The Demon

The Demon Harry White is a man haunted by a satyr s lust and an obsessive need for sin and retribution The Harry succeeds a good marriage a good corporate job the desperate he becomes as a life of petty crime

  • Title: The Demon
  • Author: Hubert Selby Jr.
  • ISBN: 9780714525990
  • Page: 313
  • Format: Paperback
  • Harry White is a man haunted by a satyr s lust and an obsessive need for sin and retribution The Harry succeeds a good marriage, a good corporate job the desperate he becomes, as a life of petty crime leads to fraud and murder and, eventually, to apocalyptic violence.Author of the controversial cult classic, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby began as a wHarry White is a man haunted by a satyr s lust and an obsessive need for sin and retribution The Harry succeeds a good marriage, a good corporate job the desperate he becomes, as a life of petty crime leads to fraud and murder and, eventually, to apocalyptic violence.Author of the controversial cult classic, Last Exit to Brooklyn, Hubert Selby began as a writer of short fiction He plunges the reader head first into the densely realized worlds of his protagonists, in which the details of daily life rub shoulders with obsession and madness Although fundamentally concerned with morality, Selby s own sense of humility prevents him from preaching He offers instead a passionate empathy with the ordinary dreams and aspirations of his characters, a brilliant ear for the urban vernacular and for the voices of conscience and self deceit that torment his characters.

    One thought on “The Demon”

    1. Hubert Selby, Jr seems to me to be a less shitty version of Bret Easton Ellis. They both have the same focus on transgressive violence and emotive writing, but here, at least, Selby is far less hackish.Selby's writing style is experimental, just different enough to catch your attention, but simple enough to prevent the narrative from slowing down. He replaces apostrophes with slashes (he/s instead of he's), and crams in long run-on paragraphs next to scattered linesJustLikeThisIn order to keep t [...]

    2. This is a sad day for me indeed. Having finished reading The Demon means that, barring a posthumous collection of some kind--given the appearance of certain non-published texts in spoken word collections not an impossibility perhaps--I have read everything written and published by my second favorite author of all-time, Hubert Selby Jr. The Demon came last in my reading simply because it took me a rather long time to find a copy; but find it I did--last summer at Aardvark Books, my favorite secon [...]

    3. The seventies were seemingly the most productive decade for Hubert Selby, whose short bibliography shows how torturously he composed his tortured (but never torturous) novels and stories. The Room was published in 1971, followed by The Demon in 1976 and Requiem For a Dream only two years(!) later. With his two masterpieces behind him—Requiem and Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964)—Selby’s work was extremely sporadic and, apparently, subpar. Publication dates suggest this novel occupied him for ha [...]

    4. (I did this for you Reckoner) Μακάριος ἀνὴρ ὃς ὑπομένει πειρασμόν· ὅτι δόκιμος γενόμενος λήψεται τὸν στέφανον τῆς ζωῆς, ὃν ἐπηγγείλατο ὁ Κύριος τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν. μηδεὶς πειραζόμενος λεγέτω ὅτι ἀπὸ Θεοῦ πειράζομαι· ὁ γὰρ Θεὸς ἀπείραστός ἐστι κακῶν, πειράζει δὲ [...]

    5. The first 3/4 of this book is about a man addicted to sex. He's successful, rich and has a beautiful wife and 2 kids but everything is falling apart because he can't keep his dick in his pants when it comes to other women. Sound familiar so far, Tiger?Eventually though, having one night stands doesn't provide enough excitement for him so he moves on to stealing things just for the hell of it.Then even that begins to pale, so he turns to the ultimate thrillrder.Selby does a good job of keeping a [...]

    6. Defenetly for me his best work,darkly classic,some say long but it's the point,the guy possessed try to go normal and slowly,so very slowly slide back in.The episode of the passion for the plants is the exemple,when it stop ,they all die,it take ages.You need to be in good form to read it so,not very cheerfull,to say the least.When the book his finished you find life light and bright.Compared to most of the palaniuk,ellis,ectSelby his very classic,no trick,just pure Dark litterature

    7. Just finished quite a disturbing story of crime and self-punishment. Harry White's tragedy seems to have been inspired by St. Augustine equation of sin with sex. In the beginning, Harry's discreet affairs with random married women feel a bit funny. You wonder what will occur to this man "haunted by a satyr's lust". Then you see Harry getting married and on the fast track to a well-paid corporate job. Yet his obsessiive need for sin and retribution leads him to petty crimes, then to murder and ev [...]

    8. Hubert Selby Jr. now holds a very special place in my heart; be it a black, dirty place in my heart dripping in blood and other unmentionable secretions that craves stories about seemingly normal people that slowly descend into their own personal hell. Along with the sickly addicting subjects, Selby's writing style is something of it's own. After reading for an extended period of time, you start to feel like you are on some sort of crazy ride that is impossible to jump off of. I finally realized [...]

    9. After having been floored by Selby's "The Room" a few months ago, I went into "The Demon" not expecting to be as moved and instead I found myself bored, stiff. Our protagonist is another Harry White and he works for a large corporation (and none of this works, not his relationship with the company or anything else with the exception of 3 pages of a sizeable paragraph around page 95) and sleeps with as many women as he can fit into his schedule, loving this little activity so much he even created [...]

    10. Selby JR lulls you into a false sense of security with his artless, unassuming style. You know something's coming but you feel safely distanced from it. Before you know it, you're sliding. The characters dark concerns become your concerns and before you know it you are off the rails and running the gauntlet of the psychological horror that is a genre all of it's own in Selby's hands. What you thought was artlessness is calculated manipulation and concrete style. One of the true mavericks of the [...]

    11. Selby takes on what it means to be consumed by guilt, but lacking the ability to refrain from certain passions. This results, predictably, in heartbreak of the truest kind, the kind you do to yourself. The prose was easy to read and definitely unique to Selby. My only complaint would be the frantic nature of the end of the book, I think it would have dealt a heftier blow if it kept on pace with the rest of the writing.

    12. Hubert Selby Jr, most recently known for being the writer of Requiem for a Dream, is becoming one of my favorite authors. Selby was clearly disgusted with humanity and his seething bitterness was brought to life in his novels. Last Exit to Brooklyn was the first book of his I read which hooked me as a fan immediately. Banned in several countries, Last Exit is a brutal and unforgiving take on the realities of a big city and failed attempts at normalcy in a family atmosphere.The Demon is a perfect [...]

    13. The Demon by Hubert Selby Jr came along more than 25 years ahead of American Psycho and I wonder if it was an inspiration for Ellis's novel. We have a similar set up, that is a rising young executive with a high paying "job" (it's never made clear what he does at work) who spends many of his hours nurturing depraved obsessions. Ellis's novel took things to the extreme, while in The Demon, our hero Harry dives into his psychosis with a methodical, deliberate approach.We first meet Harry as an arr [...]

    14. A bit of John Updike and a bit of John Cheever but The Demon is much more morbid and moribund. And it is written in an unimaginative language of an office clerk – Hubert Selby Jr. describes equally routinely both work and love affairs.“Then the morning and the goddamn feelings of guilt and remorse that churn your swearing body and dull your mind without ever really identifying themselves, the feelings being pushed and shoved desperately down into the cesspool of the gut so they can become co [...]

    15. This one was hard to put down at the beginning. The progtagonist, Harry White, is a real bastard. But he's unaware of that, and finds interesting ways to justify his behavior. Stangely, he's also an optimist, at least initially, a deluded contrast I found fascinating. The humor is subtle, and dark, my favorite kind.Styleistically, the book is intriguing as well: Selby doesn't attribute in direct dialogue, doesn't use quote marks, and uses some other odd techniques that I hadn't seen before, yet [...]

    16. Hubert Selby Jr does it again, taking us on a journey from the depths of humanity into the bosom of hell. This time sex addiction is man's poison and it ain't pretty. I needed to take a few showers after this fable. Man's fall never felt so disgusting and heartfelt at the same time. Selby is not pretty, but he sure is honest. Read it then become Catholic.

    17. Pour moi, le meilleur de HSJ qui figure dans mon top5 des auteurs. Je n'ajouterai rien de plus. A lire absolument

    18. Also read my review here: bookbum.weebly/book-reviewBehind me theres a house, a beautiful house with a loving family, and my guy is filled with rats and maggots that are chewing me up alive.I feel like the aim of this book wasn’t just to shock, but also as a reminder that wealth, sex, admiration and success don’t necessarily lead to a happy life.I found, to begin with, this was so great at flowing along with the story. There were no sections that seemed overly long and boring, it was just ex [...]

    19. "Goodbye, everybody!"- Hart CraneAh, yes: The Saint Patrick's Cathedral club has another member now! Only Selby ends in the literal opposite of one my vaster effort's beginnings, in Harry's stabbing the Cardinal to death on Easter Sunday. The Demon is equal parts contagious and ridiculous as hell. It's a fair case on the events leading up to murder and suicide: Complete loss of sexual control, complete loss of comfort, euphoria through shoplifting, and being driven to complete oblivion through a [...]

    20. This is Selby at his best. An outstanding book. An obsessive, powerful one. In which the main character defies himself, constantly, in a sort of permanent bet. Would say is the story of an ordinary, common man, easy to identify with. Till he starts, step after another, becoming something very different. But it all happens as if playing with himself. A quite weird play. That is going to drive him during the whole book. As if he were all of a sudden, lead by some obscure and playful demon. One can [...]

    21. I read "The Demon" for the first time back in 2011, in one sitting no less. Anyone here read "American Psycho?" Okay, then you have a general idea already of who Harry White is and what he becomes. You can tell from around page 3 where this is going, but "The Demon" is one of those rare books which vindicates itself by making the ride worthwhile. It shows its work. It gives us the unbounded 'yes man;' someone who has been wildly successful in just about everything he has ever attempted, save for [...]

    22. C'est l'histoire d'Harry White un jeune cadre brillant dans son travail et véritable coureur de jupons à ses heures perdues. Bref, il a tout pour réussir et pourtant Il lui arrive parfois d'avoir en fin de journée une boule au creux du ventre. Un sentiment en demi-teinte, l'impression de se sentir légèrement cafardeux sans raison apparente. Un peu comme certains dimanches après avoir passé la journée à l'intérieur à ne rien faire. Le soir venu, il peut arriver d'avoir le spleen sans [...]

    23. Wow, that was an intense ending. I've read a couple of Selby's other books (Last Exit to Brooklyn and Requiem for a Dream), and this one was different in that Selby chooses to write about the life of a man who ostensibly has everything he wants in life. In the other books I've read by Selby, Selby writes about drug addicts and thieves and explores desperate characters that an ordinary person would already presume to be a part of degenerative, base activities . What makes this book different from [...]

    24. Third book I've read by Selby Jnr and its easy to see why he is enduring and inspirational. Another excellent, non judgemental review of a seriously flawed character.Harry White lives as an only child with his devoted parents at the start of the book. He is in his mid 20s and gets his kicks from sex, usually with married wormen, where there are no committments. In one of a number of great set pieces (the greatest coming at the end, with Harrys fall from grace) he abandons his friends in a baseba [...]

    25. I like the way this book sits on the shelf right near Motel Chronicles by Sam Shepherd and the Raymond Roussel's Locus Solus. I like the way the cover has the same bright shade of orange-red as the Chicago Manual of Style. I like the way that I remember reading this book on the top bunk of a bunk bed, in a room that I shared with my brother. I like that I still have the book and it hasn't faded much or fallen apart or turned to dust. I like the way the Jr. in Hubert Selby's name looks. It makes [...]

    26. This book was all too familiar. Quite similar to American Psycho by Bret Easton Ellis, with the exception of that was a far better book than this one. Far better. I'm really not understanding all of the 4 and 5 stars this book has received. Once you get past the lack of quotations, apostrophes, and continuous, ongoing sentences during the "what's-going-on-in-my-head" scenes, you're able to focus more on the plot. This plot isn't nearly as graphic as the aforementioned book, unfortunately. The bu [...]

    27. Holy mother of God, this is awful. I am on page 3 and I am putting this book down like the bad, bad dog it is, before it can waste any more of my time.Selby can't for the life of him figure out what tense he wants to use, his main character is apparently supposed to come off as a player even though he still lives with mummy and daddy, and reading "Harry Whites" as many times as I have already makes me want to start a holy war in the name of disrespected apostrophes everywhere. There is every ind [...]

    28. Apparently this is one of Gaspard Ulliel's favourite books, so obviously, in a totally Annie Wilkes 'I'm-your-number-one-fan' way, I had to read it. Thankfully, it was a fantastic read (how would I ever face Gaspard again if it had been crap??). I can see why it has been likened to the film 'Shame', although I wanted to switch that off after half an hour and take a bleach shower - this, however, whilst perhaps more disturbing, is more compelling. Not an easy read by any means (Harry's descent in [...]

    29. Un putain de roman dur à ne pas mettre entre toutes les mains!Selby JR , en passe de rejoindre le panthéon de mes auteurs favoris, nous plonge droit dans l'esprit dérangé d'un homme qui a tout pour être heureux, et nous fait vivre à plein régime l'ascension fulgurante qui précède sa non moins foudroyante descente aux enfers! Une claque magistrale à se prendre en pleine gueule, de plein fouet, droit au coeur.

    30. Damn.Reading this makes you want to go home and hug someone. It's got plenty to say both about depravity and mental illness and about the emptiness of this whole American dream business. I felt like it was in some ways more disturbing than Last Exit or Requiem, as the characters are more familiar than, say, heroin addicts and transvestite prostitutes.

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