Friday, September 24

Demon: A Memoir

When I finished this book I had two reactions: I loved it. And I hated it.
I am, by nature, an aspiring screenwriter. And one of the first things any screenwriter will tell you is to avoid exposition. Exposition is death in film and so I have learned to run away from exposition whenever possible. However, Demon: A Memoir is almost pure exposition. It is the story of Clay and a demon named Lucian. Lucian tells Clay of how Lucifer fell and then tells the story of creation and salvation through a demon's eyes. In some ways this book brings to mind Dinner with a Perfect Stranger, in that almost the whole book is a conversation over various dinners. Because of this, it is jarring when in the middle of a description of the creation of man and waiter might come up and refill glasses. Sometimes these events later become important, but other times they are mere distractions.

There is not must action in this book, and as such it can adopt a slow pace.

Slow however, does not mean boring. On the contrary, Tosca Lee manages to keep the excitement up, which is hard to do in a slow moving novel.

Here's what I liked: the descriptions used by Lucian about the fall and about human nature are beautifully done. It reminded me of descriptions used by C.S. Lewis in Mere Christianity only more poetic. It is the different viewpoint offered in this book that allowed me to take in the exposition. For this novel, it worked. And Lee avoids the demons present in stories such as The Exorcist or even Ted Dekker's Adam. Her demon is still evil, though at first almost sympathetic. But the way she makes him sympathetic and then turns it around is haunting and scary. Much more frightening than many others.


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