So begins the latest novel by horror master Dave Zeltserman. The setting is quiet Newton, Massachussetts, where nothing ever happens. Nothing, that is, until two months after Henry Dudlow’s 13th birthday, when his neighbor, Mr. Hanley, suddenly starts to look . . . different. While everyone else sees a balding man with a beer belly, Henry suddenly sees a nasty, bilious, rage-filled demon.Â Once Henry catches onto the real Mr. Hanley, he starts to see demons all around him, and his boring, adolescent life is transformed. There’s no more time for friends or sports or the lovely Sally Freeman—instead Henry must work his way through ancient texts and hunt down the demons before they steal any more innocent children. And if hunting demons is hard at any age, it’s borderline impossible when your parents are on your case, and your grades are getting worse, and you can’t tell anyone about your chosen mission.Â A very scary novel written with verve and flashes of great humor, The Boy Who Killed Demons is Dave Zeltserman’s most accomplished and entertaining horror novel yet.
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About the Author
Dave Zeltserman is the author of ten horror and crime novels, including Monster, a Booklist Top 10 Horror Fiction selection; The Caretaker of Lorne Field, shortlisted by the American Library Association for best horror novel of 2010; and A Killer's Essence. He lives in the Boston area.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Boy Who Killed Demons based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
This book explores the trope of one who sees monsters that the average person cannot. If you're a teenage boy, what do you do about it, when no one else sees or believes? It's hard enough dealing with high school, demanding parents, and growing up, without having to save the world. Our protagonist is no superhero, so he's got to work out how to take on demons intent on destruction. It's a struggle, and we're never sure how he'll do as he dances on the edge of having it all fall down. But he's persistent, and knows the price of failure. That tension is maintained throughout the book. Like They Live (name-checked in the book) and other works, an unlikely hero has to face impossible odds in a fight to the death.
I didn't hate the book . It was so so for me. The plot seemed weak.
Boring and not in any way scarey or suspenseful. It feels like it was written for 12 year olds. So far.
A thriller of horror fable? A thriller of horror fable that cruised through the story with demons, obsessions and horrifying discovery. Demons among us? Henry the protagonist can see them. This is Henry's story, his journal detailing his fight against the demons. I thought this story would dip more seriously into horror but to my surprise it was not. It fell into the fantasy mystery and a very good thriller too. The pace of the story moved swiftly because I needed to know what will happen next like it should. The writing style captivated my thoughts without an afterthought, just moving forward with anticipation. I enjoyed the flow of fluency, and yes it was a good read to take you away for awhile. I won this book on Goodread, First Read Giveaway. Thank you, Darlene Cruz
The prolific and always entertaining Dave Zeltserman continues his streak of outstanding thrillers with the release of THE BOY WHO KILLED DEMONS (Overlook, 2014), a novel that acts as an intriguing companion piece of sorts to Zeltserman’s horror-fable masterpiece, THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD (Overlook, 2010). In both works, Zeltserman pens a work that suggests an unreliable narrator: Is the protagonist delusional, or is he indeed tending a garden to thwart the end of the world (CAKETAKER) or seeing demons (THE BOY WHO)? Zeltserman has does an exceptional job in both novels in ratcheting up this mystery, bolstering both the suggestion of delusion and the protagonist’s unyielding insistence of truth, until the inevitable reveal. If there is a weakness in THE BOY WHO KILLED DEMONS, it is that the title may undermine the mystery the book is striving to construct. While adopting a tone that is less fable than CARETAKER and instead more familiar and in the form of a diary, THE BOY WHO KILLED DEMONS is a page-turner of the first order and tells the tale of a 15-year-old who has ability to see red-skinned demons and has the titular goal of eliminating them before they can – though the ritual torture and sacrifice of young children – open the gates to Hell and devastate the world. While the 15-year-old’s physical and scholarly efforts to achieve this goal strain credulity to a degree, the sheer narrative power of the book readily accommodates and dampens this strain and rewards the acceptive reader with a compulsively readable work that manages to effortlessly bridge YA and adult horror. Zeltserman is perhaps best known for his exemplary works of noir (e.g. PARIAH, KILLER, et al), but with THE CARETAKER OF LORNE FIELD, MONSTER: A NOVEL OF FRANKENSTEIN (Overlook, 2012), and now THE BOY WHO KILLED DEMONS, he takes his place among the very best of today’s dark dreamers.