Review of The demon by Hubert Selby Jr.

Title: The demon
Author: Hubert Selby Jr.
Editorial: Open Road
Genre: Fiction
Country of origin: United States
Pages: 272
Days to finish it: 7
Books read of the author: 1
Year of publication: 2000
Personal score: 4/5

Preview: Anxiety in the modern world  

I guess everyone has suffered anxiety, I mean in the nowadays the anxiety is a trait of the people who works for companies. First of all, what’s the anxiety? Is the feeling of unrest, nervousness or worrisome, like a feeling is something “common”, but as a state (feeling anxious all the fucking time) could be something stressful and tiring. Everyone had suffered this episodes: while you driving and the traffic is do damn hard that you only wanna get out for the window, or when you are questioning a past answer, or when you cannot wait for someone´s reply, examples like that, common examples, are normal. But living with it, with an anxiety that grown every day, and you just can´t control it, must be killing. I know that are a lot of treatments for it, could be medicine, exercise or even meditation. I suffer anxiety sometimes, but I can control it… sometimes.

How did I get it?

I had this book in sight, since months ago, I don’t remember how I really why is related, but something triggered in my mind “Requiem for a dream.”

A little bit of the author…

I didn´t have heard something about the author, actually I never thought “Requiem for a dream” was a movie inspired in a book. Beside this novel, and Requiem for a dream, he wrote “Last exit to Brooklyn” his best seller.


Harry White is a lover for nature, he loves the woman, but not the single ones, and he likes the married ones. Harry has a promising future, he is one of the best analyst of one firm in New York, everything seems perfect to him, and the only problem with him is, the more he success, the more desperate he comes.

Through the portrait of the misachievement of the American dream, we will see the downfall of a man who could have it all, and the more he have, the more he lost. He always wanted more…  


I was expecting a “downfall” much more aggressive, hateful, harder or even sadistic. The downfall is very faded, you can feel how the main character was losing everything, and he couldn’t stop it. The synopsis of the book made me think it would be a darker book. I mean, the sexual descriptions are detailed and raw, but I was expecting something more sordid.

The book is based in the great American dream: a trophy wife, a Mercedes Benz, and a big house with a yard for your kids. Harry got it, but what it does it cost? Is it really worth it sacrifice your own ideals or even your mental health for this? Some people, a lot of Americans, they’ll nod.

This book was the easiest of all in this year, the plot is much defined, beside has a big jumps, are totally understanding. I really don’t know what to think about the descriptions, in some parts I love them, but in other I was tired, was a mix of hard feelings. I was hoping another end, something much aggressive, I was married with the synopsis was delightful, and the book is not that good.   

The next book I wanna read of the author is “Requiem for a dream”, the last exit of Brooklyn doesn’t seems too attractive for me.

The demon that can’t be tamed.


But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed.”

“Taking a married woman to bed provided an additional thrill. Not the thrill of stealing another man’s woman, he was not interested in that, but the thrill of having to take certain precautions so you would not to be discovered.”

“Think of those broken homes and motherless children struggling in an unhappy world simply for want of an orgasm.”

“He tried to penetrate the darkness between them, but was unable, and so he simply used his imagination, and experience, to mentally construct the roundness and fullness of her boobs and the purplish-brown nipple in the middle.”

“You don’t understand what I mean, patting her hand and smiling, I mean it’s a shame that he denies himself the extreme joy, and excitement, of listening to you, and watching the light dance in your eyes when you’re excited.”

“Time was sort and the desires long, but they did the best they could with what they had.”

“You have to want it more than anything else. That´s the key to success. It is available, but, it is not going to be given to you. We can give you the opportunity that is all. You have to do the work.”

“But the big thing, the really significant thing that he thought about over and over, and enjoyed more and more, was her laugh.”

“It was the happiest laugh he had ever heard. It was so real. Like she not only enjoyed laughing, but enjoyed living.”

“There are just compromises that cannot be made without compromising the foundation of your life.”

“… and looked up into her eyes and smiled into their lovingness, feeling tears warming the back of his eyes, then kissed her again and slowly rose from his chair and held that petal softness of a hand in both of his and kissed it.”

“And so it became a vicious circle, the worse he felt the more he searched, and the more he searched the worse he feel.”

“She closed her eyes for a moment and looked at his smile and felt his warmth.”

“A family that gardens together, stays together.”

“He could feel the self-hatred and loathing fevering his brain, and their vileness burning his throat, but it was worth it.”

“She could feel herself being pulled up or dragged down by his emotional pendulum. She tried hard to resist, but she continually found herself being swept along in his emotional wake.”

“He wanted desperately to reach out and ask –beg- her not to leave, but felt completely enervated by the overwhelming pain of despair and the pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization that had wrapped itself around him.”

“…and he knew it was only a matter of time, a short time, before the demon would be eating him again and he would have to find some way to relieve himself of the twisting tension and gnawing anxiety.”


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