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Paperback John Crow's Devil Book

ISBN: 1936070103

ISBN13: 9781936070107

John Crow's Devil

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Book Overview

The incredible debut novel from 2015 Man Booker Prize winner Marlon James Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Commonwealth Writers' Prize "A powerful first novel...Writing with assurance and control, James uses his small-town drama to suggest the larger anguish of a postcolonial society struggling for its own identity." -- New York Times Book Review , Editors' Choice " A Brief History of Seven Killings might have won the Booker,...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

A Truly Revealing Look At Mid-20th-Century Jamaica.

This novel depicts, with very gory and startling detail, the true life of Protestant, Pentecostalist, small-town, country people in mid-20th-century Jamaica, who are completely caught up between misguided perceptions of what is good and evil and the plague of superstition and mysticism. As was mentioned before: if you enjoy Toni Morrison, you will enjoy this read. If you have no clue as to the ins and outs of Jamaica's overly "Christian" culture and the captivating politics of beauty and race on this island-nation, then this book will serve, as was mentioned in other reviews, as a frightening, yet quite real, introduction.


This book is nothing like anything I expected. It is very well written. I am amazed that this is a new author.

I Couldn't Put It Down

Mr. James's use of language is musical and it immersed me solidly within the conflicts between good and evil in his novel. The settings he described were vivid, characters well drawn, and he never gave me the opportunity to yawn. It was one of the few books I had to complete in one sitting. I believe this first novel will be a collectable and I am looking forward to the next.

Brilliant on many levels

To read John Crow's Devil is to be entertained, shocked, enlightened and put in awe by James' stunning prose. In his first novel, this writer has already established himself as a writer to watch -- a prose style similar in meticulous artistry to Toni Morrison. Set in the fictional town of Gibbeah, James' story of two ministers battling for the hearts and minds of a community that has lost its way is full of pulse-pounding moments that raise arm hairs (crow attacks, dove attacks, and mob mentality moments that make The Lottery look tame in comparison). Characters such as the widow, who lost her husband and her faith, the rum preacher, the drunk on whose shoulder's Gibbeah's salvation rests, and Lucinda, a woman torn between Christian morality and the lures of black magic, will never leave my mind. There is humor, horror and poignancy. JCD is not a G-rated story, but the sex, scat and violence are part of what gives the story its heat and atmosphere. There are times when you couldn't put it down if you tried.

Jamaican Country Life

If you are Jamaican, you will love this book, if you're not, this is a really good introduction to Jamaica. Though the story is fictional the characters are everywhere in this island. From the Pastor to the Apostle to Backra to the Obeyah woman, the characters were so well developed in the book that as a Jamaican I laughed at all the connections to real people I could make. All the little things that are authentically Jamaican will seem so true to one from the island, like the fact that a pastor is seen as a higher authority than everyone else and that he really can rule the place. As I read this book, I had those moments where I giggled to myself and moments where I laughed till tears came out of my eyes. Then there were the moments where I was just holding my breath and moments where I got truly vexed. For that, I enjoyed John Crow's Devil. What made me really love it though, is that it uses Proper English spelling with Patois grammer which made it an easy flow in my Jamaican brain but for those who don't speak Patois, you will understand it just as well. That little tiny thing, for me just says, as much as I know that non-Jamaicans will be reading it, I'm not abandoning home. Much Ratings on this project. I am just waiting to read the next one.

John Crow's Devil Mentions in Our Blog

John Crow's Devil in 2015 Man Booker Prize: the shortlist is up
2015 Man Booker Prize: the shortlist is up
Published by Hugo Munday • September 16, 2015

Yesterday the shortlist of 6 finalists for the 2015 Man Booker Prize for fiction were announced. There is one debut novelist in Chigozie Obioma, but other than that the list is made up of known quantities. Here are some thoughts.

Marlon James has made it to the shortlist for the first time, continuing a prolific hit rate after John Crow's Body was a finalist for the LA Times Book prize and his The Book of Night Women also became a finalist in the 2010 National Book Critics Circle award.

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