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The White Devil

3.38 of 5 stars 3.38  ·  rating details  ·  1,520 ratings  ·  332 reviews
Set in a four-hundred-year-old boys' boarding school in London, a chilling gothic thriller by the author of the critically acclaimed A Good and Happy Child . . .

A fierce and jealous ghost . . .

A young man's fight for his life . . .

The Harrow School is home to privileged adolescents known as much for their distinctive dress and traditions as for their arrogance and schoolbo
Hardcover, 364 pages
Published May 10th 2011 by Harper (first published January 1st 2011)
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Community Reviews

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shrug, i have tried to write this review a couple of times now, but this book kinda rolled right offa me like a drunken mistake. once i dispensed with being outraged by inaccuracies (and they were totally minor, but when we're talking byron, i'm paying attention, and when you only list one byron bio in your references, i'm gonna squinty-eye you) let's get one thing straight. byron was never rich. it is misleading to characterize him as a bad boy of privilege - some tucker max prototype. i, too, ...more
Methinks my brain has been sanitized by YA, because whenever a penis pops up in an adult books, I’m all WHAT IS THIS?! Boys have more than just kissy-lips? Oh hell naw. Clearly, my brain is awesome. ANYWAYS, I recently read The White Devil by Justin Evans and am a bit unsure of what I think about it. Obviously, I enjoyed it. However, certain elements were hard for me to get used to, like penis in various states of erection. (how many times can I use the word penis in this review?) Also, complex ...more
Chuck the flying brooms and magic wands from that other spooky English school, mix in a dose of teen love affair from Scott Spencer's Endless Love and piss off the jealous stalker ghost of Lord Byron (former Harrow student) and you get genius, The White Devil! A beautifully crafted multi-level plot that flows simultaneously like subterranean rivers beneath the modern world. A past play, a present play and a future play reveals lost pieces of history and if the puzzle remains unsolved, people wil ...more
Sometimes I really want the "half-star" option - this deserves a 4.5. Why? Because when a book makes you want to learn more about the source material, that's a good book.

Set at Harrow in the modern day, Andrew is a fish-out-of-water American sent for a "gap year" (aka "an opportunity to clean up your record") by his father. While trying to figure out the social hierarchy and Harrovian slang, he witnesses what he thinks is a murder - except the doctors say it's natural causes and the murderer sim
Mallory Heart Reviews
Jul 19, 2012 Mallory Heart Reviews rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Paranormal, Horror, Mystery, Literary History
Shelves: march-2012-reads
A stunning novel-parts mystery, coming-of-age adolescence, history, English literature, Romantic poets (Lord Byron), ghost story, haunting, English public school subculture, character-in-depth, plotting, budding romance-or not; this novel has everything and more, including a superb writing style that catches and enraptures the reader, making us want to go read everything this author writes. Justin Evans encapsulates the British public school (what we in America would term private schools) equall ...more
In 2008 Justin Evans published "A Good and Happy Child," a debut novel that was not only one of my favorites when I read it a year later, but it included a passage that I loved so much that it remains stuck in a way that classic poetry is supposed to lodge itself. (Well, the gist of it is there. I don't know this verbatim). In describing how the demon child and his family live:

"It was a house halfway between this and that, between upper-middle-class luxuries and absentminded squalor."

For this se
This book gets compared a lot to Donna Tartt's The Secret History, however this book came to my attention because of my high rating for Buehlman's excellent Those Across the River, and honestly despite the superficial trappings, I think The White Devil has more in common with the latter book rather than the former.

I really enjoyed this book. Do I think it's a literary gem? No. Despite the historical subtext, I don't really think The White Devil lives up to its literary aspirations in the way th
Jessica at Book Sake
Andrew Taylor is sent away to Harrow, a prestigious boarding school in England, after getting into some trouble back home in Connecticut. There, he is haunted by a homosexual ghost because he bears a striking resemblance to the ghost’s former lover, Lord Byron…

That ended the thrilling aspect of The White Devil for me. Maybe it’s just my particular shade of humor, but I couldn’t resist picturing Richard Simmons’ spandex-clad ghost saying, “Honey, if I can’t have you, nobody can have you.” I still
Kristin (Beneath Shining Stars, I Read)
If you're like me, the first thing that you think when you hear the title is, "Does this involve demons?" The answer to that question is, "Only personal ones." Or rather, that The White Devil is the name of a play by John Webster and it is relevant--and mentioned--in the book. Also, the one who references it is a sort of personal demon--of Lord Byron's named John Harness who happens to be haunting our main character Andrew Taylor (who looks rather a lot like Lord Byron).

Andrew Taylor is an Ameri
Lord Byron fans will especially enjoy Justin Evans' second outing as he tackles the tale of a Byron "friend" that is haunting their old prep school, Harrow, back in Jolly Olde. We get there via the American ne'er-do-well, Andrew Taylor, whose father has shipped him for shaping up. Andrew has a rough first day, though. Bullied? No. Lost? Nope again. Witnessing murders? Of course! Every new student's bane. So right out of the gate, the first kid to befriend him becomes a goner.

Meantime, improbably
Annette Gisby
The ghost mystery plot is well done. Who is the ghost? What does he want? Why is he being drawn to Andrew most of all? Why are people getting ill and dying? The reader finds out these things at the same time as Andrew, so we feel drawn into the story and relate to the characters. I also loved finding out more about Lord Bryon too.

I really enjoyed it right up until Persephone Vine appeared. I thought to myself, are you really going to go there? Really, Mr. Evans? To the most clichéd love interes
Julie Smith (Knitting and Sundries)
This review first appeared on my blog:

Andrew Taylor, given one last chance to shape up after being kicked out of yet another boarding school in America, is sent to Harrow School in England. He lives in "The Lot", the same building that Byron lived in when he attended the same school. He must learn to adjust to a different dialect, less tolerance for suspected homosexuals, and a different type of social class distinction than that of America, all while try
Kathy Hiester
I had never really looked into the background of Lord Byron, but this book will got me up to speed rather quickly. Byron not only left behind a legacy as a poet, we find that he also left behind a ghost. Not his own ghost, but the ghost of his envious homosexual lover, John Harness. Harness spent 200 years or so as a quiet spirit in the basement of Harrow School, doing nothing much more than the sporadic rattling. But when American student Andrew Taylor shows up at the school, he decides that Ta ...more
My 15 year old daughter received this as a gift (not from me) and she read it before I did. She kept warning me that I might be shocked by some of the language and content. I told her that I'm not easily shocked. However after reading it I was slightly suprised that it had been given to her. Although the school setting makes it potentially interesting to teenagers, I think it is probably more appropriate for older teenagers (17 -18 plus) - some of the sexual content may make it a bit confronting ...more
I like slow and gothic. What I don't understand in the logic of this book are the following quibbles-

1. A poet writing a play about Bryon has only a small volume of select poetry? You can find paperback versions of the complete poems.

2. An American boy who went to a very liberal school that celebrates coming out is surprised that people can be bi.

3. The sheer fact that American girls are seen to be very easyand stupid. Not surprising when looking at the viewpoint, but when tied into the fact tha
I am always on the lookout for a good college/boarding school story. It's all Donna Tartt's fault that I'm usually disappointed - nothing is ever as good as The Secret History.

I gave The White Devil a try, though - boarding school, murder, the ghost of Lord Byron, various kinds of evildoing - works for me. Except it only sort of worked for me. The beginning was good, then it became sort of okay, and then it pretty much just fell apart.

Mr. Evans is a good writer, but this story just didn't connec
Sep 03, 2011 Jenny added it
Shelves: didn-t-finish
I simply couldn't get into this book, not care (as much as I wanted to do so). I gave it to the first 100 pages, at that point, it was tedious to even attempt to read so I gave it up. I rarely quit reading a book, usually I persevere, but time is short and there are far too many books out there which grab my attention and don't let go that I have yet to discover... I might try again at another time; maybe it was just me and I wasn't connecting with the characters/setting/storyline/writing.
I first realized what a true master of the quiet macabre Mr. Justin Evans was when I read his novel A GOOD AND HAPPY CHILD. Not knowing what to expect from this first time author I was more than pleasantly surprised by his ability to weave a story so simple in it's narrative but what lay underneath the surface was evil personified...
I received an arc (advanced readers copy) of THE WHITE DEVIL from Mr. Evan's publisher and it lay quietly on my nightstand till I had a few hours to dedicate to what
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A troubled youth meets another with a vengeful quest in this paranormal thriller.

Opening Sentence: Andrew Taylor stood alone before a gate.

The Review:

I have never read anything by Justin Evans, but when I was given The White Devil, I was definitely intrigued. This genre is outside of my reading comfort zone, but didn’t stop me from admiring the graphically haunting cover. The White Devil was the cause of eerie goosebumps and restless nights,
Andrew is an American teen with a troubled past. Drugs, girls, drinking, and parents who just don't understand. His father ships him off to finish his high school years at a posh English boys' school named Harrow, with a resident ghost. This is his absolute LAST chance to redeem himself. The problem is that a tragedy from the 1800s, involving Lord Byron and his secret boyfriend (both of whom also went to Harrow), is casting a deadly shadow over Andrew's new life in England. Andrew is a dead ring ...more
One thing is absolutely certain about this book: it's not something that will appeal to every reader. If you're looking for a Stephen King or Dean Koontz type of read, you'll probably want to look elsewhere. If you're looking for something along the lines of Shirley Jackson or Michael Koryta, then this is the book for you.

The story starts out at a crawl & I have to admit that it took me a while to really connect with the story. I really didn't get hooked until about 70-80 pages in, so I'll
From Goodreads:

"When seventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor is transplanted from his American high school to a British boarding school—a high-profile academy for the sons of England’s finest—his father hopes that the boy’s dark past will not follow him from across the Atlantic. But blood, suspense, and intrigue quickly surround Andrew once again as he finds himself struggling with a deadly mystery left unsolved by a student from Harrow School’s past—the enigmatic poet Lord Byron."

My Thoughts:

Sounds cr
I started reading The White Devil on the boat from Nantucket to Hyannis on New Years day. I didn't know much about it except that is set in a modern-day exclusive British boarding school, which automatically attracted me because I went to a boarding school in MA, and also a year in university at Royal Halloway, University of London, where my dorm was a Victorian castle (and the town was not too dissimilar from the White Devil's setting, as it turns out). I was so enthralled, I ended up staying u ...more
Jennifer Rayment
The Good Stuff

* Author really knows how to create mood -- it felt eerie and spooky - almost gothic like
* Wonderfully moody ghost story, which there should have been much more of over the constant mentions of the scholarly politics
* Love the scene between Dr Khan and Andrew in the library
* lots of twists and turns
* Sensitive portrayal of homosexuality
* Interesting characters

The Not so Good Stuff

* The beginning is very slow and a tad confusing at times, but really picks up by Chapter 9 - bu
Starting a new school is never easy but when the school is across the ocean, is exclusive, and has a 400-year-old history, the rituals and adjustments a new student faces is even more daunting. This is what faces Andrew Taylor as he prepares to cross the threshold of his new private school, The Harrow School. Sent there by his father as a last-ditch effort to improve his grades and standing among elite college boards, Andrew knows that he cannot screw up again or else the consequences will be di ...more
Sep 15, 2014 Kate rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Kate by: Booklist Top 10 Horror Fiction: 2011
Andrew's history of drug use has led his parents to transfer him to a British boarding school called Harrow. When he arrives he learns of the school ghost and discovers quite quickly that the ghost is real when he sees it kill one of the boys in his dorm. Andrew's striking resemblance to Lord Byron lands him the lead role in the school play, but this may also be the reason the ghost haunts him.

The historical ties to Byron and his tuburculosis-ridden lover made this a unique ghost story. I loved
Talk about spooky wooky?! This book was pretty intense! The gothic atmosphere that shifted between present day and 1807-1809 was very convincing; I was completely absorbed in the story. I knew next to nothing about Lord Byron so the historical aspect of this novel was enlightening. I really liked Andrew, Fawkes, and Judy Kahn. The mystery was intricate and the ending completely took me by surprise. Throughout the last part of the book, I could not put it down and I found myself very tense as the ...more
I wanted to love this book, but it was not meant to be.

I read A Good and Happy Child a few years ago and was floored by how unexpectedly great it was. I don't read much genre fiction these days, and typically not what would be classified as horror, but I'd classify Evans' novels in that rare category of "literary horror". He's a spectacular writer from a language-usage standpoint: clear and direct, but with a talent for complex-but-not-showy vocabulary and sentence phrasing. I enjoyed The White
I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads, but I would have paid for it! Best ghost story to date! Evans writing is eery and detailed but not to the point of wordy and boring. The story grabs you from the moment Andrew (main character) steps into the Lot where he stays at Harrow School. Not a fan of the local boys from the very start, Andrew must solve what is happening to him and the Lot ghost by himself. He does end up getting some help from some delightful characters includi ...more
I was a little disappointed, to be honest. After reading the author's first book, A Good and Happy Child, I was prepared to be totally engrossed with this one. The preview emphasized that storyline had a Lord Byron sub-plot, which piqued my interest, as well.

The plot revolves around a gloomy misunderstood rich kid with poor judement who is sent to a boarding school by his parents as punishment. And he looks like Lord Byron. So he meets a girl he likes, and a ghost haunts him. But he is fascinat
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Justin Evans is a digital media executive based in New York City where he lives with his family. He received a BA in English from Columbia University and a MBA in Finance from NYU Stern. His first novel, A Good and Happy Child, was named a Best Book of 2007 by the Washington Post, was translated into six languages, and optioned by a major film studio. Justin attended Harrow School for one year at ...more
More about Justin Evans...
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