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The Demonata (4) - Bec: Complete & Unabridged Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged


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Product details

  • Audio CD: 5 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; Unabridged edition (Reissue) edition (4 Jun. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007229798
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007229796
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 2.5 x 16.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (54 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,182,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Darren Shan's real name is Darren O'Shaughnessy (pronounced O-Shock-Nessy, though it can also be pronounced O-Shawn-Essy). Although he is Irish, he was born on July 2, 1972, in St. Thomas' Hospital, London -- directly across the river from the Houses of Parliament in Westminster, which may explain his fascination with evil bloodsuckers! He lived in South East London, near the Elephant & Castle. He started school at the early age of three (he was such a wild child, no pre-school facility would have him!), in English Martyrs. At the age of six, he moved to Limerick in Ireland, with his parents and younger brother, and has lived there ever since.

Shan went to primary school in Askeaton, where his mother was a teacher, then to secondary school in Copsewood College in Pallaskenry. Later, he went back to London to study Sociology and English at Roehampton University. He then worked for a cable television company in Limerick for a couple of years, before setting up as a full-time writer at the age of 23.

Although Shan always wanted to be a writer, it was only in his teenage years that he began writing in his spare time for fun (before that, he only wrote stories if they were for homework). He bought his first typewriter when he was 14, and never looked back, knocking out loads of short stories and comic scripts, and making false starts on several books, which he never completed. He enjoyed his first taste of literary success at age 15, as a runner-up in a television script-writing competition for RTE in Ireland, with a dark comedy script titled A Day in the Morgue (he was morbid even then!).

Shan was 17 when he finished his first novel. Although it was never published, he relished the writing experience, and found himself focusing more on novels in the coming years, leaving behind the short-story format. For the next several years, sandwiched between university and work, he wrote an average of one book a year, experimenting with different ideas, genres, lengths and styles. When he started writing full-time, his output shot up to 5 to 6 books per year! But that has dropped back to 2 to 3 recently, due to all the travelling around he's been doing to promote sales of his books.

All of these early books were adult-oriented. Although Shan quite liked the idea of writing a children's book one day, he considered himself an adult writer first and foremost. In fact, Shan's initial breakthrough was with an adult book, in 1999, titled Ayuamarca (since re-released in the UK as Procession Of The Dead, and coming to the USA in 2010).

In January 2000, his first children's book, Cirque du Freak, which he'd written as a fun side-project, was published. The first book in a series titled The Saga of Darren Shan (or Cirque du Freak, as it's known in America), it attracted rave reviews and an ever-growing army of fans hungry to learn more about vampires which were quite unlike any that anyone had ever seen before!

Shan loved writing for children so much, that for the next several years he focused exclusively on his books for younger readers. First, he wrote a total of 12 books about vampires. He quickly followed up his vampiric saga with The Demonata, a series about demons. Running to ten books in total, The Demonata cemented Shan's place in the UK as the Master Of Children's Horror, and saw him score his first UK #1 bestseller. He also wrote a one-off short book, called Koyasan, for Wold Book Day in the UK.

There was a very successful manga adaptation of Shan's vampire series, drawn by the Japanese artist, Takahiro Arai. It was originally serialized in Japan, but collected volumes are now on sale in the USA, UK and other countries.

In addition to writing for children, Shan has now returned to his first love and is once again writing for adults as well. He has had two adult books published in the UK, Procession Of The Dead and Hell's Horizon. They have been released in a number of other countries too, and are due to hit the USA in 2010. A third, City of the Snakes, goes on sale in the UK in March 2010. His first adult books were released under the name of D B Shan, but they are being reprinted under the name of Darren Shan in March 2010, and City of the Snakes will be released under the Darren Shan name.

By the start of 2010, Shan's books were on sale in every continent, in 39 countries, in 31 languages, and have been children's bestsellers in America, Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and other countries. The books have topped adult bestseller charts in Hungary, Japan and Taiwan. In total, Shan's books have sold close to 15 million copies worldwide!!!!

The movie rights to Cirque Du Freak were bought by Universal, and the first movie (which combines elements from the first three books in the series) was released on October 23rd, 2009, starring newcomer Chris Massoglia as Darren Shan, along with a wide array of established stars such as Josh Hutcherson, John C Reilly, Salma Hayek, Willem Defoe and Ken Watanabe. The movie was called Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire's Assistant. It was released on DVD and Blu-Ray in February 2010.

A big film buff, with a collection of more than four thousand movies at home, Shan also reads lots of comics and books, and likes to study and collect original artwork, especially comic art and impressionist and post-impressionist art. He has recently started adding sculptures to his collection, making use of the large, empty field outside his back door. Other interests include long walks, watching football (he's a Tottenham Hotspur and Ireland fan), listening to pop and rock music, theatre, worldwide travel, sampling the delights of both gourmet cuisine and finger-licking junk food, and dreaming up new ways to terrify his readers!!!

Shan spends most of his time in Limerick, Ireland, with his girlfriend Bas. He has no pets, but a neighbourhood dog called Goldie joins him on his walks most days. He also feeds a variety of wild birds, and spots the occasional hare and pheasant strolling through his back yard. In addition to his main home in Ireland, Shan has an apartment in London, to which he escapes for a burst of high-speed living every so often, when he feels the need to get his juices flowing!! Shan rarely writes when in London or on the road, preferring to tie himself to his computer when at home in Limerick, where he can work away solidly without any distractions in the peace and quiet of the Irish countryside.

Product Description

Review

Praise for Lord Loss:

“Utterly unputdownable” The Times

“The master of children’s horror at his blood-curdling best.” Publishing News

Praise for Darren Shan:

Lord of the Shadows
'Stephen King for kids … Darren Shan has brought his own brand of vampire mythology into the heads and hearts of thousands of children with his vivid and compelling series The Saga of Darren Shan, about one boy's journey from ordinary lad to vampire prince. Once they're hooked, kids tend to rip into the flesh of these books, quickly draining them of their life blood. The covers, with images of ghouls, creeping hands and dripping fangs are terrifying alone. ' Metro Life, Evening Standard

Cirque Du Freak
“…fast-paced and compelling book which leaves the reader hungry for more.”
JK Rowling

"I read Cirque Du Freak last week. I loved it. I love the way you manage to juggle the funny with the unpleasant, the affection with the hurt. It's great story-telling."
Roddy Doyle.

From the Back Cover

I'm almost through the door when something breathes behind me, "Becccccc ..." I turn. I can't see anything but I know I'm not alone. I want to call for help but I can't. Then, in a blur, claws dart out of the darkness ... a twisted face ... fiery eyes ... rows of teeth ... the demon grabs me!

As a baby, Bec fought for her life. As a trainee Priestess, she fights to fit into a tribe that needs her skills but fears her powers. And when the demons come, the fight becomes a war.

Bec's magic is weak and untrained, until she meets the druid Drust. Under his leadership, Bec and a small band of warriors emabark on a long journey through hostile lands to confront the Demonata at their source. But the final conflict demands a sacrifice too horrific to contemplate ... --This text refers to the Paperback edition.


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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Mr. M. P. Darby on 4 Dec. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Im sorry, but there is no way that anyone can say this book lacks a compelong story. Ok maybe not completly original, all of the other three share roughly the same story, with the main difference being the characters, but as others say, I found the book utterly unputdownable. I believe Darren Shan to be the best modern day writter and this book made me realise this even more.

I think it is very clever the way he writes in celtic times, using words people of that time would have said, for example: Tuath meaning country. There is a word guide in the back of the book that states the meaning of the strange words.

THIS BOOK IS DEFINATLEY NOT BORING I coulndt put it down.

I also thought that the story had a good ending, although I can see what others mean when they say that it was weak.

It is worth buying, so too are the other three of his series,

Lord loss

Demon theif

Slawter

I would advise buying the other three before reading this, as the fourth book explains mysteries from the other three books.

His acclaimed vampire series is also very good
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. P. Palmer on 13 Nov. 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must buy! Very gripping and a great story. THe book is set in the past where tribes fought for they're lives. Bec goes on an adventure to find a young boy they call "Run fast"'s tribe. they later find out that the only people left of his tribe is the magical druid drust. they embark on a quest to shut down the demonatas source and come along lots of events on the way. Brillaint book! Before you buy this i suggest getting the first three books as these are equall as good:

1: Lord Loss

2: Demon Thief

3: Slawter

4: Bec
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Ross on 27 Oct. 2006
Format: Hardcover
Darren Shan is one of those few authors who I cannot put down. I rank him up there with Eoin Colfer, JK Rowling, Robert Muchamore and Anthony Horowitz in my book collection. If you haven't read this series, you're missing out on some great reading and this book is the best in this series yet. Without trying to give too much away, WHAT A SHOCKER of a finish. A word of warning.....if you buy this series of books and especially this book -BEC- you will most probably have to buy the books that follow!!
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By dunc on 13 Nov. 2006
Format: Hardcover
I have read all darren shan books and was so eager to read this. When i got it it was so good i read it 24 7. Its all you exspect a darren shan book to be, scary, exciting and very dark. Lord loss is back to his best in this thrilling adventure that you MUST READ
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Gotta Love Freddie! on 22 Jan. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've been reading Darren Shan for years now, and I've kept up to date with all his books. For me, this series is nowhere near as good as his last series, but it's still a compelling and unique enough read. I didn't particularly like Slawter - well, I did, but I thought it was the worst of the series - so I was pleased to find that I enjoyed Bec. Nevertheless, I'm still waiting for the magic of his last series to appear, because I'm a little unimpressed with the Demonata so far. It's good, and I can't deny that Shan is a capable writer who knows his genre well, but I'm finding the individual books a little same-y.

Bec introduces us to a new set of characters and I'm glad about that, because that made it more interesting than Slawter. What I also enjoy are the small ways that Shan connects all the books, and it was nice to see the beginning of the curse on the Grady family. I think Demon Thief is my favourite so far - I can't wait to see more of Kernel - but Bec is more on a level with the first book than Slawter. I think Shan just needs to shake things up a little because Slawter especially felt like it had no impact on the series, and was merely a filler book.

I think I'm in the minority with preferring Bec to Slawter. I guess it was rather slow paced and there's a lot of portions where few significant events happen, but I still found it enjoyable. And, as always, Shan's refusal to pander to the expectations of children's books is refreshing, although I find some of his gore scenes a little too glorified in a way that's not creepy, but just feels as if he wanted to be gory.

I don't recommend reading all the books at once. The books took a plunge with Slawter for me, and still aren't quite back up to the standard of Lord Loss and the Demon Thief. Don't let this put you off - the series is definitely worth a read and Darren Shan's writing is enjoyable as always.
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Format: Paperback
While I didn't actively dislike Bec, I did feel as though it was the weakest novel in the series so far. While it is faster paced than Slawter, it did not really contribute anything noticeable to the overarching plot.

All of the aspects raised in this novel - the machinations of the Demonata, the magic system, the creation of "tunnels" to the other world - have been explored in the previous three stories and I did not feel that Bec developed these ideas beyond what I already knew. There were a couple of elements - the origin of the Grady family and Lord Loss's obsession with chess - which were kind of interesting to see but these seemed to be more curios than important details that needed to be told.

The story's setting is also markedly different to the other novels (while Demon Thief was set in to 1970s and the other two were present day, Bec is set sometime around AD 300). It was interesting to see Shan writing outside of his comfort zone and the Celtic elements were nicely integrated into the novel, yet in terms of characterisation it seemed to be lacking. The only character I really empathised with was Bran, and that was purely because he did not understand what was going on for 90% of the time. I did not really care if any of the others lived or died, especially as I could tell that most had little significance in the greater scheme of things.

Bec was also a bit of a disappointment as a character. I was curious to see how Shan would write a female protagonist, as his female secondary characters are often rather shallow. While Bec was not badly written, I also never really grew attached to her. I loved Kernal in Demon Thief and, by the end of Slawter, had also warmed to Grubbs but I just felt too far removed from Bec.
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