Review: Del himself is an amiable if hapless character, his increasingly concerned family are well-drawn and plausible, and their conversations are convincingly depicted. Some of the rest of the cast feel more like characters than people - notably bonkers ex-exorcist (and Sinead O'Connor doppelganger) Siobhan O'Connell - though this could well be intentional as the novel wrestles with questions of identity and purpose, as do many of the characters. It's not just part of the setting - the fact of possession changes the world subtly yet profoundly, turning free will and archetypes from abstractions into matters of life and death. It put me in mind of the (awesome) Ted Chiang short story 'Hell Is The Absence Of God', in which angels appear - unpredictably and inexplicably - in the modern world, often causing horrendous collateral damage. Both explore their high concepts without sacrificing action or character, though 'Pandemonium' is (perhaps inevitably) less spare and focused, with some scenes and characters that feel either extraneous or underused. Nevertheless it's a good fast-paced read; and fans of fiction which literalises metaphysical conundrums will appreciate the cameo by Philip K. Dick, who may or may not be possessed by a demon called VALIS...
Suggested pull quotes for the next edition:
A perfect gift for any fan of the literalisation of metaphysical conundrums!
A fun debut novel, if a bit hit-or-It Is Perfect! Buy It!... I'm sorry, where was I?
Illustrative excerpt from Amazon reviews:
* * * *[Well, no-one had reviewed it yet, so I thought I'd better add my own.]
...the novel wrestles with questions of identity and purpose (as do many of the characters). It's not just part of the setting - the fact of possession changes the world subtly yet profoundly, turning free will and archetypes from abstractions into matters of life and death.