This was a pretty good book and evidence again that Ellison is simply not constrained by genre. I had never read this assuming it was a bit of hack work from relatively early in Harlan's career, but like all the better pulpish writers he inserts his own voice and ideas into what is basically writing by the word.True to most of Ellison's work, the primary strength here is character. Most of Ellison's work is really about well drawn characters thrust into paradoxical or odd situations. Shelly Morgenstern is so well executed that we feel he is a real person. We can relate to him on a personal level.The first half of the novel particularly has a noirish feel with Morgenstern sitting in for the usual private dick with a conscience. There are even the typical hard boiled metaphors.In the end I almost wanted Shelly to take another chance with Luther, the monster he discovered, but Ellison shows us that to dance with the demon ultimately requires selling your soul and all that brings with it.