MOBI The Devil in Silver MOBI á The Devil Epub / Ý freepe.co

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times Book Review • The Washington Post • Publishers WeeklyNew 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 ueens New York He’s not mentally ill but that doesn’t seem to matter He is accused of a crime he can’t uite suare 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 the Devil 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


10 thoughts on “The Devil in Silver

  1. says:

    I was looking forward to this horror novel and—as often happens when I look forward to something—I was disappointed First of all the idea that it was written by a young black man—well young as far as I’m concerned he was forty when he wrote it—a fan of HP Lovecraft who wrote another book based on Lovecraft’s most racist short story The Ballad of Black Tom based on “The Horror at Red Hook” intrigued me Plus the book has a first class “elevator pitch” think One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest meets the Legend of Theseus and the Minotaur How could I resist?Its hero is a big man called Pepper who finds himself confined to a mental institution for observation after becoming embroiled in a fight with three undercover policeman Just as he is beginning to adjust to the other patients and the staff he becomes aware of “the devil” a being who is confined behind a silver door at the other end of the ward a being who preys on the other patients at night And—if the testimony of other patients can be trusted—this other being superhumanly strong is euipped with hornsLavalle’s writing style is likable and disarming allowing him to perform old fashioned gothic tricks and other tricks too direct addresses to the reader lengthy digressions unexpected shifts in point of view in an offhand manner appearing casual even inartful In addition his hero is likable and his fellow patients are people you can root forSo what’s wrong? First of all Lavalle’s prose although likable fails to make music or create an atmosphere two things I believe essential to the hypnotic spell cast by any first class horror writer The major difficult though has to do with the writer’s theme something I can explain best by talking about the meaning of the novel”s title The Devil in SilverIt is a clever title The reader assumes it refers to the horned creature confined behind a silver door but it actually has another meaning entirely When Pepper tells Louis—a minor character a relative visiting one of the patients—about the horned being Louis tells him a story about silver mining He explains that silver “lets out fumes when it is mined” and that these fumes after freuent exposure often cause “delusions” in the minds of the miners Do you know what people would say in these mining towns when they saw one of these miners falling apart? Walking through town muttering and swinging at phantoms? The said the Devil in Silver got them Do you understand what I’m trying to tell you?”“You’re saying we’re just making this thing up” Pepper said uietly“I’m saying they were dying” Louis said “They were definitely not making that up But it wasn’t a monster that was killing them It was the mine” That’s the problem with Lavalle’s novel right here the theme You see our author says there is no real monster to be battled for instead it is an evil institution—namely the hospital—which is responsible for the patient casualties Trying to kill a monster is merely scapegoating for it is only by recognizing the evil in institutions that we can can deliver each other from evilThere’s nothing wrong with such a theme for another kind of w0rk In fact it might make a good adventure movie where a group of oppressed people stop picking on each other and instead go after the real evil a corporation headed by an orange haired pussy grabbing hamburger devouring bully Hmmm I just might read that kind of book myselfBut it's definitely not the right sort of theme for a horror novel Horror although not as conservative as the detective story is nevertheless a conservative genre where evil is ancient perhaps as ancient as the cosmos and must often be battled with instruments from traditions long abandoned and ignored Of course there may be evil modern institutions too but then these institution must harbor actual monsters real and terrible than the false monsters they use to fool us real and terrible than themselves If there is a ‘devil in silver” it should never be a mere delusion No it should be a real devil behind a real door Unless of course the devil and its door are illusions that reveal something even sinister like the dark heart of the cosmos itself


  2. says:

    They just opened himI'm on a good run of wickedly entertaining offbeat novels First John Dies at the End and now this gem Other than the exceptional The Ballad of Black Tom I've had a pretty ho hum experience with LaValle's work In my opinion The Ecstatic while decent enough is his worst book And The Devil in Silver is definitely his best But even when he's not firing on all cylinders he's insanely readable There's something about the guy's writing that does it for me man His chapters are like Lay's potato chips I can't eat just oneWhere Lavalle excels is character development In the Author's Note at the end of this book he talks about all the people watching he did while writing it The end result is a cast of uirky madmen and women who I uickly fell in love with I will certainly return to this book in the near future just so I can revisit old friends What LaValle has to say about mental illness and poverty and institutionalization is yet another reason to pick up this astounding masterclass in literary horror Novels like this is why I will always prefer literary horror to hack and slash gore porn That stuff has its place in the world and I enjoy it myself from time to time but literary horror is far effective Give me someone I can fall in love with someone I can root for someone I can hate Make me fear for their wellbeing or cheer their destruction That is where LaValle really shines His character development is some of the best in the genre There are definitely no red shirts in this novelIn summation LaValle just keeps getting better and better This one gets an easy five stars from me and I cannot wait to read his new novel The Changeling Dude is uickly becoming one of my favorite authors Final Judgment A masterclass in character development


  3. says:

    35 StarsPepper has entered the mental institute No real reason why He is not insane Well not much He was taking up for his sometime girlfriend against her ex husband and assaulted 3 plainclothes cops He is supposed to be confined for 72 hours Yeah rightThese characters are so fully described that I felt like I was right there with them Shut up I know it's the nut house Dorry I have a thing for old broads and this one was spectacular I kinda think she might be me in a few years Back off me dudesPepper realizes there is much going on in the nut house after he is almost killed one night by the resident devil People go missing in this place and its always deemed a suicide The devil is there In the mist dark figures move and twist Pepper said to her Was all this for real or some kind of hell?Ms Chris put one hand on her hip That from the Bible?That's Iron Maiden Pepper saidThis is horror but not in your face scariness It terrified me how easy it is to be inhaled into the system and no one knows where you are The book does have a time period where the story does get draggy but I enjoyed the heck out of it I probably laughed at times I should not have But well it's me we are talking about If you haven't caused a scene in a psych unit it's just because you haven't been inside long enough Rock on Ms Dorry


  4. says:

    For any of you fans of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest here's an updated and fully horrorized version complete with updated and unfortunately real conditions in mental health facilities updated standard practices for lazy law enforcement and even a supremely depressing commentary on a modern Dead SoulsI honestly think this works out just fine as a very nasty horror without adding the special patient that the inmates call the Devil We don't even need him running around with a bull's head although the literary part of me LOVES how he's the Minotaur in the middle of the LabyrinthThe true horror is the conditions of these silver mines The institution kills its inmates Be it neglect poverty of the body and spirit the way no one cares once you get in Or the way it's so freaking easy to get committed It's not about mental health treatment especially with bare bones budgets minimal training and substandard conditions The people on the outside with any power are lining their pockets and don't care because their lives never intersect with those on the inside The people on the inside even the caretakers and doctors are nearly as powerless under the grind of the machine as the people being drugged to the gillsFor they're just being warehoused Drugged into stupefaction And while this book doesn't go into the overflow problem and how many sufferers are just shunted into prison the picture here is clearKesey said it clear and LaValle reiterates we're all stuck in the machine and can't see a way out of itThis is good horror but it's better commentary on us Definitely a must read for Kesey fans who want a big upgrade for our modern world


  5. says:

    Sometimes I will continue reading a book even when I know its hopeless purely out of a sense of loyalty to the author This was certainly the case here I appreciated all of Mr LaValle's efforts and I actually uite like the way he writes but the plot was just all over the place and the premise of the story while initially really captivating takes several strange turns and completely loses itself eventually becoming unrecognizable In fact the novel I finished was almost a completely different one from the one I started and not in a good way However so appealing is his writing and so immediate was my connection to his characters that I stayed with this lengthy novel out of loyalty and a sense of duty to the author and his characters and I think that really speaks volumes to his talent as a writer Its never boring I wish he had worked on it a bit longer maybe had a emphatic editor? There were too many wonderful stories competing to get out in this one novel leaving it all a bit of a jumbled mess


  6. says:

    LaValle spins a uniue horror tale with THE DEVIL IN SILVER Pepper is a great character and this story really keeps you guessing about exactly what the hell is going on in this institution Portions of the book reminded me of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST but LaValle creates his own dynamic spin on sanity and psychosis A wonderful original novel


  7. says:

    Book Info Genre Literary Fiction per publisher; Dark Fiction per meReading Level AdultRecommended for Anyone who likes a great storyMy Thoughts This was one of those books I picked up because there wasn’t anything else that really appealed to me and it just looked strange enough that I would enjoy it Pepper seems like the kind of character I would enjoy and I also tend to like stories sent in mental institutions But imagine my delight when I found descriptions like this one “ ueens New York The most ethnically diverse region not just in the United States but on the entire planet; a distinction it’s held for than four decades In ueens you will find Korean kids who sound like black kids Italians who sound like Puerto Ricans Puerto Ricans who sound like Italians Third generation Irish who sound like old Jews That’s ueens Not a melting pot not even a tossed salad but an all you can eat mix and match buffet” This is the sort of book that will give people with a phobia of madness or being committed nightmares This is a paranoiac’s vision of a mental institution a place designed and developed for the sole purpose of disappearing those who are so far beneath society’s notice that no one will even care when they vanish Designed and developed to house a monster But who will believe mental patients when they claim a beast is killing them?I was put in on a 72 hour hold once – thankfully I was released on time – and there do tend to be a lot of amusing incidents on a psych ward For instance the problems with the television lounge and the person in control of the remote can cause amusing incidents like this one “ it was a ‘news program’ Cue the exodus Two thirds of the patients scrambled The Air Force’s finest fighter suadrons don’t move as fast”These sorts of humorous interludes are very necessary as this is a really freaky bookHowever this author is really amazing His style is such that is draws you in and holds you Take this example talking about a man who ends up being scapegoated for events that take place late in the book “ Only a day after he’d left New Hyde no one at the hospital could remember the dude’s name His name was Robert Paulson His name was Robert Paulson” A wonderful homage to Fight Club and a great touch So I can heartily recommend this book to folks that won’t get freaked out by the content or those who aren’t triggered by the concept of an asylum Great stuffDisclosure I received a paperback ARC of this book from the Vine program in exchange for an honest review All opinions are my ownSynopsis New Hyde Hospital’s psychiatric ward has a new resident It also has a very very old onePepper 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 ueens New York He’s not mentally ill but that doesn’t seem to matter He is accused of a crime he can’t uite suare 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 the Devil die?


  8. says:

    They said this was literary horror They was right


  9. says:

    I want to take that book and club the main character to death with itMeet Pepper idiot par excellence Seriously He tried to help a neighbour whom he fancied beat up her colleagueex was stopped by three undercover cops that he mistook for gangbangers beat those up as well and you guessed it that didn't go so well for him Due to a technicality he wasn't booked but sent to New Hyde Hospital’s psychiatric ward for a 72 hour observation period But since he really is an idiot his behavior gave the staff some bullshit excuse to drug him out of his mind Fast forward a month and he's still in there Only by now it has become apparent that all is not well in this closed off almost claustrophobic world of helplessness drugs abuse of power and drugs And I'm not talking about stable people getting drugs that make them forget their own name until they are unable to even know if they are sitting or walking No there is something stalking this ward and staff as well as patients and the occasionally looking in cops are all pretending they don't know about itThis story is not just about Pepper's time in the psychiatric hospital it's also the story of all the other people there patients as well as staff It's about people behaving like zombies even when they aren't patients at New Hyde it's about chronical underfunding about a flawed system and the author is well informed about the state of affairs in other countries too not just the US about people enjoying abusing this system and enjoying to grate others down until even the sanest person wants to scream non stopAs such the book managed to submerge me nicely in this forsaken dull and monotone world Everything is grey or white tile There is only stagnation and resignation The reader thus gets sucked into the hospital's routine and I could hardly believe what was going on here From patients being strapped to their beds for any length of time whether they've actually done something to warrant that or not doesn't seem to matter to anyone to patients actually dying Oh yes people are dying here But hey it's just the crazy ones right? Yeah I liked that the author incorporated so much social commentary and showed the visiting families and how hard the situation is on them as much as a certain pizza baker and his ridiculous notion of what mental health patient means We got cops and politicians or at least city officials as well and it was eerie to realize just like the MC did that of course they don't want to change the status uo since they aren't affected by it So long as a system works for person A person A isn't likely inclined to change the system just because person B might be affected negatively It's how the world works as sad as that isWhat really got under my skin was Pepper the MC and his stupid ass decisions though I know that they were necessary to keep him and therefore the reader on site so we could follow the story view spoilerand that playing the hero and saving women was his schtick hide spoiler


  10. says:

    5🌟It's the society that's untethered yet we're institutionalized