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White Devils [Paperback]

Paul McAuley
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Library Binding £10.61  
Paperback --  
Paperback, 31 Jan 2004 --  

Book Description

31 Jan 2004
Nicholas Hyde, a humanitarian volunteer, is part of a team ambushed in the Congo. Most of them are killed by small, pale ape-like creatures - called "white devils" by a government observer, who later recants his story as part of a corporate cover-up. However, Nicholas vows to tell the truth.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (31 Jan 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743238869
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743238861
  • Product Dimensions: 23 x 15 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,423,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I'm the author of more than twenty books, including science-fiction, thriller, and crime novels, several collections of short stories, a Doctor Who novella, and an anthology of stories about popular music, which I co-edited with Kim Newman. My fiction has won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the John W. Campbell award, the Sidewise Award, the Theodore Sturgeon Memorial Award, and the British Fantasy Award for best short story.

Before I went over to the dark side and became a full-time writer, I worked as a research biologist in various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in botany at St Andrews University. My chief research interest was symbioses between unicellular algae and coelenterates, including green hydra, sea anemones, and reef-forming corals. I'm still a huge fan of all things to do with science, and spend too much time tweeting about weird and wonderful stuff as UnlikelyWorlds; Time magazine listed me as one of their top 140 most interesting tweeters in 2013.

I live in North London, and haven't yet walked down every street in the A-Z. But I'm trying.

Product Description


A dark and atmospheric scientific thriller that keeps you gripped until the very last page. -- The Guardian, February 21st 2004 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Paul McAuley has worked as a researcher in biology at various universities, including Oxford and UCLA, and for six years was a lecturer in plant science at St Andrews University. His first novel won the prestigious Philip K. Dick Memorial Award, and his fifth the Arthur C. Clarke and the John W. Campbell Awards. He lives in North London. Visit the author's website at www.omegacom.demon.co.uk --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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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 Sporadically Entertaining But Badly Paced 23 Dec 2009
White Devils is the first Paul McAuley novel I have read, so I cannot compare it to any of his other books. Based on my experience of reading it I cannot say that I will be rushing to purchase the author's extensive back catalogue.

Its not that White Devils is a terrible book. Its competently written, although the fact McAuley has chosen to write the entire book in the present tense takes some getting used to. It also tackles some interesting ideas and issues, including genetic engineering and the future economic and political fortunes of central Africa. The possible near future that McAuley has created is well conceived and believeable but isn't pushed to the fore at the expense of the plot or the characters. Those characters are for the most part interesting and well drawn.

Where White Devils falls down badly is in the pacing and structure of the plot. After an exciting opening, with the first attack by the titular Devils and our introduction to Central Africa of the near future, events slow to what can only be described as a crawl. What should have been a fast paced adventure takes an age to actually go anywhere, with McAuley spending far too long setting up various subplots and introducing characters. By the halfway point of what is not a short book I felt that the story really hadn't gone anywhere and my interest was waning.

Matters improve slightly in the second half as the two lead characters finally meet each other as their separate plot strands intertwine and the book becomes more focused. The truths behind some of the many mysteries introduced during the first half of the book are also revealed. The problem is however, that none of these mysteries or the truths behind them are very compelling or particularly surprising.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting, intelligent book 14 Feb 2004
By A Customer
You can always count on Paul McAuley to deliver high quality, engaging fiction. He is the thinking man's Michael Crichton - though Crichton is not nearly so artful a writer. White Devils is a romp of a story which is also a kind of 21st century reworking of Conrad's Heart of Darkness. The plot is full of surprises and the cast of characters have depth and vitality (and you never know which one of them is going to be killed off at any time!). McAuley quietly turns out some of the best thrillers being written today.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Didn't engage... typo's annoying 8 April 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I didn't really engage with the characters or story. It may have been the style of writing or the occasional poor use of language that made me re-read sentences again and again to work out what was meant by the line. Overall, I'll try another of his books just to make sure, but I feel the reviews were a little OTT.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A galloping good read, mostly 17 May 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This starts off well, with a concerned character embroiled in a future struggle between unscrupulous forces in Africa. There are scary monsters and there's well-depicted action. But I felt that the pace slipped a few times and that it could have done with some editing down, especially in the middle of the book. The latter half also dragged occasionally before picking up towards the dramatic end chapters.
I did enjoy it, but I'm a long-term Paul McAuley fan, and it might be that I like it more than it deserves. Of his books to date, this is probably the least enjoyable of them that I have read. So this would not be the best place to start reading his work, in my view. But I did enjoy it, just not quite as much as I expected - hence 4 stars this time.
Recommended for confirmed McAuley fans.
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