"When the unclean spirit is gone out of a man, he walketh through dry places, seeking rest, and findeth none.  Then he sayeth, I will return unto my house from whence I came out.  And when he is come, he findeth it empty, swept, and garnished.  Then goeth he, and taketh with himself seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter in and dwell there: and the last state of that man is worse than the first."                     Matthew 12.43-45

  Seven Demons Worse

by Ewen Harris

An optimistic novel chronicling a journey through the moral chaos of the contemporary academic world

ISBN: 1-57579-106-4

 (paperbound: Arcturus Press)

This work could be classed as a Catholic novel (in the broad sense of "classically Christian", à la C.S. Lewis), and certainly as a conservative novel; yet Seven Demons Worse tends to make the faint hearts of some "family values" types fidget with its psychologically (not anatomically) blunt depictions of moral chaos in academia.  You may not wish to give your kids a copy before you send them off to college... but then again, maybe you should read the book yourself before you let them choose a college.  No one ever avoided a collision by covering his face!

Four decades of academic nihilism and have mired us deeper in servitude to things material and carnal than any capitalist nightmare could ever do: such is the discovery of Huston Evans, the novel's main character.  Physical pleasure, careerist ambition, and nihilist derision so predictably motivate Evans's colleagues in the Ivory Tower that they are grotesque caricatures of free human beings.  Grappling with the sudden loss of his family, he embraces the cynical ways which he had always rejected before as a man might walk into the desert without water: suicidally.  His descent into our peculiarly postmodern delirium of grabbing and discarding partners as one might drink to get drunk is a fully convincing journey to hell... and back.  For Evan's ordeal is ultimately redemptive.  If a traditional novel needs any single credential, surely it is this confidence that happiness lies in the acceptance of limits.


For two excerpts, a synopsis, and a range of critical responses to this novel, please click here.

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