Up for Review: The Devil in Silver

Oh, “literary horror” – I can’t say no to that…

The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle (Spiegel & Grau)

Marketing copy from NetGalley:

New Hyde Hospital’s psychiatric ward has a new resident. It also has a very,very old one.

Pepper is a rambunctious big man, minor-league troublemaker, working-class hero (in his own mind), and, suddenly, the surprised inmate of a budget-strapped mental institution in Queens, New York. He’s not mentally ill, but that doesn’t seem to matter. He is accused of a crime he can’t quite square with his memory. In the darkness of his room on his first night, he’s visited by a terrifying creature with the body of an old man and the head of a bison who nearly kills him before being hustled away by the hospital staff. It’s no delusion: The other patients confirm that a hungry devil roams the hallways when the sun goes down. Pepper rallies three other inmates in a plot to fight back: Dorry, an octogenarian schizophrenic who’s been on the ward for decades and knows all its secrets; Coffee, an African immigrant with severe OCD, who tries desperately to send alarms to the outside world; and Loochie, a bipolar teenage girl who acts as the group’s enforcer. Battling the pill-pushing staff, one another, and their own minds, they try to kill the monster that’s stalking them. But can theDevil die?

The Devil in Silver brilliantly brings together the compelling themes that spark all of Victor LaValle’s radiant fiction: faith, race, class, madness, and our relationship with the unseen and the uncanny. More than that, it’s a thrillingly suspenseful work of literary horror about friendship, love,and the courage to slay our own demons.

Victor LaValle is the author of the short-story collection Slapboxing with Jesus and the novel The Ecstatic, a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award.

The Devil in Silver will be published on 21 August by Spiegel & Grau. For a taste, you can read an excerpt. To learn more about LaValle, you can check out his website, his Wikipedia page or read his tweets.

4 thoughts on “Up for Review: The Devil in Silver

  1. Just read Lucretia and the Kroons>/i>, my first foray into Victor Lavalle’s work, quite different to what I normally read, but enjoyed the change of voice and alternative way of relating to readers who are into a kind of literary horror that’s not too shocking. If interested you can read • my review here

    • Thanks for stopping by and linking to your review Claire 🙂 This is my first LaValle too. I’m about a third of the way in, and the horror comes more from the way people are treated in the mental institution than from the devil who stays there, so if you don’t normally read horror, you might appreciate this.

  2. Pingback: July/August Round-up | Violin in a Void

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