A serial-killer’s tale of love and madness
by Trygve E. Wighdal
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 21 Aug 2019 | Archive Date 18 Nov 2019
“A soul-shattering psychological thriller of profound horror, raw and authentic."
”Since I’d be first to cast a stone at a murderer—I am one after all—I venture on writing these truthful chronicles as a study of human suffering,” writes a serial-killer, in a story of self-discovery gone amok.
"The murders Roman L. had committed with such a ferocious, savage intensity send shivers down my spine every time I reflect on his brutally honest confessions. He writes about “sinking into the terrifying Hell of my own soul, cold, utter darkness of the scariest, most painful insanity that peels off your skin while your brain screams, crushed by madness.”
"Even now as I copy his words here, I shake as I furtively look around. And I am afraid. I dread, no matter how irrationally, that I somehow might meet him or one of his scary personalities anew, and, like I was once before in Paris, again be tricked into liking him by his disarming, almost child-like smile and by his mirthful laughter that hid both the frightened child in him and the terrifying, heartless monster sneering behind. This book contains his chronicles. His harrowing descent into Hell."
Think Kafka on acid and sprinkle some humor over it: that is JUNG'S DEMON.
“The opposite of love is not hate. It is power." by "Lena T."
I have read quite a few books in my life but only rare birds of pray left on me a deep impression like Wighdal did with his "Jung's Demon". It is truly an unforgettable book, transgressing genres, borders (at times the book reads like a travelogue; at times like a diary of a madman) and boundaries alike.
"I’d be happy if my memories would help even one single human being to either heal or kill," wrote Wighdal or his alter ago, the murderer. "Jung's Demon" treads on cognitive dissonance subtly but with brutal efficiency. Never before was I so skilfully pulled in an inner hell, feeling both great compassion and wild anger of one being incapable of resisting the lure of Wighdal's powerful storytelling. Book is delightfully spiced up with author's enviable erudition, experience, and significant sensitivity (I especially appreciated the unexpected dark sense of humor and numerous film references).
And yet, it is a soul-shattering book of profound horror, raw and authentic; it should come with a warning. At first pass I wasn't able to finish the read, it was just too much for me (I went to a psychotherapist the morning after I've watched Kubrick's The Shining for the first time) but then I felt compelled to go back to it, too intrigued to mind.
"You simply must read this book!" by "Mile B."
“Jung’s Demon” was the most enjoyable novel I’ve read in years, since I’d read Bulgakov’s “Master and Margarita.”
In his fascinating novel, Trygve Wighdal takes the reader on an absorbing voyage through space and time, as the author’s extraordinary grasp of human psychology colors the story plot. The shifting geographies of the book’s protagonist, Roman L., range from war-torn Balkans through Venice, Tijuana, Rio, Las Vegas, Tahiti, Lebanon, Tuscany, Sicily, Kenya, Norway and other places, from author’s childhood through to his final moments. The beautiful intensity of Wighdal’s prose will make you want to visit and witness all these places, eat the foods and drink the wines so vividly described through the novel. But the dark side of his manic voyages reflects his desperate quest for meaning, for wisdom, beauty, love, for peace and for his ‘moment of bliss,’ all of which continue to elude him, more or less over a whole lifetime.
Then an emotional avalanche, triggered by a destructive, manipulative pseudo-love from a woman who was herself a profoundly lost soul, RL’s quest inexorably devolves to all its opposites: confusion, anxiety, loss of meaning and hatred. Ultimately, his penchant for self-destructive action finds expression in real, external destruction. Wighdal’s novel was written with extraordinary intelligence and a striking depth of understanding of human psychology. The prose is at times hauntingly beautiful but at times outright profane. The whole is akin to a sculpture which is in places so sublimely crafted, it leaves no doubt as to the author’s inner qualities and abilities as a writer, but in places he leaves the surface coarse, even deliberately blemished, just to make his point.
In contrast with the serious overall tone of the book, the author elegantly weaves a measure of humor which at time had me in stitches. I can’t resist quoting one such example: “It’s small wonder the verb ‘smite’ means ‘to inflict a heavy blow,’ the Lord’s favourite approach to humans, as well as ‘to enamour.’ So after you got smitten by the beauty and charms of your loved one, the good Lord enters into the picture and he smites you as well.”
In all, “Jung’s Demon” is a brilliant, enjoyable, thought-provoking and entertaining novel that defies conventions and ordinary expectations. You simply have to read this book.
"Intimacy of Madness" by "Jung's Reader"
Jung's Demon is truly a gripping, trenchant tale. To paraphrase Kundera, it's an unbearable intimacy of madness. A witty, thought-provoking book. It is also filed with self-effacing irony and subdued, sometimes twisted, sometimes painful humor. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down. Highly recommended insight into a tortured human soul.
"Superb" by "PatriciasBooks"
Absolutely fantastic read about a serial killer from the killer's point of view. Told with intelligence and, dare I say, some empathy for the killer. Really enjoyed this author's writing and I was just glued to the book. Now I need more from this author.
"Don’t you ever forget, the trees and puppies are angels" by "Natasha Duchene"
Despite the author's palpable mental anguish and a scarecrow like, disturbing cover, his tormented mind kept his sense of humor intact. That was a real surprise coming out "Jung's Demon." He mixes gruesome murders with ancient myths - I particularly loved a story of Erix, Aphrodite’s son set in Erice, Sicily - and than wraps it in a thin layer of humor, obfuscating nothing. His humor induces smiles, winces and chuckles rather than laughter and made us think. Is the demon really in all of us, waiting for right circumstances to unleash its devastating power?
"Suspenseful, exquisitely paced, and darkly funny" by "Lena T."
Suspenseful, exquisitely paced, and darkly funny, written with refreshing intelligence and all too painful humanism, a must for lovers of food and travel, relationship addicts, movie lovers, students of the human condition (psychologists, also), artists of all kinds, magical realists, and other hopeless romantics.
Average rating from 5 members
A bit witty, a lot uncomfortable, this is an incredible book that not only touches madness, but takes you there and makes you shake hands with it. The book is a bit off the wall, and transgressively uncomfortable in places, so if you're bothered by themes that touch on mental health, then it's probably a good idea to go into this book with care.
Absolutely fantastic read about a serial killer from the killer's point of view. Told with intelligence and dare I say some empathy for the killer. Really enjoyed this author's writing and I was just glued to the book. Now I need more from this author. Perfect Halloween read I might add.
Jung's Demon is a fantastic unique book. It is well written and has great characters. Some parts are disturbing and creepy.
My original post written after turning off my Kindle didn't publish to the site. How sad. This was a book I was not expecting. I was expecting a book about the journey of a madman, from another. No, this was a step by step decent into an already mad mind. It was well written, diabolical, and at times surprisingly sweet. Not at all what you would expect. His travels around the world until his final, naked capture, and imprisonment were page turners. And were the interviews hallucinations? If so, when, or never? Read this yourself to find your answers. It's quite a tale.