Devil House: A Novel - book cover
Thrillers & Suspense
  • Publisher : MCD
  • Published : 25 Jan 2022
  • Pages : 416
  • ISBN-10 : 0374212236
  • ISBN-13 : 9780374212230
  • Language : English

Devil House: A Novel

"It's never quite the book you think it is. It's better."
The New York Times

From John Darnielle, the New York Times bestselling author and the singer-songwriter of the Mountain Goats, comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That's what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success―and a movie adaptation―to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for the big break: to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell––his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected―back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Devil House is John Darnielle's most ambitious work yet, a book that blurs the line between fact and fiction, that combines daring formal experimentation with a spellbinding tale of crime, writing, memory, and artistic obsession.

Editorial Reviews

"Devil House is terrific: confident, creepy, a powerful and soulful page-turner. I had no idea where it was going, in the best possible sense...It's never quite the book you think it is. It's better."
―Dwight Garner, The New York Times

"Suspenseful, brilliant and chaotically addicting, Devil House triumphs as a page-turning metafictional treatise on the power of narratives cloaked in the trappings of a certifiable true crime classic."
―Zack Ruskin, San Francisco Chronicle

"Darnielle has an affection for the dark side of pop culture and the way fans of supposedly gloom-and-doom genres like heavy metal and horror are more sophisticated than they get credit for. So this smart, twisty novel about true-crime books and the 1980s "Satanic panic" is a fine fit for him and his best so far...An impressively meta work that delivers the pleasures of true-crime while skewering it."
Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review

"This masterwork of suspense is as careful with its sharp takes as it is with the bread crumbs it slowly drops on the way to its stunning end. It operates perfectly on many levels, resulting in a must-read for true crime addicts and experimental fiction fans alike."
Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

Readers Top Reviews

Bree Burkitt
I'm truly not sure how I feel about "Devil House." The description of the book is spot-on — even more now that I completed the book. I gobbled up the first half, but slowed as I neared the end due to the shift in writing styles. The concept is fascinating and, unfortunately, the ending felt a tad underwhelming. However, the ending was fitting and made sense. It just felt like a bit of a low note given the rest of the novel. John Darnielle ramps up the plot so well and creates this immersive story and then it's just over. It's unsatisfying, but it feels realistic for the novel. I imagine this is one of those novels that I will regard more fondly the further I get from reading it. Overall, would recommend as it's a superb piece of work from Darnielle. As always, thank you to NetGalley and Farrar, Straus and Giroux for sharing this advance copy with me in exchange for my honest review. 4/5
I’ll be honest and tell you that it took me a minute to get into this one. There are two distinct storylines and the narrative voice tended to change a bit for both. However, since I was definitely involved in both, the book soon captured my attention. I was riveted. This being my first book by Darnielle, I was unused to his style. However, it the story was both fascinating and chilling. I’m happy I read this and I definitely want to read more by the author. *ARC via Publisher

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