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There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile He made a crooked deal and he blew a crooked pile He dug a crooked hole. And he sank the crooked isle And they all went to hell in a stew of crooked bile. "The Devil I Know" is a thrilling novel of greed and hubris, set against the backdrop of a brewing international debt crisis. Told by Tristram, in the form of a mysterious testimony, it recounts his return home after a self-imposed exile only to find himself trapped as a middle man played on both sides - by a grotesque builder he's known since childhood on the one hand, and a shadowy businessman he's never met on the other. Caught between them, as an overblown property development begins in his home town of Howth, it follows Tristram's dawning realisation that all is not well. From a writer unafraid to take risks, "The Devil I Know" is a bold, brilliant and disturbing piece of storytelling.
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Claire Kilroy's debut novel All Summer was described in The Times as 'compelling ... a thriller, a confession and a love story framed by a meditation on the arts', and was awarded the 2004 Rooney Prize for Irish Literature. Her second novel, Tenderwire was shortlisted for the 2007 Irish Novel of the Year and the Kerry Group Irish Fiction Award. It was followed, in 2009, by the highly acclaimed novel, All Names Have Been Changed. Educated at Trinity College, she lives in Dublin.Review:
Praise for The Devil I Know:
Skewering the international financial system, with its rampant corruption and irrational exuberance, is familiar literary fodder. Yet in her savagely comic fourth novel, the Irish author Claire Kilroy does it with fresh energy, diving into the heady boom era known as the Celtic Tiger and its ignominious collapse. . . . Great fun.” Carmela Ciuraru, The New York Times
This young Irish writer packs a stunning worldly wisdom into her beautiful prose.” Barbara Kingsolver, author of Flight Behavior
[A] clever black satire.” Laura Collins-Hughes, The Boston Globe
A darkly hilarious fable about the Irish economic boom and its implosion . . . [I was] deeply impressed by its taut storytelling and elegant style. Kilroy manages to combine ancient motifs the Faustian bargain, even hints of a vampire lineage with the most accurate satire of nouveau riche property developers and crooked politicians. She scores bull’s eyes in every paragraph.” Emma Donoghue, author of Room, in Chatelaine (Canada)
A brilliant satire of Ireland’s boom and bust . . . The echo of [Myles na Gopaleen’s] mad genius is still recognizable in Claire Kilroy’s dark and fantastical comedy, The Devil I Know. . . . The greed and rampaging ambition of such avatars of the new Ireland’ as Hickey are boundless and grotesquely funny. . . . Beyond the brilliantly phantasmagorical aspects of the novel, the dialog perfectly captures a Dublin manner of speech, the syntax and bullshittery. . . . The physical descriptions and their conceits are ingenious and of a distinctly Irish strain.” Katherine A. Powers, The Arts Fuse
Dark, funny and wonderful . . . A shot through the heart of the Irish boom.” Anne Enright, Man Booker Prize-winning author of The Gathering
Kilroy . . . finds in satire a medium capacious enough to allow her imagination its fullest sprawl. The plates of her plot spin ever more feverishly towards absurd calamity, but she balances perfectly the comic and the monstrous. . . . Just as impressive are the ways in which Kilroy weaves her fiction with the more outlandish realities of the Tiger years. . . . That is Kilroy’s knack here: the combination of the believable fiction with the unbelievable fact. Again and again, the documented past lends itself more than willingly to the service of the hyper-real, so that by the time the plot kicks into inevitable gothic overdrive it does so with an eerie believability, leaving us in a situation completely unrealistic and, for that, completely true.” Andrew Fox, The Daily Beast
The Devil I Know is smart, funny and stylish, and bang up to the minute. Reading it, one squirms in appalled recognition of the extremes of greed and foolishness of our time, which Claire Kilroy portrays with devilish accuracy.” John Banville, author of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel The Sea and Ancient Light
Kilroy’s darkly comic caper draws the reader in immediately. . . Both a cautionary tale and a stylish satire, this is a diverting read.” Publishers Weekly
Cryptic and exuberant and angry and allegorical and satirical all at once . . . Kilroy’s darkly comic, clever novel keeps the reader engrossed and aghast, as chaos is piled on top of crisis, fortunes are made and lost in a trice, and the Irish madness of the times runs its course.” Patricia Craig, The Independent (UK)
In this carnivalesque allegory of Ireland’s property boom, Claire Kilroy presents a satiric danse macabre of brio and linguistic virtuosity. . . . Taps into the darkness of the finest Irish satire.” Stevie Davies, The Guardian (UK)
Claire Kilroy is brave and talented enough to take a fictional stab at portraying the kind of Ireland that created and destroyed the Celtic Tiger. . . . Put[s] one in mind of Patrick McCabe’s black comedies. . . . The Devil I Know is well written and fun.” Vincent Boland, Financial Times (UK)
A cautionary tale of greed and hubris set in Ireland at the height of the Celtic Tiger’ boom.” Shelf Awareness
A perversely entertaining show of how easily men are corrupted by wealth . . . [Kilroy’s] prose flows irresistibly from page to page . . . A pleasure to read.” Nick Brodie, Time Out (UK)
In crisp prose and a cleverly structured narrative, Kilroy casts a sharply satiric eye on international finance gone awry. Smart fiction based on fact.” Michele Leber, Booklist
Kilroy takes delight in literary allusions and diabolical puns, but despite the humor there’s real fury in her portrayal of the casual greed, corruption and willful delusion that pervaded society like the pox’, creating a belief in a kind of modern alchemy.” Amber Pearson, Daily Mail (UK)
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Book Description Faber & Faber. Condition: New. There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile He made a crooked deal and he blew a crooked pile He dug a crooked hole. And he sank the crooked isle And they all went to hell in a stew of crooked bile. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 139 x 213 x 29. Weight in Grams: 424. . 2012. First Edition. Paperback. . . . . Seller Inventory # 9780571283422
Book Description Faber & Faber, 2012. Condition: New. There was a crooked man and he walked a crooked mile He made a crooked deal and he blew a crooked pile He dug a crooked hole. And he sank the crooked isle And they all went to hell in a stew of crooked bile. Num Pages: 384 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 139 x 213 x 29. Weight in Grams: 424. . 2012. First Edition. Paperback. . . . . Seller Inventory # 9780571283422