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The White Devil: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Justin Evans

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“Want a good English ghost story to read by the fire on a cold winter night? [The White Devil] gathers you in lovingly, then takes you in a strangler’s grip with its escalating horrors.” (Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly (2011 Pop Culture Favorites))

“Demonic possession, the provocative topic of Justin Evans’s first novel, A Good and Happy Child, takes on a literary twist and a sexual jolt in The White Devil. . . . Evans heaps an assortment of gothic embellishments onto this coming-of-age narrative.” (New York Times Book Review)

“Chilling-to-the-bone. . . . Deliciously frightening, The White Devil is a literary scare story in an earlier tradition before vampires ruled the day, or at least the genre.” (New York Daily News)

“[An] ingenious and creepy supernatural thriller, will give you chills even in the summer heat. Evans has fused a literary mystery, sinister ghost story and Gothic romance with the story of a boy’s intellectual and sexual awakening.” (Kansas City Star)

“Evans ratchets up the suspense at an expert pace. . . . The White Devil [is] an authentic page-turner that may well be devoured in one sitting.” (Shelf Awareness)

“[An] ingenious and creepy supernatural thriller, will give you chills even in the summer heat. Evans has fused a literary mystery, sinister ghost story and Gothic romance with the story of a boy’s intellectual and sexual awakening.” (The Tuscon Citizen)

“[A] crackling literary mystery. . . . Harrow itself contains Shirley Jackson levels of gloomy passages and dark secrets. Smart, scary, sexy, and gorgeously written to boot.” (Booklist (starred review))

“Gripping. . . . [A] disturbing gothic thriller.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))

The White Devil is an intelligent, bristling ghost story with a stunning sense of place, a uniquely frightful spirit, and a band of absolutely charming heroes—Byronic and otherwise. You’ll dread reaching the end-while flipping the pages furiously.” (Gillian Flynn, author of Sharp Objects and Dark Places)

The White Devil is a page-turning tour de force. Both a thoughtful and learned homage to the ghost story, and a clever and compelling rethinking of the genre, this is an amazing, frightening, and believable novel. I loved it.” (David Liss, author of The Devil's Company)

The White Devil is part ghost story, part murder mystery, part coming-of-age tale, part romance. It’s a delightful cocktail. Justin Evans’ writing is crisp, his storytelling vigorous, his sense of the uncanny pitch perfect. And he’s written a wonderfully creepy book.” (Scott Smith, author of A Simple Plan and The Ruins)


“Evans is so good at nail-biting narrative.” —WashingtonPost
“[A]crackling literary mystery. . . . Harrow itself contains Shirley Jackson levelsof gloomy passages and dark secrets. Smart, scary, sexy, and gorgeously writtento boot.” —Booklist (starredreview)
Joe Hill’s Horns meets Donna Tartt’sThe Secret History in this bold new thriller from Justin Evans, authorof the critically acclaimed A Good and Happy Child. Whenseventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor is transplanted from his American high schoolto a British boarding school—a high-profile academy for the sons of England’sfinest—his father hopes that the boy’s dark past will not follow him fromacross the Atlantic. But blood, suspense, and intrigue quickly surround Andrewonce again as he finds himself struggling with a deadly mystery left unsolvedby a student from Harrow School’s past—the enigmatic poet Lord Byron.


  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Dateigröße: 690 KB
  • Seitenzahl der Print-Ausgabe: 389 Seiten
  • ISBN-Quelle für Seitenzahl: 0061728276
  • Verlag: HarperCollins e-books; Auflage: Reprint (10. Mai 2011)
  • Verkauf durch: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • Text-to-Speech (Vorlesemodus): Aktiviert
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Nicht aktiviert
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: #707.892 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop (Siehe Top 100 Bezahlt in Kindle-Shop)

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen auf (beta) 3.7 von 5 Sternen  67 Rezensionen
24 von 25 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Entertaining gothic mystery 12. Juni 2011
Von barry - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I did enjoy this novel by Justin Evans but must start off by saying I in no way found it a gothic thriller as it is being described. Thriller leads the reader to think of it being scary and a page turner with much suspense. This is not what this book is about. Not to knock it at all. The gothic genre is achieved with high colors. Evans is a very good intelligent author and he sets the backdrop of England and the brooding boarding school Harrow School so well it leaps from the pages and comes to life. He is comfortable with the gothic genre and setting from page one till the end. The story is about American student Andrew Taylor who is sent to the school as a last resort by his father. He was kicked out of many schools in America for his behaviour and Harrow School is his last chance. The novel grabbed me from the beginning with the intense atmosphere, well defined characters and quick fast paced plot. The story moved quickly and right off the bat there is a murder. An added aspect to the plot is Andrew getting involved in a play about poet Byron who was a student at the school. He bears a strong resemblance to him physically and this is an important part of the story. Other main characters are Piers Hawkes, the house master who is also a past his time poet and drunk plus Persephone, the only female student at the school. Piers is the author of the play about Byron and Persephone the female lead.

But from here on the pace of the novel slows down as the ghost story unfolds. The first appearances of the ghost rang very true and I was at the edge of my seat. It was creepy and spellbinding. Andrew is the recipient of these visions and I expected a novel with ever increasing suspense and dread as the ghost made its presence stronger. In other words a great gothic thriller. But instead the book becomes a mystery into why the ghost is presenting itself, who the ghost is and what does it ultimately want. The search is on with our main characters to solve this but suspense and anticipation for the reader is gone. Andrew's thought process dealing with this throughout the book does make sense and works well for well. Persephone also rings true. But headmaster Piers just gets away with many actions at the school while still holding his job that I find unbelievable. There are a few other main characters that pop up but most characters become sidelines. The novel does move along smoothly but a thriller it is not. It's a good read but not one that keeps you up hours. It took me time to get through this one.

Justin Evans is a very intelligent author and the gothic atmosphere is superb. The basis of the story is also very intriguing but as it unfolds it does not have much suspense or apprehension for the reader. The ending is satisfying but for me it was a big opportunity lost as the ghost and the sequences involving it became plot points and not suspenseful arcs of the story. The mystery aspect does work well though and answers are explained well as the novel wraps itrself up. I can recommend this novel but not as a gothic thriller. If a thriller is what you expect you will be let down. But for an atmospheric gothic mystery with well drawn charaters this book works well.
15 von 15 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen A Lovely, Literate Gothic Thriller! 5. Juni 2011
Von Jeanette Thomas - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
For as long as I can remember I've been a sucker for gothic thrillers, especially those set at British boarding schools. There's so much potential there - the ancient school buildings, the fog-shrouded landscapes, the sense of history frozen in time, the wafting hint of repression and unnatural obsessions. Alas, despite all that potential, no example of the genre has ever lived up to my melodramatic expectations. Either they're so poorly written that it's an effort not to gag at the overworked metaphors and lame cliches, or else they devolve into a climax so anticlimactic and silly that I find myself thinking: "Really? I've read all this way, and that's all you've got?"

And then, finally, a book that delivers the goods! White Devil is a literate, well paced, dense ghost story with characters that engage, writing that absorbs, red herrings so intriguing you'll enjoy being led astray, and a plot that keeps tightening the tension until the final sentences of the story's wholly original, wholly satisfying, wholly creepy denouement.

The story revolves around Andrew Taylor, a 17yr old American boy exiled by his outraged parents to an exclusive English boarding School after scandal and a death force him to flee his school in Connecticut. But the ghosts he's left behind are nothing compared to the ghost waiting for him at Harrow School - a pallid, spectral lad whose soul remains bound to earth by 200-year old cruelties and jealousies. Now add to the mix a bitter, washed-up poet grasping at his last chance to redeem himself; an eerily beautiful but precocious female classmate; White Devil, a bloody revenge tragedy authored by the troubled 19th century playwright John Webster; and rehearsals for a production of the life of the beautiful, scandalous, haunted Lord Byron (a Harrow School alumnus), to whom Andrew bears an uncanny resemblance ... set it all in an ancient boarding school complete with petty (and not so petty) adolescent cruelty, secrets concealed behind crumbling stone, and a string of mysterious deaths that begin soon after Andrew's arrival at Harrow ... stir vigorously, and enjoy losing yourself in a tale that is sure to keep you enthralled until the final paragraphs.

Props to Justin Evans, whose bio reveals no particular literary credentials, for producing this literate gothic thriller. It's not easy to produce extreme characters that don't come off as sterotypical, to create mood/atmosphere that doesn't come off as stagy, to construct a plot so dense that the story never stops delivering chills, and to resist the urge to wrap up the story with a full and pat disclosure that explains all. Evans writes with the mastery of language and assurance of a pro. How fortunate that the idea for this story fell into the hands of someone able to make the most of it!
15 von 18 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen Harrowing? 18. Juni 2011
Von Daniel Myers - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
I chose this book from the Vine selection for a couple reasons: 1.) I'm English and attended an English boarding school (Winchester) before migrating to the colonies. 2.) I seem to be on a Byron kick of late, having recently finished reading his complete letters and diary entries. Author Justin Evans is an American who, like our protagonist Andrew Taylor herein, spent a year at Harrow. There were a few Yanks at Winchester too, so I was interested in how Evans depicted it all. My verdict - It all comes across as rather stock and mediocre, rather what one expects to find than any grand surprises or disclosures.

The book will be best appreciated by those who adore Gothic atmospherics for their own sake and who, as Evans admits in the "essay" on this Amazon page, believe in actual ghosts. Some reviewers, no doubt unduly influenced by Harry Potter, seem troubled by the homosexuality and drugs depicted in the book. Trust me, Evans is not letting you in on the half of it.

Evans plays fast and loose with Byronic scholarship here, which didn't bother me so much. It's a work of fiction, after all. But he does depict Byron as the stereotypical roué most people think of him as rather than the complicated human being that he was. Also, for those interested, John Harness is based on an actual historical figure, John Eccleston, whom Byron mentions in his early letters and for whom he clearly felt some sort of affection. Also, again for those interested, the Latin quotes on the chalkboard are from Virgil's Aeneid, which every six-former must master to graduate. They remain untranslated in the book, so here are my ad hoc translations:

1.) (p. 87 in the ARC) "And from the highest summit the nymphs cried out..."

2.) (p. 175 in the ARC, to which I'm adding the famous line that precedes it, "Facilis descendus Averni :") "It is easy to descend into Hell: Night and day the door stands open to the darkness of Dis."

Dis is the god of the underworld.

My final take on the book is that, in the end, it is in no sense a thriller in the common usage of the word (as other reviewers have noted), nor is it particularly original, but it does, ironically, make for good "comfort reading" on dark and stormy nights with the duvet pulled up over one.
5 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen Appeals to the cerebral more than the primal mind 7. April 2011
Von TChris - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Not being a fan of many ghost stories not written by Edgar Allen Poe, I wasn't sure what to expect from The White Devil. Made curious by a description that painted the novel as something more than a horror story, I began reading it with some fear that I might find it too dull to finish. Exactly the opposite occurred. Within the first few pages I was drawn into the narrative by the intelligence and wit that Justin Evans brings to his writing. While it isn't perfect, The White Devil is more complex and of higher literary quality than an ordinary tale of the supernatural.

The White Devil mixes a coming-of-age story with one of midlife redemption, adds the spice of sexual tension, and yes, tells a ghost story, but one with a twist that even Poe might have admired. Still, the quality of the writing in The White Devil appealed to me more than the story. The characters are carefully crafted, filled with interesting quirks and inner turmoils that grabbed my interest. Events unfold at a rapid pace; the novel is a quick and easy read. Yet The White Devil never filled me with sense of menace and foreboding that the best thrillers deliver. Perhaps I was too far removed from the story, unable to envision myself threatened by a ghost at a British boys' school, or perhaps the nature of the threat was so unlikely that it failed to conjure a sense of dread. The best horror fiction appeals to both the cerebral and the primal mind; The White Devil left my primal fears untouched.

Ghost stories require readers to accept a supernatural premise, but The White Devil demands more from a reader than a willingness to believe in ghosts. The story depends upon unlikely coincidences, beginning with the character Andrew's uncanny resemblance to the poet Byron. All the buildup leads to an ending that I thought was a bit too easy. In fact, the ending all but abandons minor characters, which I found a bit frustrating. Still, I was carried along by the stories within the story, by the interactions of the characters, and by the clever conceit that practically makes Byron a character in the story. For all of those reasons, I liked the novel enough to recommend it, but not enough to rave about it.

A brief warning to readers who don't want to encounter acts of physical intimacy in a novel, particularly when they involve teenagers: there's a fair amount of fooling around in this book, and while I wouldn't consider the descriptions graphic, some readers might. To me, those scenes seemed well suited to the novel, but I know that some readers would be offended by them, and they should know of the book's content before deciding whether to read it.
2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
3.0 von 5 Sternen okay mystery 28. April 2011
Von bookmagic - Veröffentlicht auf
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe|Vine Kundenrezension eines kostenfreien Produkts (Was ist das?)
Andrew Taylor was kicked out of his fancy prep school and lost his acceptances to Universities. His father has decided to ship Andrew off to England, to attend the prestigious and historical Harrow School, gets his grades up and then go to college.
Andrew feels like a complete outsider as his classmates have been together since grade school. Things don't improve when he sees the famous Harrow ghost and sees the ghost kill one of his classmates.
Then he meets Penelope, the only girl allowed to attend Harrow because her father is a headmaster. She befriends Andrew because of his uncanny resemblance to Lord Byron, one of Harrow's famous alumni, and the subject of a play being written by poet in residence, Piers Fawkes. Andrew continues to see the ghost and uncovers a connection between the ghost and Byron, which he needs to uncover quickly before anyone else is killed.

At first, I didn't really like this, I prefer my ghost stories to be a little more subtle. But once I got further into it, I enjoyed it much more. The plot got more interesting and the story moved faster. However, it wasn't quite as Gothic and scary as the reviews would have you believe. There was plenty of suspense and enough literary history to keep me satisfied. At times though, I was unsure if the author was targeting a YA readership or adults.
All in all, I would say it was a decent read, but not a must read, a bit over-hyped. Get from the library.
my rating- 3/5
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