This is the kind of novel that demons in hell probably read to each other for home comfort and sliminess. Perhaps, as in The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, it's meant to be the inner ravings of a psychotic, but all we get are the ravings, without a frame. Five middle-aged surgeons, in a search for scientific proof of the afterlife, put one of their number to death with his brain hooked up to a dictionary-computer that turns brainwaves into words. What's that? The soul of the dead doctor, d it is his soul, finds only blackness, with Something hammering at it to get in. Get in? Yep, it's the Son of Belial himself, come to claim the doctor's soul. A Babylonian monstrosity of primal evil at last invades the corpse, which rises out of its bed of ice and goes on a murder rampage of supershrieking glutziness, babbling abominableness. What happens next shouldn't happen to a dog--but it does: a dog is decapitated by the priestess Isis, and its bleeding head is laid on the corpse's breast. The first few pages of this grotesquerie show promise, but it soon dies in the clangor of thick-ribb'd clichÃ‰s.