Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on September 30, 2012
If you are looking for a horror novel, this is not the book for you. I listened to an interview with the author and he (paraphrasing) said that fiction is about allowing a reader to understand what a situation feels like to the character, and that horror can be enlisted to do that. This is the key to how the horror works here -- it exists to make you understand what it's like to be a resident of an underfunded mental institution. It is there to show how people sometimes see those residents. It is not there for its own sake, and not there enough to satisfy a reader looking for something that will make them sleep with the lights on.

"Devil" is about the journey of Pepper, a man wrongly confined to a mental institution, as well as a book that seeks to explain the issues of said institution. Pepper begins the novel as a big guy who wants to be seen as a hero, whether or not the person is looking for one, and he ends the novel as a man who understands genuine connection, compassion, and sacrifice.

This book asks that you accept some tangents, some leniency with POV -- including a portion told from the perspective of an unpopular rat (seriously) -- but I'm giving it 5 stars because I was interested, engaged, informed, and enlightened. It's a 5 star read because it is a book that I feel I'm the better for having read, and because I want to recommend it to lots and lots of people!

Some small editing snafus, but nothing too jarring, obviously.
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