Falling Angel

William Hjortsberg


Falling Angel

Falling Angel

  • Title: Falling Angel
  • Author: William Hjortsberg
  • ISBN: 9780445046986
  • Page: 368
  • Format: Paperback



A terrific book what might have happened if Raymond Chandler had written The Exorcist Stephen King Falling Angel combines the best of the classic detective story with elements of the occult with surprising humor and wit This is the literary love child of Raymond Chandler and Stephen King Not for the faint of heart from the foreword by Ridley Scott A terrific book what might have happened if Raymond Chandler had written The Exorcist Stephen King Falling Angel combines the best of the classic detective story with elements of the occult with surprising humor and wit This is the literary love child of Raymond Chandler and Stephen King Not for the faint of heart from the foreword by Ridley ScottHjortsberg s Edgar Award nominated classic about the hunt for a vanished singer that leads a detective into the depths of the occult Big band frontman Johnny Favorite was singing for the troops when a Luftwaffe fighter squadron strafed the bandstand, killing the crowd and leaving the singer near death The army returned him to a private hospital in upstate New York, leaving him to live out his days as a vegetable while the world forgot him But Louis Cyphre never forgets Cyphre had a contract with the singer, stipulating payment upon Johnny s death payment that will be denied as long as Johnny clings to life When Cyphre hires private investigator Harry Angel to find Johnny at the hospital, Angel learns that the singer has disappeared It is no ordinary missing person s case Everyone he questions dies soon after, as Angel s investigation ensnares him in a bizarre tangle of black magic, carnival freaks, and grisly voodoo When the sinister Louis Cyphre begins appearing in Angel s dreams, the detective fears for his life, his sanity, and his soul.


Recent Comments "Falling Angel"

Vooooodoooohard boiled detective mystery, and twisted loooooooove.Thanks Jeff- just what I was in the mood for.FALLING ANGELe 2nd novel I have read this month that Mickey Rourke stared in the moviebut this time, the book was sooooooooooooooo much better than the filmd it has nothing to do with the fact that Mickey is cuter in Nine and a Half Weeks- I swear.New York City 1959Private investigator- Harry Angel is hired by mysterious client- Louis Cyphre to find Johnny Favorite- a crooner injured du [...]

Ο Stephen King διάβασε το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο, γοητεύτηκε και προλόγισε διθυραμβικά σχόλια. Τελικά το έχω παρατηρήσει, οποιοδήποτε βιβλίο υμνεί ο King εμένα με αφήνει παγερά αδιάφορη. Το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο θεωρώ πως δεν είναι για έμπειρους αναγνώστες.Αναγνωστικά και ηλικιακά.Η [...]

4.5 stars! There are two reasons I bought this book. 1. I bought it at my favorite brick and mortar bookstore, Bunch of Grapes(bunchofgrapes/), because I wanted to contribute in some small way to their beautiful store. 2. Because my friend Marc has been hounding me to read it for a couple of years now. He was right, and I now wish I had read this book sooner.This is a crime-noir novel, written in the 70's but actually taking place in the early 50's. As such, there are some racist comments and re [...]

First published in 1978, this is a novel that combines a fairly traditional hard-boiled detective story with supernatural horror elements. In brief, I enjoyed the hard-boiled side of the story, the supernatural parts not so much.The story is set in 1959. New York City P.I. Harry Angel is hired by a mysterious man named Louis Cyphre to track down a former popular singer named Johnny Favorite. As the Second World War began, Favorite was becoming a major star on the order of what Frank Sinatra woul [...]

An entertaining read, but very heavy on the foreshadowing. Everything that happened, I was able to predict from hints in the first couple chapters. I would not, therefore, recommend this as a mystery, but if you want a noir about doomed people in NY City you may enjoy it.The obviousness of the plot and the literary devices did make it extra-amusing that my copy was annotated by someone who pointed out all the most obvious things:

“The night was black, was no use holding back'Cause I just had to see, was someone watching me.In the mist dark figures move and twistWas all this for real, or just some kind of hell?666 the number of the beastHell and fire was spawned to be released.”(cue face-melting guitar solo)“The Number Of The Beast” - IronMaiden“I took a closer look at what protruded from his swollen lips and suddenly one drink wasn’t going to be enough.”That quote from the book made me chuckle, William Hjor [...]

I really liked this book. It starts out as a typical detective yarn (stereotypical even?) that spins itself into an occult tale of voodoo and satanism. The detective, Harry Angel, agrees to search for and find Johnny Favorite, a popular singer that made the circuit prior to World War II.Angel interviews a cast of characters and the story seems to take on a run of the mill "interview and look for loopholes in the story" plot. The occasional gruesome murder that seems to dog Angel keeps the story [...]

“The tomb lies at the end of every path. Only the soul is immortal. Guard this treasure well. Your decaying husk is but a temporary vessel on an endless voyage.”I've watched Angel Heart several times over the years, having no idea until last year it was spawned from a novel. Unobservant me never noticed until it was brought up in someone else's review. Being a fan of the twisted supernatural story-line meets hard boiled detective, I instantly purchased it. Did the book hold up to the movie?D [...]

William Hjortsberg's Falling Angel was the basis for the movie Angel Heart, and, Mickey Rourke notwithstanding, it's a mighty fine adaptation. Even if you've seen the movie, the book is well worth a read, but those of you who haven't seen the movie are in for a special treat.Falling Angel tells the story of Harry Angel: a P.I. hired by a mysterious stranger to find out the whereabouts of 1940's crooner Johnny Favorite. What seems fairly straightforward at first glance becomes more and more compl [...]

on the one hand, i think it's a perfect book. on the other hand, it was ruined a little bit by the fact that i'd already seen the movie angel heart, which was based on it, and so a lot of the power was lost. on the third hand, since so much power was lost simply because i knew what was going to happen, it's probably not a 5-star book (The Maltese Falcon and The Chill, for instance, just get better with each reading/viewing). but on the fourth hand, it's fucking genius, so fuck the third hand. 5 [...]

Who wouldn’t love a supernatural crime noir tale set in the 50’s with voodoo, satanic cults, brutal murders and a hard-boiled detective named Harry Angel. I can see why this one is considered a classice it is. Highly Recommended.

Mickey Rourke / ‘Angel Heart’ (1987) / Alan Parker & William Hjortsberg - ow/u8hO2Por muy taimadamente que te acerques a un espejo, tu imagen siempre te mira directamente a los ojos.—Es un título de abogado —respondí—. Perteneció al fundador de esta agencia. Ya ha muerto.—¿Sentimental? —farfulló Sterne entre sus apretados labios de ventrílocuo.—Pone un toque de distinción.—¿Qué dice? —preguntó el sargento Deimos.—Lo ignoro. No entiendo el latín.—De modo que [...]

4 Stars What a thoroughly enjoyable hard boiled detective thriller. I picked this one up thanks to recommendations from as I normally do not veer into the straight up mystery genre. To my surprise I had a tough time putting down this noir thriller.Hjortsberg does a fabulous job of giving this story a 1950's feel. He stays true to the noir genre. First person narrations, plenty of dark and gloomy environments, and a hero that is also flawed and more real. The plot can be some what complex, with [...]

I was on the phone the other day with a musician friend. He recommended this to me. “You'll love it!" He told me. “It takes place in The City and it's all places you know – PLUS there's a lot of jazz references you'll catch too. I read it in two days.” When I got off the phone I checked Kindle and there it was. I downloaded it and began reading. I read it in two days also.Noir, Jazz, Mystery, Voodoo, The Occult, familiar locale and even a real life character I remember. That's a five sta [...]

For my review of this book, please clickhere(still on but different edition of the book!)Thank you!

I first read Falling Angel in 1983. Right after the KEW list was published in the old Twilight Zone magazine. Naturally, I went to the public library in search of the books on the list. Wagner being the obscure literature fan, I didn’t find too much. The exception was Falling Angel, which I took home and read over a matter of days.In preparation for this review, I read the book again. I don’t usually re-read books as there’s too much out there I haven’t read. But I felt the passage of 30 [...]

At one point in William Hjortsberg's masterful horror novel "Falling Angel," Epiphany Proudfoot, 17-year-old voodoo priestess, tells our detective hero Harry Angel "you sure know a lot about the city." The city in question is the New York of 1959, and if Angel knows a lot about this crazy burg, then Hjortsberg, in the course of this tale, demonstrates that he knows even more. While much has been said of this book's scary elements--its voodoo ceremonies and Black Mass meeting and horrible murders [...]

Harry Angel is a private detective, hired by a mysterious client to find singer, Johnny Favourite. His investigations soon point to a man who was heavily involved in black magic, finding him will be difficult enough without all of Harry's leads turning up dead as one by one they are taken out.I've seen the movie of this book and although there are some similarities they are vastly different. I liked the character of Angel even though he played fast and loose with the law, he was well written and [...]

I wish I had read this book before seeing the movie "Angel Heart". But, as it has been over 20 years since I have seen the movie, I had forgotten most of the details (except a pretty steamy sex scene with Lisa Bonet (We're not in "Cosby" anymore, Theo! WOW!)). And of course, I remembered the ending. That being said, it did not much detract from how damn good this book is!5 STARS, favorited

I thought one of the fundamental aspects of storytelling involved the inclusion of at least a few boring parts. This didn't seem to have any so I'm guessing it wasn't written correctly.Constant pacing and a more than satisfying ending. Highly recommended.4.5

I was completely engrossed with this story, read it in two days, and could not put it down.

I'm a huge fan of noir crime fiction, and someone recommended this book as one I'd like in that genre. And sure enough, it held up as a fine noir novel. There's the private detective, Harold Angel, working out of a crappy little office, dressed sloppily, with stains on his tie; places that people wouldn't go to after dark; a private hospital in the country, characters involved in the dark world of voodoo and black magic etc. etc. And Angel's been hired by someone to find a missing singer who's b [...]

Twenty-five years ago I saw the movie "Angel Heart". I remember it being a very atmospheric film. Twenty-five years later, I read the novel that would become that movie. This is one of the best, noir, hard-boiled gumshoe novel's I've read. Hjortsberg also does a wonderful job on the atmosphere of New York City in the '50's. Throw in the case Harry Angel is working that involves, black magic, voodoo, and some gruesome murders, you have a very different hard-boiled novel. Getting in to this story, [...]

4.5 stars. Review to come!

Hjortsberg is a difficult author to find on the shelves. IMO he's well worth searching out.After probably twenty years or so, I decided to pick this up and read it again. It stood the test of time quite well-- possibly since I have in the interim read a lot of other authors, his literary allusions might stand out better to my mind now. The tale begins as a first-person narrative by a private detective, told in the now-familiar manner of Chandler and Ross MacDonald. The action takes place over te [...]

I tried to get hold of this book when I first saw ‘Angel Heart’, still the best film I have ever seen, but failed to find it. What a joy to discover it is now available for Kindle.Like many of the previous reviewers I thought it might be spoilt for me because I already knew what happened at the end. Not so. The language is stunningly beautiful.How’s this for an opening sentence? ‘It was Friday the thirteenth and yesterday’s snowstorm lingered in the streets like a leftover curse.’Or [...]

If you like your horror laced with more than a little private dick noir then Falling Angel is the novel for you. Sucker private eye Harry Angel should have brushed up on his basic satanist symbolism as his "client" Louis Cypher (get it?) has him trying to find out if missing vegetable crooner Johnny Favorite is alive or dead and where he is. See Johnny "owes" something to the not so enigmatic Mr. Cypher.The symbolism was a little heavy handed in this one and the fact that Angel doesn't know what [...]

Until the last 30 pages, there was nothing in this that made me want to keep reading. I only managed to by taking a long break, and then forcing myself since the book was short. The last 30 pages are okay, but even they aren't enough to recommend this. If you've read any pulp horror mags or reprints from the 1930s, you could take those and combine them w/ Rosemary's Baby, and you'd have this book. The author went overboard in his attempts to remind you that the story is set in the 1950s. If he h [...]

Então, Harry Angel é contratado para investigar sobre o Johnny Favorite se ele tá morto ou vivo. Até aí tudo, nós somos levados a um carrossel interminável de quem era/é esse cantor que mexia com artes negras e que tantas pessoas amavam e odiavam.O Johnny sempre foi excêntrico e uma pessoa que era tão gananciosa desaparecer de uma hora para é estranho. Porém, eu no caso, você chega no final e dá o clique de ele foi levado aquelas pessoas; fazendo ou não parte do desaparecimento de [...]

I'm not going to claim this is a great book, but damn I loved it. Noir detective fiction mixed with satanism and a mashup of other supernatural elements, written with economy of purpose, and no happy ending to ruin the bite. Sure, it telegraphs the destination, but the ride is so much fun. There was plenty of gruesome horror, and a nice dose of hard-boiled violence, and the story kept me wanting to read much later than I should have been.


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    Posted by:William Hjortsberg
    Published :2019-02-23T21:34:53+00:00