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Devil's Valley Paperback – 3 Feb 2000


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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage; New Ed edition (3 Feb 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099273128
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099273127
  • Product Dimensions: 12.8 x 2.4 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 805,249 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"All the compulsion of a thriller... Once again the South African novelist returns to his great theme of a journey into the interior, physical and spiritual, which enables him to examine man's existence in a largely hostile universe" -- Bel Mooney The Times "Freshly, vividly and differently imagined as anything in his work to date" -- John Higgins Guardian "A moving, angry, exuberant journey into some of mankind's darkest dreams and the redemptive power of his most resilient hope" -- A.L.Kennedy Scotsman

Book Description

'This is the work of a master story-teller' - Sunday Telegraph

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"I been sitting here, waiting for you," said the old man, not bothering to look at me. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wesley Houlihan on 24 Dec 2001
Format: Paperback
South Africa's colonial past and post-apartheid present collide in Andre Brink's enthralling if deeply disturbing novel. His protagonist is Flip Lochner, a middle-aged crime correspondant for a Cape Town newspaper whose frustrated ambition, failed marriage and unhappy relationship with his children has left him in a state of disillusionment. A drunken encounter with a university student from the isolated mountain settlement of Devil's Valley prompts Flip to set out on a trek to this mysterious community, but on his arrival, he discovers that the Valley settlement is a hotbed of religous fanaticism, casual violence and in-breeding. However, Flip's involvement with the enigmatic, but troubled Emma leads him to delve deep into the affairs of the valley inhabitants-with deadly consequences!
Brink marries elements of the thriller to a penetrating analysis of a community about to implode through a combination of drought, superstiton, isolation and fear of the unknown. As Flip tries to write the history of Devil's Valley, his efforts are undermined by each story contradicting what has gone before. This poses a challenge to the reader in that we are forced to decide who we trust and if honesty can ever really come into play when a distrustful group of people, stuck in a timewarp, come face to face with an outsider like Flip who comes from a different world entirely.
This is not always a pleasant read, but it is one of the most stimulating novels I have read in a long time and it is nearly as good as Brink's best-known novel, 'A Dry White Season'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By DOGG on 21 Feb 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Throughout "Devils Valley" the bleak,wastes of the Little Karoo and the Swartberg mountains in the Cape Province,create a sinister and eery air of desolation and emptiness.

Essentially concerned with Afrikaner traditions and history, the novel examines an isolated Boer community. Flip is drawn to Devils Valley by a death in Cape Town, he links this back to the small settlement where things become odder and odder.

Brink never lapses into fantasy but there is a dreamlike quality to passages which intermingle with savage language,violence and sexual escapades.

Novels like this are rarely attempted by thriller writers and I loathe to call this a thriller but it has all the best qualities of that genre with real insight and intelligent prose.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By springbok on 21 Sep 2011
Format: Paperback
Brink out of the box
A master storyteller
Out did himself this time.
I read his autobiography and now understand why he is such a sexual freak
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 7 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
"Devil's Valley" a look into the stranger side of life. 18 April 1999
By Anna Frank - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book captures the essence of being South African in a brutally funny way. Being a white, Afrikaans-speaking woman, I could identify in an almost frightening manner with the fallen hero of the book, Flip Lochner. 'Devil's Valley', with it's wonderfully twisted plot and surreal characters, took me on a shocking, surprising journey into a part of my heritage.
It is a pity that this fabulous book will be less accessible to non-South Africans. It is such an intensely personal portrait of everything South African that the details are less likely to make sense to someone who has not grown up on that sunny southern tip of the dark continent.
No doubt so much of the Afrikaans language (not to mention the extremely effective swear words!) were lost in the translation. I can liken it to good poetry; truely stirring in its original language, but less spell-binding when translated. I encourage people of all nationalities to give this book a try. If it's not your cup of tea, rest assured that a clan of white Africans will treasure it as a wonderful part of their culture.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A novel book 10 Mar 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I very much enjoyed Brink's novel "Devils Valley." A strange story that keeps you on the edge, wondering what is going to happen next. Magic, ghosts (looking and acting much like real people), and a gritty realistic texture to the location and people are combined with significant social insights and total unpredictability to make Devils Valley as _novel_ a book as any I've read. Brink's examination of local history and journalistic writing also delves into some interesting domains: for example, where and how much is it proper to delve into people's personal affairs.
I'm a bit surprised that other readers didn't look at this book as more of an attempt by the author to describe a place that is more literally an aspect of the title itself.
SPOILERS: Brink does not answer the question of whether we are reading about one person's hell (or purgatory) or not, but there is much in the book that hints that the main character, Flip Lochner, is in his own personal hell. We are told very little about Flip's previous life, as one example, other than that his wife kicked him out of the house, and that he has a grown son and daughter that no longer have much to do with him. Is Flip meeting other people that are involved in independent familial beatings and rapes, or are these people simply projections of his own past? There is much in Devils Valley that is hard to read, but it is done in a smart, engaging, questioning way. A great book, with much to think and ponder on.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
An enticing South African Mythology 31 Jan 2003
By Scott Fairbanks - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I wasn't even sure at what parts I was supposed to supend my disbelief. Brink weaves a South African Boer mythology that makes the Greek version seem mundane. Like all mythologies, it explained a culture. His story of a village of secluded and inbred hyper-calvinist helped me to understand the Boer. And I don't mean that in a bad way. They were obviously a rugged God-fearing jihad going people, tougher than nails, living shrapnel. He brings you into their world view through the stories they use to explain it. This book is mighty.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Is This a Good Book? 6 Aug 2003
By J. A. Ball - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I kept asking myself for the first hundred pages, "is this a good book?" It is, but I needed to explain it to myself. The novel is set in a South African equivalent of, say, a renegade Mormon enclave in some lost canyon of remotest Utah (I apologize for the imperfect comparison). What sets the story in motion is pure detective story boilerplate: a young man who has fled the community for a life on the outside dies under mysterious circumstances after blabbing to a stranger about it ? who also happens to be crime reporter ("is this a good book?"). The reporter (predictably washed up and foul-mouthed) treks into the valley to get the scoop and finds a holler teaming with gothic characters, falling in love with one of the youngest and most beautiful of them ("is this a good book?"). Even the ending concludes on a predictable note of Judgment. And yet, I found this skeleton able to support a very rich and dialogical fabric of storytelling that drew me on and on. In particular, the predictable genre aspects of this structure allow Brink's moments of magical realism (there are many) to really take flight. Clearly the novel also functions as a parable about Afrikaners' collective soul-searching (or lack thereof) in the wake of "Truth and Reconciliation." But to this Southern American reader, this novel put me in mind of progressive, if not exactly liberal writers like Robert Penn Warren and Walker Percy: novelists who were also torn between celebrating and mourning the difficult passage of their people from feudal social relations to modernity. Anyway, when a novel starts engaging my own experience in this way, for my money, it is a good one.
Five Stars 19 Aug 2014
By Peter Benn Thomsen - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A wonderful story
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