Friday, June 29, 2007

My review of Demon: a Memoir, by Tosca Lee

Demon: a Memoir crosses breaks down the barriers between genres, religions and sexes. It's a book I wish everyone would read. Having had an interest in the angelic/demonic phenomena for quite some time, I found Lee's novel quite refreshing and thought-provoking.

What if someone could go back in time through a firsthand account and hear about the reality before the world's creation? What happened in the heavens before humans inhabited the earth? And what ramifications to those happenings have for us now? Did Biblical events such as Creation, the Fall, the Flood, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection really happen? If so, how and why?

That's what Clay is going to find out. Lucian, a fallen angel, is on a mission to explain his personal story with Clay so that it can be published. Contrary to his better judgment, Clay allows himself to be drawn in by Lucian’s fantastic tale and agrees to author a corresponding novel. Clay hangs on for the ride of his life, unable to rest unless he has faithfully dictated Lucian’s every word, to the detriment of all else. But anything will be better than his depressing existence as a divorcee and not-too-successful editor, or is it? Before long, Clay’s obsession turns into more than a book deal. Lucian’s story is Clay’s story—but what is the ending?

I confess to not having read anything by Anne Rice or C. S. Lewis’ Screwtape Letters (so sue me), so I won’t be another reviewer who compares this tale to the aforementioned. I must say, though, that I’ve never empathized so much with a fallen being before—Lucian, though evil and narcissistic, provoked at least a little sympathy in regards to his plight.

Without giving anything away, I was hard-pressed to find a down side to this book. Perhaps the fact that all ends weren't tied up at the end may be a hindrance to some--or, that may be a selling point. But whatever the end is, you will not see it coming. No way will you see it coming. And you will not be able to stop thinking about Lucian or Clay or the God who created them both.

There are few other novels so stunning and original—I highly recommend it.


  1. Thank you, Karri, for taking the time to read Demon--and for the thoughtful review. I'm so glad you enjoyed it.


  2. As I read your plot synopsis, I did think it sounded like a cross between Interview With a Vampire and Screwtape Letters--also (and I highly recommend), the Prophecy series of movies with Christopher Walken. Like the angels thrown from Heaven's walls, we humans are both fallen and created. Easy to beat-up on fallen angels, but what a great tool for reminding us we're not so different. Looks like another book for my Christmas shopping list.


  3. We're going to be reviewing this one in October on FIRST...yeah, it looks great!

  4. I finished the book last week. I loved how the reader is put in a position of fearing the "monster" at the end of the book. It seemed inevitable that demon would "reveal" himself as a monster at the end, performing some dastardly deed, showing his horns and tail.

    I was interested in the presentation of Clay as unheroic, dull, and quite dense, especially compared to Lucien, who is intriguing and remarkable. Yet the reader is drawn into the character of Clay, a more accurate representation of the human way of thinking and acting.
    By extension, the reader is the "monster" at the end.

    And now the reader now has a deeper knowledge of the truth that we are destined to answer for!

  5. I'll also add that the concept of the demons' condition just after the fall was intriguing. They were still "mostly" pure, but irreparably tainted nonetheless. At that point, the evil hadn't yet made its way into their innermost being, and their condition was still far purer than that of modern mankind. Lucien longed for El, as he was created to do; however, the damage had been done and there was no redemption.