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Running with the Demon (Pre-Shannara: Word and Void) [Kindle Edition]

Terry Brooks , Gerald Brom
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $7.99
Kindle Price: $5.99
You Save: $2.00 (25%)
Sold by: Random House LLC

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Book Description

Twenty years ago, Terry Brooks turned fantasy fiction on its head with The Sword of Shannara, the first fantasy novel to make the mainstream bestseller lists, and the first in an unbroken string of thirteen bestselling books. Now, in Running with the Demon, Brooks does nothing less than revitalize fantasy fiction again, inventing the complex and powerful new mythos of the Word and the Void, good versus evil still, but played out in the theater-in-the-round of the "real world" of our present.

On the hottest Fourth of July weekend in decades, two men have come to Hopewell, Illinois, site of a lengthy, bitter steel strike. One is a demon, dark servant of the Void, who will use the anger and frustration of the community to attain a terrible secret goal. The other is John Ross, a Knight of the Word, a man who, while he sleeps, lives in the hell the world will become if he fails to change its course on waking. Ross has been given the ability to see the future. But does he have the power to change it?

At stake is the soul of a fourteen-year-old girl mysteriously linked to both men. And the lives of the people of Hopewell. And the future of the country. This Fourth of July, while friends and families picnic in Sinnissippi Park and fireworks explode in celebration of freedom and independence, the fate of Humanity will be decided . . .

A novel that weaves together family drama, fading innocence, cataclysm, and enlightenment, Running with the Demon will forever change the way you think about the fantasy novel. As believable as it is imaginative, as wondrous as it is frightening, it is a rich, exquisitely-written tale to be savored long after the last page is turned.


From the Hardcover edition.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Terry Brooks's Running with the Demon is billed as "A Novel of Good and Evil," but he could've called it "A Novel of Here and Now." The fantasy master behind the Shannara series switches his focus from neo-Tolkien jungles to the woebegone steel town of Hopewell, Illinois. Though Illinois teenager Nest Freemark (where does he get these names?) looks like your average kid, she spends her free time in the woods asking her 6-inch pal Pick for advice in dodging the Demon and his creepy Feeders, spirits who gobble the souls of humans. Nest is also being tailed by John Ross, a shining Knight of the Word who wants to keep her from the Feeders' jaws.

Meanwhile, in the real world that dominates the novel, Nest Freemark is being stalked by a handsome, evil classmate who she has rejected, and a pack of surly, insurgent striking steelworkers plot a bombing at the company's Fourth of July picnic. The boy and the bombers are unaware that they're being subconsciously manipulated by the Demon. The book's matter-of-fact take on the uncanny is a bit like The X-Files. (And if you want to compare the two, check out Ted Edwards's X-Files Confidential: The Unauthorized X-Philes Compendium.)

Brooks's plot has more strands than a plate of pasta, yet his mind is logical to a fault--he used to be a lawyer. There's something for everyone: gory monster attacks, a dread family secret, magical mind-game duels, even a (rather flat) teen-romance subplot. The setting has real grit and the countdown to the Independence Day bombing peps up the tale. Brooks sometimes prosaically explains things a better literary stylist would dramatize, and his minatory visions of environmental apocalypse are more fun than the obvious, nagging, don't-be-a-litterbug message they exist to convey. Brooks will never be as deep as Tolkien, and many readers will find him less awesome as their adolescence recedes. Still, he's the genuine article, and with this book, he raises the stakes he's playing for.

From Library Journal

Legendary sf author Brooks here weaves a tale about an apocalyptic showdown in a small Illinois town between humans and the amber-eyed trolls from another realm that only a girl named Nest can see.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1697 KB
  • Print Length: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (May 1, 2007)
  • Sold by: Random House LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B000QCTN1Y
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #39,794 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern horror in a positive vein October 22, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Capsule Summary: Rating: Excellent. A "positive horror" novel which is well-written, well-paced, and clever.

The spine of the copy of Running With the Demon that I have just says "Fiction"; associations with the author's name invoke a general "fantasy" expectation. Running With the Demon could be considered "urban fantasy", but to me, it's clearly in another genre.

This is modern horror. This is Stephen King's bailiwick. I found myself thinking a LOT of King's work while reading Running With the Demon, and King suffers badly in the comparison. In this book, Brooks gets to show off a somewhat different style of writing, and demonstrate his skills depicting "regular people". The Shannara books take place in an entirely different world (albeit with the conceit that they are actually this world, after a sort of mystical apocalypse), and the Magic Kingdom books have a comedy slant which drives much of the character action.

Here Terry is writing a serious "Novel of Good and Evil", and his characters have to ring true. They have to be people we can imagine living in this world, even if underneath the world we know there is Something Else. And those who are connected to the Something Else we have to at least believe as residents of this world, as capable of hiding their presence from the mundanes.

Running With the Demon presents us with a world like our own, but one that is, unbeknownst to most people, under seige; a battleground between Good and Evil, or perhaps between Growth and Creation and Decay and Destruction. The Creator-power, God if you will, is the Word, and the destructive is the Void. Agents for each are selected, or select themselves through their choices.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different, but good November 25, 1999
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I bought this Terry Brooks novel mostly out of habit since I am such a HUGE fan of his other fantasy works. Well I wasn't sure what to expect, because I waited until it came out in paperback, and then it stayed on my shelf until after 'A Knight Of The Word' came out in paperback as well. I started to get a little low on the choices of books to read in my personal library, and didn't quite have the money to buy the newest hardback that I wanted, so I finally opened it up and gave it a shot. It WAS a little slow to start, but it just kept me interested--facinated at the premise that the story was centered in the 'real' world, and THAT to me was unique (at least in MY reading circles). Nest is immediatly likeable and a great character. I was a bit sad hearing about Grandpa in the sequel, but Nest can hold her own. It IS different from probably ANYTHING else out there in the fantasy field, and rightfully so since Brooks is NOT one to copy others. I still think his first 3 Shanarra books are his all-time best works, but these certainly are entertaining. If you are a fantasy reader mulling over the decision to pick this series up, go ahead and give it a shot, and don't give up too soon. But also, DON'T expect Shanarra, either. It is SO different from those books as to make you wonder if they are even written by the same person. Terry, if you read this, kudos to you for doing it again, and by the way, WHEN can we expect another Shanarra book...?
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book got me started in Urban Fantasy January 20, 2005
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I was a devoted Shannara fan seeing Brooks for the first time when he was publicizing "Running with the Demon" at Powells Books. I got a signed copy, of course, but told him urban fantasy was not my bag.

Brooks told me, "Just keep the book. You'll need it eventually."

He was right. One night, I needed something different and there was "Running with the Demon."

Nest Freemark, one of the two protagonists, is a teenager. She spends her free time with companion Pick, trying to avoid the Demon and Feeders that inhabit Sinnissippi Park. John Ross is a Knight of the Word drawn to Hopewell to combat Evil.

As the plot unfolds, we discover that the Demon has influenced one of Nest's classmates to harass her and also some irritated steelworkers to set off a bomb at a July 4 picnic. Plotting is smart-paced as Freemark and Ross fight to figure out what's happening and stop it.

Great tale--you will find it hard to put down.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Did You Sell Your Soul for So Little?" May 20, 2006
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Terry Brooks is best known for his "Shannara" series, which is immensely popular despite being rather obviously inspired by Tolkien's plots, characters and themes. For reasons even I can't explain, I've read quite a few of these novels (despite my distain for them) and so I can say with a fair amount of confidence that "Running with the Demon" is undoubtedly Brooks's best novel. Moving away from his fantasy subworld of dwarfs, elves, magical talismans and plucky young farmboys-cum-heroes, the only thing Brooks hangs on to is his good against evil theme, placing it in contemporary America.

Here good and evil are represented by the Word and the Void; the former benevolent and creative, and the latter destructive. The exact relationship of these two sides is only briefly touched on and as such never explored in any great detail; instead Brooks chooses to focus on one skirmish that both sides are deeply invested in: the fate of a young girl and the events that unfold over a four-day period in a small town called Hopewell, Illinois. Two representatives of the warring sides come here in the days leading up to the fourth of July; a demon who has returned in order to see a long-laid plan come to fruition, and John Ross, a Knight of the Word whose mission is to stop him. As a Knight, Ross spends his nights dreaming of the apocalyptic future that is in store for the world, roaming the wastelands and collecting information and clues of what has transpired in order for him to act in the present to prevent such horrors from ever occurring. At the centre of both their quests is a fourteen-year old girl named Nest Freemark.

Nest is a girl living a double life.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Every era has to start somewhere...
This is a very interesting book and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I picked up this book after seeing a list of books to read if I wanted to read the 'Shannara' series in Chronilogical... Read more
Published 6 days ago by Ray Hollister
4.0 out of 5 stars Good vs. Evil and Real Life Magic
I have enjoyed reading this book through a second time now, and it was every bit as enjoyable the second time around as the first. Read more
Published 7 days ago by Karlie Laumer
5.0 out of 5 stars I am glad to see Terry Brooks begging this series
I am glad to see Terry Brooks begging this series. This book set in our time an in his usual style gets your attention and carries it to the end.
Published 12 days ago by J. AU
5.0 out of 5 stars You feel very much like a part of the action
As with every Terry Brooks book I have ever read, a riveting storyline. You feel very much like a part of the action.
Published 18 days ago by James Cox
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
awesome, terry brooks has done it again
Published 22 days ago by Jessica
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing begining to one of the greatest Epic Fantasy Adventures...
An amazing begining to the greatest Epic fantasy Adventure ever created. This is an amazing Pre-quel to the Shannara books. This book stars Ness Fremark in Hopewell Illinois. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Levi
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating look into pre-Shannara history! John Ross is ...
A fascinating look into pre-Shannara history! John Ross is a compelling character, showing the internal struggle of a hero who is more human than many heroes we encounter. Read more
Published 1 month ago by B. C. Draper
5.0 out of 5 stars From start to finish, a fabulous ride! All ...
From start to finish, a fabulous ride! All Terry Brooks books will keep you up at night not wanting it to end!
Published 1 month ago by andrew kennedy
1.0 out of 5 stars not my favorite
Not my favorite
Published 1 month ago by JR
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
it's not Terry Brooks is the best work but an interesting prequel to the Shannara series.
Published 2 months ago by Crham
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More About the Author

Terry Brooks is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five books, including the Genesis of Shannara novels Armageddon's Children and The Elves of Cintra; The Sword of Shannara; the Voyage of the Jerle Shannara trilogy: Ilse Witch, Antrax, and Morgawr; the High Druid of Shannara trilogy: Jarka Ruus, Tanequil, and Straken; the nonfiction book Sometimes the Magic Works: Lessons from a Writing Life; and the novel based upon the screenplay and story by George Lucas, Star Wars(R): Episode I The Phantom Menace.(tm) His novels Running with the Demon and A Knight of the Word were selected by the Rocky Mountain News as two of the best science fiction/fantasy novels of the twentieth century. The author was a practicing attorney for many years but now writes full-time. He lives with his wife, Judine, in the Pacific Northwest.

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