Bandit's Reviews > The Devil in Silver

The Devil in Silver by Victor LaValle
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Sep 05, 2012

really liked it
Read in September, 2012

I received this book as an advanced reading copy and as such it had many errors, typos, fairly sizable glitch in describing the main character and a bit of continuity with timing, all of which I presume is going to be taken care of for the actual print edition.
I haven't heard a thing about the author or the book prior to reading it and I was very impressed with it. There were a few minor things that were off, particularly and most noticeably racist slip ups and semi slurs, to the point where the character at some point actually wonders if he is being a racist or not. Another thing was the weird and completely unnecessary second narration directly addressing the reader that kept occasionally popping up.
Aside from that, the novel worked and exceptionally well. Lavalle created strong engaging characters and put them in the sink or swim environment of a mental institution haunted by (possibly) the devil. The real horror of the book was actually not the devil, but the sad and scary state of mental care provided by a state sponsored facilities and how easy it is to slip through the grates of the real world and end up somewhere like that. It makes you think about how much mental problems can change a person and how much of a person remains and how humanity can be found even in the deepest darkness. The writing was very good, had a page turning quality to it, but the strong compelling protagonist and all the other characters are what really made this book shine. Though dark and atmospheric and quite scary at times, I would consider this less of a horror novel and more of a dark fiction, where the scariest things of all are made of human design, shaped by indifference, cruelty and lack of care. Recommended.
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09/17/2016 marked as: read

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