The Agony and the Irony

It's smirk-inducing and subtle until at the moment of climax, the so-called climactic moment, the protagonist leaps up onto the kitchen table with a couple of shoehorns. Never fear; I won't ruin the suspense by revealing how she deploys them.

Rick Moody facaes his demons.
photo: Miriam Berkley
Rick Moody facaes his demons.


By Rick Moody
Little, Brown, 308 pp., $24.95
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The last note in "Demonology," and in the collection, is one of sincerity; the narrator chides himself for leaving behind the safe harbor of irony, making himself and his story vulnerable: "I should let artifice create an elegant surface, I should make the events orderly, I should wait and write about it later, I should wait until I'm not angry." But he doesn't. And for this honesty, for this uncleverness, we're grateful.

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