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The White Devil
 
 

The White Devil [Kindle Edition]

Justin Evans
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Product Description

Review

done beautifully well. Evans, an American who spent a year at Harrow himself, is a masterly conjuror of mood (Christopher Bray DAILY EXPRESS)

the characters are all well-drawn, the famed poet turned failed teacher Piers Fawkes being particularly noteworthy. There's love, coming-of-age stuff and moral wrangles to enjoy (Guy Haley SFX)

Have Andrew's Byronic good looks conjured up this malevolent wraith? The Byronic storyline has some intriguing moments (Harry Ritchie DAILY MAIL)

An atmospheric tale that skilfully conjures up the dusty, eccentric surroundings of a privileged boys' school and its inhabitants.. surprising and frightening (LIVING NORTH)

A fast-paced, original and chilling story of ghostly happenings, unexplained deaths, in the buttoned-up world of the English public school. (THE GOOD BOOK GUIDE)

Book Description

A stunning ghost story set in the public school, Harrow

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 548 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Weidenfeld & Nicolson (6 Oct 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B005MZN1KY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #100,903 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not very scary! 6 May 2013
By john
Format:Paperback
The White Devil wasn't very scary. However, it was compelling. A good debut novel, but I was disappointed as I thought it would be a lot scarier. Fairly well-written, with interesting characters keep you turning the pages. Overall, good but not brilliant.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 23 Feb 2013
By d j j
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Gripping and unpredictable. A great read for anyone who likes a shivery read. It makes a very good Winter read.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Harrow-ing 11 Oct 2011
By Keris Nine TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition
The premise of The White Devil - like most ghost stories - doesn't look all that promising in outline, but, like the best of its kind, the key to its success lies in the detail of the writing. It helps if the author is able to make the story eerily unsettling and at least half-way convincing, but it's even better if the author is able to make the haunting meaningful in a way that connects it with the present day and touches on some dark indefinable fears within the reader. Justin Evans achieves this well in The White Devil, managing also to make an intelligent use literature and tradition as a way of linking the secrets of the past with the present.

It seems unlikely that The White Devil is going to achieve that from the opening pages, putting an American teenager into an English public school that appears to be haunted. Expelled from a top US academy for an episode involving drugs and the death of another boy, Andrew Taylor is enrolled into Harrow by his rich, aspirational and authoritarian father. It's his last chance, but his reputation has followed him, and when a boy at Harrow dies in mysterious circumstances and is discovered by the American boy soon after his arrival, the possibility of Andrew fitting in seems remote. Since his arrival at the school moreover, Andrew has been subjected to terrifying visions that hint at murder and even darker goings-on in the past of the prestigious public school.

There's a reasonably good bit of correlation between Andrew's state of mind and his ghostly experiences, finding himself an outsider and at odds with the world around him. Where The White Devil takes some risks, and ultimately succeeds all the more however, is in the strong connections the author manages to forge between past and present.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Spooky Setting 1 Sep 2013
Format:Paperback
I love ghost stories and so I had high expectations when I bought this. Unusually, I read the paperback and not on my kindle so I wanted good value if this book was going to take up precious shelf space. I wasn't disappointed; I loved the setting of Harrow and the feeling of the main character, Andrew, being a fish out of water.

I felt that Andrew's character and his housemaster, Piers Fawkes, were the most interesting, as was the librarian. I did get irritated with Persephone and I wasn't rooting for her at the end. The setting itself was brilliant; I really enjoyed learning more about this closed community and that of Byron's life as well. It was the school that made it for me, the nooks and crannies and the ghosts of boys who had been there hundreds of years before.

Of the ghost stories I've read recently, I liked this a lot. However, I do think it was a bit long and Persephone needed to be more sympathetic.
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3.0 out of 5 stars I should have liked this more than I did... 14 Mar 2012
By Ruby
Format:Hardcover
I wish I liked this more than I did, after reading the blurb I thought I would have LOVED it!

An interesting concept, a well thought out literary mystery with an excellent moody, atmospheric feel but I just couldn't take to the characters. The lead, Andrew, I never felt as if I got to know him, I couldn't stand Persephone Vine. I felt that some of the characters were trying too hard to be English eccentrics. Some chilling set pieces that worked really well but ultimately I felt the characters let the story down and it never lived up to the hype.

Still worth a read if you like spooky,gothic, atmospheric novels.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very Well Crafted Gothic Tale 31 Jan 2012
By Brett H TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
I found White Devil captivating from the outset. The author has certainly chosen the perfect setting for a ghost story in the Lot, a house at Harrow school accommodating students. The house itself is quite old, but at its heart is a much older dwelling which would have been in use at the time of Lord Byron, whom the story is crafted around. I was a little apprehensive about this, as it is very easy to slander the dead, but the author has kept his tale true to the known facts about Byron who was, in any case, famously described as `mad, bad and dangerous to know'.

The story develops at a very gentle pace, but when the writing is good that really does not matter. The whole account is very atmospheric and this was one of those books which I found myself taking the time to read word for word as I was enjoying it so much. The supernatural elements are certainly eerie, but from the outset there is a hint of menace and the impression that this is far from a benign spirit. The plot is well thought out and I did not find it predictable so there is always the feeling that there is something unexpected and somewhat threatening just around the corner which keeps you turning the pages.

The story begins with Andrew Taylor arriving at Harrow to join the sixth form. Andrew is an American and has come to Harrow as a last resort after getting himself in trouble in the educational establishment he had attended in the States. Initially he is like a fish out of water but is soon persuaded to be part of a play based on the life of Byron which his housemaster, Fawkes, is writing. Andrew bears an uncanny resemblance to Byron and when he starts playing the part of Byron, the supernatural elements really start creeping in.

I thoroughly enjoyed this gothic tale which is extremely well crafted. I think the author hits just the right balance between keeping the story moving and creating the atmosphere needed to make a successful ghost story with plenty of suspense.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Rubbish
Unsympathetic characters; poor storyline; An american writer setting his novel in England which to me doesn't work due to weakness of writing. Do I need to go on?
Published 11 months ago by echo
3.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable yarn
(Actually if I could give 3.5 stars, I'd be happier with that. This was recommended by the Times book club (I'm not a member, but they seemed to be pushing it more than I'd... Read more
Published 20 months ago by Wee Charlie
2.0 out of 5 stars More Scooby Doo than Supernatural
I bought this at Christmas to deliver the time honoured seasonal ghost story. Unfortunately, it was neither chilling nor particularly well written - for example, some of the... Read more
Published 21 months ago by Desert Dusty
2.0 out of 5 stars Hard work!
I don't normally review a book before I have finished it, but in this case, I'm making an exception. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Lois Yorke
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor
The opening to this book was very good but...then it just gets silly. Stereotypical public school boys. I am afriad I had to stop reading.
Published on 11 July 2012 by London Tube
3.0 out of 5 stars Long-winded
Once I'd got to the end of part one (page 157 in my copy) I became interested - it took that long and I genuinely felt like abandoning it many times before that. Read more
Published on 18 Dec 2011 by SJSmith
4.0 out of 5 stars A haunting at Harrow
When seventeen-year-old Andrew Taylor gets into trouble at his school in Connecticut his parents decide to send him to Britain's prestigious Harrow School to finish his education. Read more
Published on 14 Dec 2011 by Helen S
3.0 out of 5 stars An American in Harrow
Andrew: a boy that mixed with a bad crowd and was duly expelled from his college in the USA is transferred at great expense to attend the prestigious Harrow School . Read more
Published on 18 Nov 2011 by BusyReader
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