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Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  1,840 ratings  ·  280 reviews
It’s not every day that the Devil knocks on your door

From the critically-acclaimed author of Only Forward comes a delightful new tale about Hannah, a young girl living a mundane existence in California, who discovers that her grandfather has been friends with the Devil for the past 150 years . . . and now, they need her help.
Hardcover, 400 pages
Published July 27th 2017 by Harper Voyager
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Melissa Davis Not really. Lots of evil characters (the devil, fallen angels, demons, horrible humans) and evil deeds, but not a traditional horror book by any means…moreNot really. Lots of evil characters (the devil, fallen angels, demons, horrible humans) and evil deeds, but not a traditional horror book by any means.(less)
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Average rating 3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,840 ratings  ·  280 reviews

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Oct 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I don’t know what Marshall Smith was thinking, I truly don’t. Too casually dark for your average young adult and with themes of estrangement that will barely be relateable to younger readers, you would think this would be aimed towards adults. Yet with one of the narratives from a rather young eleven year-old, and a plot about getting the Devil his mojo back by getting Grandpa’s magic machine working again, it certainly skews young adult. Except the Devil is, you know, the Devil. Remember that r ...more
Literary Han
Overall rating: 3 stars

Idk guys. This book just felt like it was trying too hard to be Gaiman or Murakami and it failed.

The start of the book had me hooked, however the plot seemed to fall flat and the characters had no depth. The setting was great and tied in well to the story and the language the author used was whimsical and bizarre (which I loved).

Overall it was an average read, nothing too special, and I probably will not be picking it up again.

Happy reading!!

Hannah xoxo
K.J. Charles
Dec 13, 2019 added it
Shelves: fantasy
A bit odd. The plot works like a book at the young end of YA--11yo Hannah coping with her parents' break up, via having to help the Devil save the world--and the writing has a for-kids feel, with authorial interjections and musing and a lot about coping with things as a kid, being ignored, etc. But a lot more is about the anomie of being middle aged and wondering where your life went and how you got stuck here, plus there is a massive body count and some really scary horror. So, a book for adult ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I went into it not quite knowing what to expect, but the result was a brilliant little quest into Hell with Hannah, her family, and a very funny little mushroom.

Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence opens, eventually, on Hannah - an eleven year old girl who has been sent to live with her nomadic grandfather while her parents begin the process of separating. Hannah thinks that al
Aug 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Is it a horror story, a morality tale, an insight into the state of the world or all of the above? Never mind. It works wonderfully. It is the kind of book you read slowly, savouring every word. Some people can really tell a story.
Sep 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I must admit that the title and cover did not wow me and I was skeptical, but I am glad I gave it a try. This book was just fantastic and I hope to read much more of what he has written.

For starters, this book is written in an adorably quaint narrative that really reminds me of Pushing Daisies (which I think everyone in the world can agree was the most adorable TV show about resurrecting the dead, ever made). The narrative gives it almost a childish air to the story, which fits since the protag
Alex Sarll
Much like Jeff Noon, whose new book I also recently had from Netgalley, Michael Marshall Smith was an SF writer I read a lot when I first came to London. And then, like Noon, he vanished – though in this case it was hiding in plain sight, dropping the ‘Smith’ and turning to thrillers. To which I never followed him, because I don’t really get thrillers, and the plots had generally been the thing I liked least about his books anyway. Apparently the Smith returned once before, for a 2007 novel I mi ...more
Aug 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
It's great to see Michael Marshall donning the Smith part of his name again. The SF novels he published under that byline are among my very favourites, funny, sassy, imaginative and clever. This new book carries on that tradition, although it's not really SF, more a tale of higher powers interfering with mortal(ish) lives. Hannah Green is a young girl living in Santa Cruz who takes refuge from the breakup of her parents' marriage in staying with her eccentric grandfather. In another strand of th ...more
Char (lunarchar_)
Sep 06, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: owned
(ARC). Interesting - not my usual book and so far from what I was expecting but surprisingly enjoyable. At times over complicated, though perhaps that’s because I suffer from brain fog? But it did keep me relatively gripped and intrigued. I’d be keen to listen to an audiobook version.
Hannah Green is an eleven year old girl who has been sent to live with her grandfather: her parents are in the middle of a divorce, and they think they’ll be relieving her of some of the stress with her relocation. She’s not particularly worried – her grandfather is a bit ‘odd’ but basically nothing special, and she’s not actually expecting much excitement from this change. But, hold on – Hannah’s grandfather has been ‘acquainted’ with the Devil for the past century and a half, and something abo ...more
The Behrg
Jun 19, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Almost every story in the world has a back door through which the Devil can enter if he so chooses."

Up front, Hannah Green is a novel not everyone will enjoy. Rules aren't just broken in this story, they're shattered, and then strung together with wire into a prism through which--when the light is shining just right--you can somewhat make out the semblance of a story. The greater construct (aka: plot) pales in comparison to the way each sentence is strung together, and therein lies the challeng
T.R. Preston
Jul 20, 2020 rated it liked it
I had a pretty good time with this. It is fun and touching at times. The Devil was pretty cool, as he usually is. In every possible adaptation the Devil is always the best character (Including the Bible). I'm not really sure what demographic this book was aiming for though. It isn't dark enough to be horror, yet it certainly isn't light enough to be for children. Very peculiar. It is written in almost a middle-grade style but the themes and content are very much not middle-grade, I'd say. Either ...more
Sep 13, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: netgalley
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a review.
For me this book is DNF which don’t happen often for me, the problem is the story has just not held my attention or interest. I don’t think that the story is terrible I think that maybe I shouldn’t have requested it as it is not something that I am particularly interested. The story centres around Hannah whose parents are going through a divorce so she is sent to stay with her Grandad for a while. Whilst Hannah is there she f
Elizabeth (Literary Hoarders)
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
This was exactly what I needed. A novel about a whip-smart 11 year old who saves the world. Couple that with the fact that her grandfather (hundreds of years old, as it turns out), is pals with a dry-witted, stoic, heart-attack-serious, black suit-wearing devil, and you've got yourself an adventure. Don't even get me started on the devil's demon side-kick. I gobbled up every page. This is wildly creative, and has many sincere messages to share with readers. Highly recommend!
Mar 01, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Good story
Karla Brading
May 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Loved it. Great reading!
May 17, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018, ebook
The first time I learned about this book was with its Portuguese edition. Which has a rather eye-catching title. It can be translated to 'The Devil, the Watchmaker and the Sacrifice Machine'. It's an enumeration, that's true, but it works. So it's obvious that I had a hard time finding the original title to be able to read the book in English. The good thing about a title like 'Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence' is that it doesn't reveal anything about the story. No spoilers in t ...more
Aug 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
A very very interesting reading. I'm still not sure if it's 4 stars or 3,5. But that doesn't change much. The story is quite different, the portuguese cover is beautiful, and I enjoyed it quite a lot.
Mar 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"And stories are skittish, like cats. You need to approach calmly and respectfully or they'll run away and you'll never see them again. People have been spinning tales for as long as we've been on this planet, perhaps even longer. There are stories that are so anient, in fact, that they come from a time before words- tales conjured in gestures and grunts, movement of the eyes; stories that live in the rustling of leaves and lapping of waves, and whose ghosts hide in the tales we tell each other ...more
Nov 05, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: arc-edelweiss
3.5 Stars bumped.

"No, you don't get to rub anything out. But you can always turn the page and write something new."

This book, which is decidedly Gaimanesque in feel, tells several stories, but focuses on Hannah Green, a girl whose parents are separated, and whose father, struggling to cope with his sadness over his failed marriage, sends Hannah to live with her rather unusual grandfather for a bit. Hannah's grandfather has some unusual friends. Like, um, the Devil. Yes, that one. THE one. Hannah
Erin Brenner
Jan 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up because it looked like a light, fun read--and it was. But it also has some lovely and insightful passages which add so much to the book, ensuring I'll reread it.

When Steve reflects on his courtship and marriage with Kristen:

Yet somehow they'd come together. Come together and started weaving a life, sharing the same page. In your twenties, you unquestioningly believe you're writing in pencil, a striking first draft. You do things with such confidence. You know you're so st
Nov 16, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Reviewed for The Bibliophibian.

This is perhaps a little less dark and twisty than one might expect from Michael Marshall Smith, and I felt at times that it wasn’t quite sure of its audience — at times the knowing narration seemed more appropriate for an adult audience (mostly the opening; the ending makes it obvious what’s going on there) and some of the book metaphors for relationships felt a little much for kids. It deals with divorce a fair bit, partially through the eyes/close POV of Hannah,
Caroline Mersey
Oct 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copies
Michael Marshall Smith gives the familiar subject of marital breakdown a new twist in his novel Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence (review copy from Harper Voyager). The titular Hannah Green is a young girl dealing with the break up of her parents' marriage. Her mother has left her father for a work colleague, and has moved from the West Coast of the USA to London.

The marriage break up is the unfeasibly mundane part of Hannah's life. So common a set of experiences and so frequent
Starr ❇✌❇
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of terry pratchett, fans of Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere, anyone in need of an adventure
Shelves: reviewed

Wow. I wasn't entirely sure what I was getting into with this book, but it wrapped its way around me. Michael Marshall Smith- I'm willing to vouch for whatever else you write. The one thing I do have to say, is that I genuinely don't see how this is shelved as YA (not that that bothers me), it's definitely more of an Adult book.

I thought I'd have trouble reading a book with an 11 year old main character, and I thought I'd have trouble reading a book where the Devil is a main character (and no
Dale Parnell
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
MMS has for a long, long time been my favourite author, ever since I found a discounted copy of Spares propped up on a bargain table in the basement of a now closed bookshop I used to browse after sixth form classes. And with each new book there is a vague nagging worry at the back of my head that this time, what if he hasn't quite got it; what if the quality has slipped, what if I don't like it, as can so often happen with any author over time. And then I read it - in this case Hannah Green... ...more
Hannah's world is turned upside down when her parents split up - just as the Devil wakes from a long sleep to discover someone is stealing the evil deeds of humanity. And Hannah and her family will be central to putting this right. For various definitions of right. He is the Devil, after all.

This is a book that's perfectly fine, but I can't help but be a little disappointed after many years waiting for a new outing from MMS.

While this is charming and exhibits Smith's trademark humour and abilit
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018
Hannah always thought her life is incredibly mundane, until one day it wasn’t. She and very weird group of people must work together to save the world and her family. There is 11 years old (almost 12) Hannah, her estranged parents, very cool grandpa, the truly devious but strangely likable Devil, and yeah, the talking mushroom.

I adored the characters, especially grandpa, Devil, aunt Zo, Hanna’s dad and also I think that the talking mushroom (Veneclaw) was very nice addition. I sometimes didn’t r
Robin Carter
Sep 16, 2017 rated it really liked it

This book is the first time i have read Michael Marshall Smith and i honestly didn’t know what to expect. What i found was such a surprise, the prose/ narrative seemed to match the plot, in that Hannah thought she was living a mundane existence until she found out her Grandfather had been friends with the devil for over 250 years.

Full review:
Jul 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I picked this up because Neil Gaiman wrote a recommendation tweet about it and it was on sale! It was really clever and engaging. Hannah Green is 11, so, on the 'the book is written for the reader of the age of the protagonist' I wondered if it was a middle school book. For a short time. I found bits of it quite dark, but middle schoolers are pretty tough. Perfectly readable for an adult, though. And I really liked the way he would counter some of that darkness with well-placed humor. I'll read ...more
Erin Harris
Jan 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
Delightful! I bought this on vacation at Three Lives & Company in NYC, one of my favorite book stores. I always find little gems there and this is no exception. The story of 11 year old Hannah, her family and the Devil is not as dark as you may think. The characters are quirky and realistic while the story seems completely unreal yet plausible. I really enjoyed it and will pass it on to my daughters, who I think will like it as well. ...more
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Michael Marshall (Smith) is a bestselling novelist and screenwriter. His first novel, ONLY FORWARD, won the August Derleth and Philip K. Dick awards. SPARES and ONE OF US were optioned for film by DreamWorks and Warner Brothers, and the Straw Men trilogy - THE STRAW MEN, THE LONELY DEAD and BLOOD OF ANGELS - were international bestsellers. His most recent novels are THE INTRUDERS, BAD THINGS and K ...more

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