extended plotting that this implies. The construction of a multi-volume work can take various forms. In the mode used by Robertson Davies and Joyce Cary, members of the core cast of characters take turns as protagonist or supporting actor(s). In the approach taken by Crowley ( as with, for example, Tolkien and Tolstoy), there is one long story -- there is internal structure, to be sure, and demarcations and episodes -- but all the elements weave a complete fabric. I have to note that over the course of these novels, I have found myself changing my attitudes about almost all the characters at one time or another, as the narrative reveals more of them, in their concerns and actions, and in relationship to the other players in the drama. I don't know if Crowley planned this kaleidescopic effect, or if it's an epiphenomenon, but either way this is a remarkable work of art.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Another neglected Crowley masterwork 31 Aug. 2000
By pango - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The fact that Crowley's latest book has had zero impact on the general culture is a shame. In my local store there are two copies of the book for sale, both anonymously shelved into the SF ghetto. Many stores in New York carry no copies. THere have been maybe four reviews nationwide, the most prominent being in the Washington Post. It's as though it doesn't exist.
Perhaps the reception of this book will one day be equated with how Melville or Faulkner's novels floundered in the marketplace. Perhaps in 2075 or so, scholars and readers will be wholly bewildered. There was a new Crowley book out in 2000 -- and no one cared? It got remaindered within four months??? People thought Dave Eggers was the future of literature??
But enough conjecture. I still have hope that the common reader will discover this work and treasure it. And yes, Bantam has made a botch of the series. Having the first two volumes out of print makes a full comprehension of Daemonomania daunting for the newcomer.
Where Aegypt was vernal in all senses of the word -- a gleeful, open, exuberant work -- Daemonomania is a dimmuendo. There's a loss of heat, of possibilities. Lives and stories are wound down. There are ghosts everywhere, stuck at doors, wandering old houses. It's not a fun book, yes, and it may be the one I least return to of the (proposed) four, but it's perhaps the most essential of the quartet.
And the writing. Crowley is a prose genius: he makes the simple actions of a character determining whether to put diesel or regular fuel into his car a joy of writing. Its best scenes -- the Christmas masque, Dee and Bruno in Prague -- simply fantastic writing and even its minor characters, from Mal Cichy to Val the astrologer, are imbued with life.
A wonderful book.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
Reinvigorates the Series 8 Aug. 2000
By Harold Billings - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
With Daemonomania, Crowley has added the third and strongestnovel in the Aegypt series since the first volume. The Houses of the Zodiac through which this tale is carried are embdodied in the increasing melancholy and coldness that afflicts Pierce Moffett, his lover Rose Ryder who assumes a more specifically erotic role than anything yet written by Crowley, and Rosie and her daughter Samantha, whose seizures not only command the novel but command the reader's care. Characters dominate, as a Christian cult challenges Pierce's circle of friends and provides the most action in the story. The strongest narrative drive is provided in Crowley's recreation of the fall of John Dee and the burning of Bruno. But Dee's moleskin-colored globe is now in Sam's possession. Did she exist in that earlier age? The reader can hope that the next three Houses will direct Pierce and his friends towards another Spring in the final novel to come. Multi-layered, a novel that demands immediate re-reading, gorgeously languaged, this is Crowley again at his best.
17 of 19 people found the following review helpful
Stylistic, philosophic, entertaining, highly recommended. 22 Nov. 2000
By Midwest Book Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
John Crowley's newest book, Daemonomania is the third of a projected four-book cycle, the first two of which, Aegypt and Love and Sleep, aroused critical attention in their own right. This third work is somewhat dependent on the other two, as it continues the stories of Pierce Moffet, Rose Ryder, his lover, Rosie Rasmussen and her daughter and ex-husband. The intertwined stories of people who have retreated from modern civilization to a small community in the Catskills is, however, only part of Crowley's narrative. Their lives, littered with all the detritus of modern life, including childhood trauma, adult regrets, lost opportunities, family illnesses, neuroses and religions cults, make entertaining, affecting, and sometimes tragic reading. And Crowley is stylistically interesting, in fact, comparable, as I have done on occasion, to Umberto Eco, despite the fact that their ironies lie in different directions. In fact, Crowley's three titles to date compare in many useful ways to Eco's Foucault's Pendulum. This comparison is apt from a contentual perspective because they both use a mysterious book to connect the modern world to the late 16th and early 17th centuries in Austria, Britain and Italy, or more specifically, to the Rosicrucians and the early formulations of science as alchemy. Crowley's technique is to juxtapose narratives from the lives of well-known alchemists such s Giordano Bruno and John Dee, with those of his anti-hero Pierce, and the people whose lives surround his. Additionally, he uses emblems such as the book mentioned above, the unfinished work of Rosie Rasmussen's uncle's associate, Fellowes Kraft, and a mysteriously recovered cream-colored crystal to make the links seem more than literary. Pierce finds Fellowes Kraft's manuscript at a time when he is considering writing a similar story. Rosie's young daughter, Sam, is drawn to the crystal which seemed to have summoned demons for John Dee in the late 16th century Oxford workshops he shared with an Irishman, Kelly. We are left to decipher the actual connections between Sam and John Dee, Pierce and the Rosicrucians, and their little Catskills community and Oxford of the past. Crowley leads us to look for the fantastic in everyday life as if it was a hunger that centuries could not satisfy. Along the way, he provides a number of fascinating stories of people surviving the political, social and economic changes of the past and present and hints that we would do well to look to the epistemological changes of John Dee's era in an attempt to understand our own. Thus it is both the stylistic and philosophic that will draw readers to this book and to anticipate the production of the fourth, still to come.
Jan Bogstad, Reviewer
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Autumn's Tale 5 Feb. 2002
By schapmock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Daemonomania, third installment in the eventual quartet begun in Aegypt and continued in Love and Sleep, covers the autumn of the numinous 1979 John Crowley has been so carefully chronicling since 1985 or so. It's nearly Halloween in Faraway Hills, and we pick up with Pierce Moffat & company, John Dee & Giordano Bruno included, right where we left them.
Daemonomania is very much of a piece with its equally allusive and mysterious predecessors. It certainly contains all the strengths and weaknesses of the previous books -- if you loved them, you will love this; if you exited Love & Sleep angry about the lack of narrative progress, well, matters have not greatly improved.
But these books are almost a genre to themselves; dense, mythic, intricately detailed and stunningly beautiful, steeped in occult learning and emotional wisdom. Proceeding synchronistically rather than literally to make emotional sense of magic (in every sense of the word), they seem me among the most ambitious and rewarding novels of the past two decades.
Reviews below draw comparisons to Eco's Foucalt's Pendulum, but I think the more apt parallel is to a novel I often think my favorite -- Mark Helprin's Winter's Tale. Like Winter's Tale, Crowley's opus defiantly rejects a reasonable "what just happened?/where is this going?" query at every turn, yet renders the question moot with gorgeous, transcendent writing and abundant good humor. Though Crowley's tone is as adult and intellectual as Helprin's is child-like and matter of fact, the books share an exceedingly rare literary magic.
Don't worry so much about the plot -- just read.
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