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Running With the Demon (The Word and the Void Trilogy, Book 1) Mass Market Paperback

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Running With the Demon (The Word and the Void Trilogy, Book 1) + A Knight of the Word (The Word and the Void Trilogy, Book 2) + Angel Fire East (The Word and the Void Trilogy, Book 3)
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Product Details

  • Series: Word and the Void (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey (May 27, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345422589
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345422583
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (190 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #234,115 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews 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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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. --This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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.

Customer Reviews

They are very good reading and very entertaining.
This novel is truly a masterpiece that delves into rich fantasy and into deep carefully constructed characters.
A. Breitweg
We know it will happen by reading the Shannara books.
Joshua Fowler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

30 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Ryk E. Spoor on 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 By Jeff Edwards ( on 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 By R. Kyle TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on September 28, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I thought this book was an excellent book! It had me hooked from page one! I sat down and finished the book within 36 hours since I wasn't able to put it down!
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By R. M. Fisher TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 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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