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Read advance reader review of Devil Makes Three by Ben Fountain, page 4 of 5

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Devil Makes Three

A Novel

by Ben Fountain

Devil Makes Three by Ben Fountain X
Devil Makes Three by Ben Fountain
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  • Published Sep 2023
    544 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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There are currently 32 member reviews
for Devil Makes Three
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  • Joane W. (Berlin, MD)
    Devil makes Three
    A novel of Haiti's President Aristides fall from power. An expat and a Haitian team up to fund a scuba business during a revolution. Along the way they discover that there is a better way to make money. During the Coup they decide to become treasure hunters by exploring ship wrecks. In doing this they come upon arms trafficking, also U.S involvement of a not so good kind, politics, adventure and more. This is usually not my usual genre but there was also some interesting Haiti history. I did like the book.
  • Catharine L. (Petoskey, MI)
    Devil Makes Three
    I loved Fountain's book Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and Devil Makes Three is totally different. It was difficult to get into. There were many characters and too many details about government policies and organizations. However, learning about Haiti - the people, their culture and history was fascinating. I would not have picked this book on my own, it is a challenging read, but I'm glad I read it.
  • Stephanie K. (Glendale, AZ)
    The Devil's In the Details
    Devil Makes Three by Ben Fountain is an impressive and rich novel largely centering around Matt Amaker, an American scuba entrepreneur. Matt has the great misfortune of being right in the center of a Haitian coup that displaces Aristide as President. When his livelihood is stolen by the rebels and he's beaten senseless, Matt is forced to look elsewhere for sustenance. While treasure hunting with his best friend Alix could net him a fortune, it could plunge him into the depths of trouble with the new government, the rebels, and a greedy and vicious cartel also looking for treasure.
  • Barbara H. (Thomasville, GA)
    Haiti - at the end of the day what matters....
    This was an extremely heavy and political novel - and as in all politics - nothing ever really gets resolved in this tragically beautiful country. The "summary" makes it seem as if Matt Amaker and his diving for treasure are the main theme of this novel but that is not true. Matt plays an integral part in this novel but he is not the main theme. The novel is packed full with the history of Haiti and its relationship with the US and all the integral players in-between.that have influence on the outcome of Haiti. The politics at times got quite complicated..and many times beyond my comprehension and the suffering of the Haitian people became quite oppressive at times.......All the players in this novel were vivid characters - some likeable some not so likable......

    This was a difficult novel to read with all its complications and directions it took off in.......but the one constant - the binding factor in this novel was the simple theme that at the end of the day - with nothing else really resolved.......and in spite of all the chaos,, the killings, the deceit - at the end of the day what mattered was just the simplicity of the act of just gathering up the jugs of water and heading for the house.

    And this left so much unresolved and hanging - but I suppose that is Haiti?
  • Becky H
    Devil Makes Three
    I very much disliked this book. It was too long by at least 100 pages. It was too disjointed as time, place, and characters jumped from page to page, even paragraph to paragraph with not even a line break to give the reader a clue to the jump. There was too much incomprehensible talk among the characters about Haitian politics and too many untranslated French words, phrases and sentences for this German speaking American. I knew little about Haitian politics before I read this book and I am still in the dark. I often felt I needed to stop reading and consult Wikipedia’s version of Haitian history.

    Parts of the book were interesting and well written. One blurb writer called this book “a fast, riveting read. A gripping thriller…” he must have read a different book. This book was a struggle to get through the first hundred pages before the characters and plot started to become clear. I would have enjoyed a 300 page book of Matt and Alix’s treasure hunting adventures much more.
    I found Audrey/Shelly simply too confusing to like or dislike or to follow her part in the story. Matt had an interesting ethical dilemma. Alix apparently had no problems in the ethical field at all. His sister chose and was in that way my favorite character.

    4 stars for the writing: 3 stars for the plot and length.
  • Carol N. (San Jose, CA)
    Political Thriller. . .
    This was a difficult read for me. Throughout the book I felt very misinformed, making it hard to understand what was happening. I then stopped reading further and did some online research into the Revolution of Haiti and the toll it took on its people. This author knows well the country, its people and politics. His depth of understanding on this subject is most impressive. Since Haiti is currently in the headlines with travel warnings, I found it helpful to make myself aware of what happened over thirty years ago. By doing so it made reading this book an easier task

    An American expat, Matt Amaker, operates a dive business off the coast of Haiti. With Aristide's failed military coup, things take a drastic turn. Matt reimagines his business into a treasure hunting venture that explores old, underwater vessels for whatever they might contain but Matt also attracts some unfortunate attention. This book illustrates the cost of military dictatorships and embargoes, with its people and entities masquerading as something they are not. The author does an excellent job of melding the political climate with his characters who help to make his book on this unsettled part of the world not only informative, but very engaging.
  • Liz D.
    Too Many Words
    Devil Makes Three is a complex piece of historical fiction.
    Ben Fountain recounts the horrifying violence and lawlessness on Haiti's political and economic systems in the 1990's. He tell the story through 3 major characters a prominent Hatian family , an adventure seeking American and the US Consulate/CIA. Each of the intertwining stories is complex and sometimes clouded with more factual information than was necessary to effectually tell each story. The book packs an emotional punch in favor of getting the readers sympathy for the plight on Haiti. But that messages gets lost with too many words. As a history lover I slogged through historical facts about Voudo, Strange Feast Days etc. but I think the average reader find them unnecessary. I enjoyed the the story despite extras but would only recommend the book to readers with an interest in historical fiction. Good book ,too many Words!

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