The Listeners Praise Sheet

The Listeners  Harrison Demchick
The Listeners
Harrison Demchick$21.99 $21.99 hardcover $21.99 $8.99 e-book

“Prick up your ear(s) for a compelling new voice surging over the literary landscape. In his startling novel The Listeners, Harrison Demchick has crafted a story of horror and heart, of humanity both abject and noble, of a world relentlessly bleak where a rare drop of hope seeps through the cracks. Like the young protagonist, you’ll struggle to figure out who the good guys are and find yourself agonizing over whether any of us can be good guys when the situation is desperate and the stakes at their highest. Strap yourself in and make sure the pistol’s in the glove box—this novel is not the sunny highway along the beach but the dirt road in the night woods, when the GPS fails and your good sense tells you to turn around, but, by God, sometimes you need to see what you’re made of. Get off the main road and read The Listeners.”
—Ron Cooper, acclaimed author of cult hit Purple Jesus, declared a “literary event of the first magnitude” by The Washington Post

“Demchick’s debut is not a zombie novel, but basically it is . . . Sicko action is minimal, with Demchick instead following the workaday structure of Colson Whitehead’s Zone One (2011) while also incorporating the kind of primary documents seen in Max Brooks’s World War Z (2006). [With] evocative nonlinear prose . . . Demchick’s depth of focus is both confident and impressive.”
? Booklist (Daniel Kraus, author of Bram Stoker Award finalist and Odyssey Award-winning Rotters)

“Written with an Armageddon pen, envisioned with desolate wasteland eyes, and heard by a single, knowing ear, Harrison Demchick’s The Listeners provides a peephole to a ravaged world of survivors living day to day with the burden of being human. With stylistic and emotional flourishes largely missing from the post-apocalyptic subgenre, this is a novel that really shouldn’t be missed!”
—Benjamin Kane Ethridge, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Black & Orange and Dungeon Brain

“Demchick’s stylish debut makes an admirably ambitious . . . attempt to breathe new life into the tried-and-true threat of zombies . . . His grab bag of techniques, including flashbacks, multiple narrators, and occasional breaks in form, lends some freshness to the story . . . “
?Publishers Weekly

“I’m sitting here with my hand over my mouth trying to process one of the most incredibly poetic, haunting novels I have ever read. And it’s about a zombie plague. Try and picture that for a moment. Harrison Demchick has written a beautiful and disgusting, wonderful and horrifying book with a strong voice and lyrical quality and it’s about the Apocalypse . . . The Listeners is moving and powerful in a way I’ve never known a horror story to be. It’s not traditionally scary, building far more on dread than boos, but I found it creeping into my thoughts after dark. It brings up a lot of questions regarding who the monsters are and the morality of survival. It must be experienced.”
?Ageless Pageless Reviews

“Finally, a smart book with zombies! Strangely beautiful and creepy at the same time, it’s Cormac McCarthy’s The Road meets Fight Club, with a splash of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone thrown in. I loved it!”
?Elizabeth Leiknes, Author of The Understory and The Sinful Life of Lucy Burns

“The Listeners is a gripping story which does only what the best fiction can do: challenge us to examine our own lives. Harrison Demchick weaves a harrowing tale of a young boy searching for his own identity in a world gone to hell.”
—M. Dal Walton, producer of Borderland, Blind Horizon, and Day of the Dead

“The Listeners is a harrowing thrill ride with ‘Soon To Be a Major Motion Picture’ written all over it!”
?Brendan Deneen, author, Vatican Assassin Warlock and Flash Gordon: The Mercy Wars

“I read the book in one day. In the beginning, it seems like it’s relatively straightforward, at least for the first chapter. And then, you cut to a different chapter, and it has absolutely nothing to do with the first chapter. This whole time, you’re thinking, something more is going on here. And that’s what I love about horror novels—that there’s always some sort of increase of suspense to build up to whatever it actually is. And quite often in horror novels, whatever it actually is is a quite disappointing ending, and I feel that, usually, I am ripped off by horror novels, unless it’s by Dean Koontz or Stephen King—or this book. . . . Seeing as this is Harrison’s first book, I am amazed that it is this accomplished, and I’m not sure whether it’s because he’s an editor. I’m not sure whether because he’s an editor and works in a publishing house, he knows what will market well and what will go down well with readers, but it seems like he just has this instinct for writing. . . . It feels like you’re moving forward in this sense of confusion and dizziness, and then the storyline becomes clear, and you’re like, wow. This is amazing. I think it ranks behind, just behind, The Stand by Stephen King. It’s in my top four books ever. In my top horror books, it comes in second. I think it’s pretty evident that I’m giving this book a six out of five stars.”
—YouTube Reviewer Josiah Morgan

“The rest of the novel is like Lord of the Flies meets 28 Days Later as main character Daniel settles in with a gang of murderers, thieves, and psychopaths amidst the backdrop of a hellish apocalypse. Although hesitant at first, the easily manipulated teenager soon sees this paranoid, violent cult in a new light, and begins to accept their hatred for the police as well as the sickos . . . The gorier parts of the book were very well written and often had me recoiling and wincing as boils popped and heads exploded. Overall, I thought the novel was enjoyable as it was something I had never read before. It is quite ambitious, simultaneously demonstrating the allure of gang culture with a coming-of-age tale in a zombie-infested world. The plot itself is fairly well structured, and the use of differing perspectives weaving in and out of the main narrative was well executed.”
?Emily Babb, Blogger, UK

“The Listeners are definitely the main focus and idea of the novel, which employs an interesting plot and narrative structure. Author Demchick has definitely created a stunning image, and the chapter where the ritual is performed is extremely well written. The thing I liked more than even the plot itself was the narrative structure. This story is told in chunks. The chapters jump back and forth through time, following Daniel through different parts of his journey with the Listeners and what he comes to believe and to doubt. Meanwhile, there are also ‘respites’ throughout that offer a somewhat lengthy chapter from a random, usually only tangentially related, character’s point of view. This both fleshes out the world that the novel is taking place in and allows the author to explore more complex views than Daniel has without questioning his protagonist. I found the respites maybe the most interesting parts of the novel, since you never quite knew what was going to happen with them. The chapter about the male nurse I found especially haunting. It could have been a short story on its own. The way the plot twisted and turned, especially with its nonlinear fashion, made the book a quick read. Chapters were short and usually ended on somewhat of a cliffhanger. It kept you on your toes . . . Another really interesting idea was the disease itself. Although he uses a typical zombie movie-esque formula, Demchick has a very interesting and somewhat more disturbing take on the stereotypical ‘infected.’ The sickos, as they are called, are normal people who begin growing boils all over their skin. However, for the most part, they remain conscious and aware of their surroundings, able to talk and communicate up until the point where, well, they can’t. That’s what makes them such interesting ‘monsters.’ Some can be communicated with, some are basically harmless as they’ve lost their awareness, and some turn violent. It’s just unknown when and why any of them will be the way they are. It adds complications and ethical questions into the plot more than a normal zombie situation.”
? Lit Nerd Around the World

“A wonderful addition to the growing tide of dystopian literature. Well-crafted, interesting characters will leave readers begging for more.”
?Rosemary Smith, library media specialist, Oakland, Maine, on Blog Cayacosta72Reviews

“This is an exciting horror thriller with the fascinating premise that when civilization caves, diverse monsters come out of their holes. A fast-paced atmosphere grips the audience as Daniel struggles with adapting to a Listener morality that shows how young suicide bombers are recruited. Horror fans will enjoy this dark, fast-paced thriller, from the opening knock to the final decision Daniel makes.”
?Harriet Klausner, America’s #1 Reviewer

“Suspenseful and beautifully written, The Listeners puts you inside the quarantine zone, and inside the heads of quite a few disparate but connected characters. Provocative and fascinating, it had me turning the pages and thinking hard to the very last word!”
?Kim LeSueur, Information Technology Manager, Annapolis, MD

Title Information

978-1-61088-081-7 (cloth, $21.99)
978-1-61088-082-4 (paper, $14.99)
978-1-61088-083-1 (mobi, $9.99)
978-1-61088-084-8 (epub, $9.99)
TITLE: The Listeners
AUTHOR: Harrison Demchick
PUBLISHER: Bancroft Press
PUBLICATION DATE: December 17, 2012

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