Shelby L. (Hamden, CT)
A page turner
I couldn't put this book down. It's a quick read, entertaining, funny and so sad. The characters are well developed and you'll sympathize with the situation they are in as patients in a state run mental institution. They suffer deprivation, discrimination, abuse, everything that has been exposed in these institutions you've read about before....and they are tormented by "the Devil" behind the silver door. No one will hear their fears and complaints and they plot to take matters into their own hands.
You'll laugh out loud and cry for these prisoners of "they system"
Mary R. (San Jose, CA)
Madness, Mayhem and True Friendship
The Devil in Silver by Victor Lavalle is a fantastic book. This is a book that will grab you from the first page and won’t let you go until the end and then it will haunt you for days. It is not a scary book in the horror sense, but a book about love and friendship and slaying your own demons – real and imagined. The meaning of the title will surprise you and the embedded symbolism makes this book a real pleasure to read and decode. It is not a reboot of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, but just as compelling.
Ilene R. (Northfield, IL)
Adventure in a mental hospital...
I wanted to love this book. The genre, horror/suspense really appeals to me. I found it to be too slow with too many stories going on at the same time. It's the story of Pepper who ends up at a New York psych ward because the policemen are too tired to book him. He encounters quirky characters while there. One of them, "the Devil". The writing is good but I had a hard time connecting with the story.
Trezeline B. (Columbia, MD)
The Devil in Silver
A very interesting character study of a working class white man from Queens, NY. Is he mentally Ill? You decide. The workings of Public Mental Institutions are also explored. Every character in the story is very well developed. You become very involved in their lives and learn a great deal. A really good read.
Nancy O. (Hobe Sound, FL)
Simply superb. It's hard to find books that are better than this one.
There has been a veritable bumper crop of excellent novels this year, and I've just added The Devil in Silver to my favorites list. Set inside a New York hospital's psychiatric unit, this novel is anything but the book of "literary horror" it's being touted as. While there is a "Devil" involved, and there are other real-life horrors to be found, the focus is more on the newest inmate, a man named Pepper -- whose only familiarity with mental institutions before his admission is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest -- and a lively cast of characters who also populate the unit. It's also a novel about the importance of being able to understand other people's points of view, appreciating others for who they really are, and so much more.
I absolutely loved this book. It's a mix of dark humor that made me laugh (including some pop-culture refs that fit in perfectly) and satire that is spot on the money. At the same time, there are some incredible discoveries made by the characters in this book that made me step back and take a look at myself as well. The writing, as with all of Victor LaValle's novels, is excellent and to use that old cliche, it's a novel that will haunt you long after you've put it down. But what truly stands out here are the people in this book, "bonkers and beautiful" all at the same time. I really can't do justice to this novel here, but I can recommend it without any reservations. It is simply stunning, for a multitude of reasons I'd need pages to express; it's also one you have to experience for yourself.