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The Demon: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Hubert Selby Jr.
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A womanizer’s struggle for self-control spirals into crime, madness, and murder

Harry White grew up in blue-collar Brooklyn, but the young man’s charm, smarts, and good looks have helped him earn a place as an uptown junior executive. White’s gifts have also made his love life easy, and he takes special pleasure in seducing married women. But when “Harry the Lover” is ready to grow up and leave his womanizing behind, White finds that suppressing his libido has dangerous consequences. His attempts at restraint awaken something sinister, causing White to seek excitement in a new form of violence and depravity.
 
Shocking and enthralling, The Demon is an unflinching meditation on male vanity by one of the most acclaimed and original writers of the twentieth century.
 
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Hubert Selby Jr. including rare photos from the author’s estate.

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Review

Selby's place is in the front rank of American novelists ... to understand his work is to understand the anguish of America. (The New York Times Book Review)

A major author of a stature with William Burroughs and Joseph Heller (Los Angeles Times)

About the Author

Hubert Selby, Jr. was born in Brooklyn in 1928. At the age of 15, he dropped out of school and went to sea with the merchant marines. While at sea he was diagnosed with lung disease. With no other way to make a living, he decided to try writing: 'I knew the alphabet. Maybe I could be a writer.' In 1964 he completed his first book, Last Exit to Brooklyn, which has since become a cult classic. In 1966, it was the subject of an obscenity trial in the UK. His other books include The Room, The Demon, Requiem for a Dream, Song of the Silent Snow, The Willow Tree and Waiting Period. In 2000, Requiem for a Dream starred Jared Leto and Ellen Burstyn and was directed by Darren Aronofsky. Hubert Selby Jr died in Highland Park, Los Angeles, California in April 2004.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2383 KB
  • Print Length: 292 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0141195649
  • Publisher: Open Road Media (13 Dec. 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006D23DJO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,680 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Death where is thy Sting 22 April 2011
By Dr. Delvis Memphistopheles TOP 500 REVIEWER VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
Slated when it first hit the shelves. Selby was deemed an enfant terrible when he exposed the desperate lives of the working class and the outre worlds of Brooklyn in his first book. Although the setting and language were shocking it created a social dam, to be halted at any costs.

Thank God we live in the suburbs and are untainted with the violence and debauchery! Last Exit sold well on this basis. It helped to provide the rationale to move away and inhabit a far less animalistic world.

The Demon was the answer to this call. Selby ploughs into the successful middle classes, the home boy made good by climbing the corporate ladder replete with his sex addiction. Each rung brings him nearer to his life goals, money, property, status and respect. The critics hated him as Selby was now pointing the finger at them, the socially deluded. In this book he exposes their fakery, duplicity and spinning of dreams to rise through the pile to reach the top. There are few books which concentrate upon the delusions of the rich, but this is one of them.

Each rung climbed leads away from the "guys" from the neighbourhood and an immersion into another corporate homogenous culture. No sense of personal elevation ever brings a sense of belief or personal satisfaction, for Harry White is inherently completely vacuous. He tries to fill this big hole with an adherence to the system, doing his economic classes after studying accountancy. He joins the firm and is dilligent, showing no obvious dissent. He applies himself, meanwhile on the weekend, forever the ladies man, he feels the thrill of the chase and defines himself through the amount of interest he generates in the opposite se. In this he could be every man; handsome, successful and seemingly talented.
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21 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrifying, raw, original... real. 22 Jan. 2003
By R. Fox
Format:Paperback
Selby is just about the best author I have ever read. His books speak to me and make me believe what each page says more than any other author. There is a fundamental, and somewhat un-nerving, realism to his books that makes them highly uncomfortable reading, but it is this discomfort which makes me come back to his books again and again. Last Exit To Brooklyn blew me away, with it's picture perfect description of desperate, (an perhaps a little extreme) cases of inner-city slum-type living, and the psychological effects it can have upon it's street dwellers. Requiem For A Dream carried on a nasty, horrid-tasting tale of drug-related woe that Trainspotting could only begin to thinly paint. And now I've read The Demon, and this is another gut-wrencher, ready to pull you under life and show you how it REALLY works.
The Demon focuses on Harry White, a young, high-flying office worker in a successful Manhattan firm, who basically spends his days working hard, travelling hard (he has to journey from his parents' place out of town to work and back every single day), and seducing hard, because Harry's favourite hobby is to pick up strange women (especially if they're married - it adds to the excitement), and then basically dump them right after he's had his fun. The book goes on to show how Harry derives an almost narcotic-like craving for women, and begins to pick up just about anyone on his lunch hour, take them to a motel, and then try to get back to work on time. The futility of his carnal desperation soon takes it's toll on his work-load, and he finds himself getting torn between 'Broads' and potential promotion.
As time goes by, it seems that Harry grows up somewhat.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a thoughtful and disturbing book. 18 Aug. 2013
By 81641
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I read this book about 7 weeks ago and can't remember the name of the central character already! However, what I do remember is his hedonistic approach to life being overly self-absorbed and indeed selfish. I understand that the novel was slated for being a severe critique of the American dream, however, it is sure testament to any who buy into any modern lifestyle which preaches do what you want to do, if you have an itch, scratch it kinda thing. Well worth reading, and despite the obvious flaws of the main character it is a compelling book. Look forward to reading more from Selby.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Quite readable but, ultimately a bit hollow 30 Mar. 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I bought this book after reading Last Exit to Brooklyn, which I thought was fantastic, and after watching Requiem for a Dream. I was looking for some more of Hubert Selby Jr's gritty tales of the ugly side of New York.

This book starts really well, it seems like Harry has a great life but there are some great hints that maybe there's something sinister driving him to chase married women. This builds up really well but then starts to drop off for a while, eventually coming back a few times until the weak ending. We never really get any insight into what The Demon really is and there are some pretty long dull periods in the middle.

I still enjoyed the book and I think that Hubert Selby Jr is a fantastic writer- the way he describes human emotions and impulses works fantastically well. I was just left a little underwhelmed at the end. Last Exit to Brooklyn is a much better book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars all aboard... hell time 14 Sept. 2005
Format:Paperback
Harry has everything a man could wish for. Good looks, nice house, loving wife, well-paid job. But for Harry... it's not enough. He wants more. Much more. And his 'hobbies' are accelerating fast. Lunchtime affairs, robbery, fraud. Now murder...
Selby Jnr's third book plumbs the underbelly of human discontent, and explores a scenario where the side effects of material wealth are beyond abhorrent. Prepare to be lead to a dark hole where values have shifted, and man has become a bored and dangerous animal on the prowl through the city for ever more murderous thrills.
This is a disturbing study into the human condition, a modern-day parable of one man's descent into the madness of his own private hell. The prose is breathtaking. Fast to the point of panic-stricken. Selby pulls you by the scruff of the neck into this nightmare ride, as menacingly as a pack of deranged street-robbers working through a pre-Giuliani subway train, frisking your senses with a sharp switchblade. Enjoy the journey.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Selbys best book, uncomfortable reading for most males who may ...
In my view, Selbys best book, uncomfortable reading for most males who may see a bit of themselves in the lead character
Published 3 months ago by Mr. S. J. Mulcahy
1.0 out of 5 stars Nasty
Another misogynistic feast from Selby Jr. I found this one very repetitive, and couldn't wait for it to end. I can't see why such venomous outpourings are seen as classic fiction? Read more
Published 13 months ago by High Seas Drifter
5.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected at all
Selby Jr is one of my favourite authors, and The Demon is top of my list (join with Requiem for a Dream, which is just amazing.)
Published 14 months ago by Ami
2.0 out of 5 stars Faded away
This novel began pretty well and held my interest throughout the first two thirds of the book, or maybe a little more. Read more
Published 16 months ago by J Bannion
2.0 out of 5 stars Good start poor finish
The early chapters were riveting as Harry White, the relative loner although paradoxically a player and sex hound, unravels and descends into murder via sexual depravity. Read more
Published 21 months ago by C. Cameron
3.0 out of 5 stars A decent read
The Demon by Hubert Selby Jnr. follows the exploits of a talented, but troubled, businessman and his descent into madness. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Honest Chap's Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars The Demon
Didn't like this at all, I found it boring, I thought it may pick up as I went along but it didn't
Published 23 months ago by Mrs FM Scott
4.0 out of 5 stars Decent Read
Personally I think that Last Exit to Brookland and Requiem for a Dream were his best works. However,
this does not disappoint. Read more
Published on 21 July 2013 by Sandy Fenwick
2.0 out of 5 stars not "my type of book"..
Obviously everyone is different and has different interests. I hadn't heard about Selby before (and so didn't know he also wrote Requiem for a Dream, which I'd wanted to read). Read more
Published on 22 Aug. 2012 by commedesfilles
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition ONLY
I read this as my first book to read on my Kindle and after spending over £8 I have to say I'm a little bit disappointed with the quality of the digitisation. Read more
Published on 6 Jan. 2012 by Kl Methuen-jones
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