Demon Who Peddled LongingBook Description:

Publisher: Underground Voices (November 21, 2014)
ISBN: 978-0-9904331-1-8
Category: Literary Fiction, Multicultural
Tour Date: November, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 296 Pages

From the award winning author of ‘Flesh’, “Demons advocate love‒not the compassionate love devoid of possession and sexual desire. It’s the lustful love. They tempt humans with such lust, and the moment living beings fall for it, the demons will peddle longing to take them away.”

Thus, begins the terrible journey of a twenty-year-old boy in search of  the two brothers who are drifters and who raped and killed his cousin also his girl.

Set in post-war Vietnam, The Demon Who Peddled Longing brings together the damned, the unfit, the brave, who succumb by their own doing to the call of fate. Yet their desire to survive and to face life again never dies, so that when someone like the boy, who is psychologically damaged by his family tragedy, who no sooner gets his life together after being rescued by a fisherwoman than falls in love with an untouchable girl and finds his life in peril, takes his leave in the end, there is nothing left but a longing in the heart that goes with him.

My Thoughts:

‘The Demon Who Peddled Longing’ opens with a fisher woman finding 19 year old, Nam, usually referred to as ‘the boy” in the river, badly hurt.  She takes him in and nurses him back to health.  He stays and works for her for awhile but eventually moves on.

Nam is on a mission to find the two brothers who raped and killed his cousin. When asked where he is heading, he just tells people that he is heading south to find work.  He eventually finds the brothers that he is looking for, to avenge his cousins’ death but that isn’t really the main part of the novel. 

‘The Demon Who Peddled Longing’ takes place in post war Vietnam and is more about the journey Nam takes, that seems never ending and the kinds of people he meets along the way. The title is aptly named, Nam and many of the characters have demons lurking and they are longing. Most seem to just be getting by but know it’s too much to be happy, to strive for a better life.

This is the second book I have read by Khanh Ha and is does not disappoint.  His poetic prose is still hypnotic and I had a hard time putting the book down.  He writes almost like he is in a trance, observing what he writes first hand.  I don’t really know how else to explain it. He takes his readers on incredible journeys through his homeland, Vietnam. Getting a taste of the culture and people.  He examines those deep dark places most would try to avoid yet, you can’t help but follow.

I am not over emphasizing  how good a writer Ha is, too me, he is a literary genius!  His books may be a bit too brutal for high school reading but should be in college curriculum for literary study!  Don’t let this scare you, his books are very accessible to most readers who love literary fiction and multicultural fiction. ‘The Demon Who Peddled Longing’ is a must read!


I received the ebook version for my honest review.

Read the Interview:

Please go to my next post today where I have an interview with Khanh Ha, here:

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