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Judy G. (Carmel, IN)
At the beginning of this book I had settled in for an enjoyable reading experience; however, I began to get bogged down mid-way through the book. While the concept was great with many life parallels the action dragged on too long to the point of becoming uneventful for me once it occurred. I did appreciate the character development and was impacted by Dorry's message: "our trials don't change, only the court." Thanks Dorry.
Bess W. (Marlton, NJ)
The Devil in Silver
I wasn't sure how I would enjoy a "horror" story, but this is not a typical horror story--and I did enjoy it! The horror is the public mental institution. The characters are great, individually and also their relationships with each other and they will keep you reading.
Barbara K. (Brooklyn, NY)
Reach out and say "hello"
Although this tale is beautifully written, infused with humor and rich descriptions, I found the story a little difficult to follow at times; I wasn't sure where it was going. However, the beautiful use of language made this a worthwhile read.
Beverly D. (Palm Harbor, FL)
less than expectced
It was sad to read about the lack of concern 'the system' has for certain 'throw-away' people, subduing them , but making no attempt to better their lives.
In the end however, we get to see that even if it takes great courage, trying to reach out to others to help free them from their misery with a smile and a "hello" can brighten a person's life and change his world for the better.
I wanted to like this book. It is not REALLY a horror story other than the horror of the conditions at the mental hospital and how the patients are treated. The four main characters are well drawn but it took too long to engage me. Simply written with direct comments made to the reader, which I found to be finally annoying, I found this novel to be a story whose idea is much more engaging than the reading experience itself.
Gail G. (Northbrook, Illinois)
The Devil in Silver by Victor Lavalle
It was love at first page for me. The characters are engaging and well fleshed out. It was easy to know them even if they were not "normal;" but what is a realistic definition of "normal"? Everyone has an area where they may seem a little "off"--and that is normal!
Mary R. (San Jose, CA)
Madness, Mayhem and True Friendship
The author points out how very frustrating the way in which certain "public officials" and companies in responsible positions often function poorly in the reality of a situation by short-changing procedures necessary for the good of patients. Greed and need to control influences their decisions often to the detriment of the patients in mental institutions as well as other similar institutions for example immigration judgement decisions.
Although Pepper's (novel's main character) stay at Northwest was most unpleasant and even though he really didn't belong there he under-went a personality change and transformation, moving him from a juvenile thinking and acting out adult to one who became responsible and caring and one who also accepted reality for what it is.
On the last page of the book there is a sentence which summarizes what is important for humans to be and it is almost like a religious experience.
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.
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.
Ilene R. (Northfield, IL)
Adventure in a mental hospital...
You'll laugh out loud and cry for these prisoners of "they system"
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.