In this highly entertaining collection, Arnason employs all of his powers as a humorist and as a scholar intimate with North American and Icelandic mythology and culture. Whether set in a chilly Canadian city or an ancient Icelandic village, each story takes on an epic tone and suggests that there is a higher power hard at play, toying with people's destiny for its own amusement. Arnason's serpentine demon lover seduces and tempts women with his own kind of forbidden fruit. His narrator considers the fate of lovers in an overturned canoe. Giants of incredible strength populate a remote and dying Icelandic village. Spanning worlds both mythological and real, the stories are recounted from an all-knowing - but not always all revealing - perspective.
“…the little jewels of Arnason's storytelling genius leave the reader wanting more.” — Ken Chisholm, Pottersfield Portfolio
“Arnason displays an impeccable ability to craft tales rich with comedy, mythology and contemporary insight.” — Bob Nay, Uptown Magazine
“Things are better, funnier and zanier than in the storyteller's previous works.” — Judith Fitzgerald, Globe & Mail
“There is much to surprise and delight the reader of The Demon Lover … [Arnason’s stories are] surprising in an amusing way, and demonstrate the skill of a master trickster.” — Tim Haner, Canadian Literature
“The Demon Lover is, like every other Arnason collection, a magical blend of reworked mythology, riotous humour, and riveting stories” — Jason A. Keenan, Prince George Free Press
“Perhaps the most impressive aspect of The Demon Lover is the fierce originality of the stories contained within it. Arnason often appropriates creatures and situations from folktales or mythology, "updating" them or otherwise imbuing them with new life and a new relevance. Trolls can be found living under the bridges of Winnipeg, Pandora is present as a cat whose owners bought her a toy box at a Transcona garage sale, and wizards abound.” — Jonathan Ball, The Manitoban
“Arnason presents imaginative, thought-provoking and original tales.” — Jacqueline Davis, Literary Press Group
“Arnason is "the Winnipeg literary kingpin.” — Morley Walker, Winnipeg Free Press
"David Arnason knows how to tell a gripping tale whose twists and turns defy all predictability ... a master storyteller with a classical sensibility." — Steven M. Berzensky, Books in Canada
David Arnason is an acclaimed novelist, writer of short fiction, and editor. A finalist for the Leacock Medal for Humour (King Jerry) and a winner of the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award (The Imagined City), David has taught at the University of Manitoba since 1972. He has served as both the acting head of the Department of Icelandic Studies and head of the Department of English. Currently, he lives and writes in Gimli, MB.