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Devil's Valley

Brink, Andre

362 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0436204614 / ISBN 13: 9780436204616
Published by Secker & Warburg, London, 1998
Condition: Fine Hardcover
From Richard J. Lindsey, Bookseller (Kent, CT, U.S.A.)

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Fine black cloth in fine dust wrapper. 8vo. 372 pgs. Signed by the author on the title page. Bookseller Inventory # 012387

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Devil's Valley

Publisher: Secker & Warburg, London

Publication Date: 1998

Binding: Hard Cover

Book Condition:Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Fine

Signed: Signed by Author

Edition: First Edition

About this title

Synopsis:

When Flip Lochner, a seedy, tired journalist fleeing a failed marriage, sees a beautiful woman with four breasts in Devil's Valley, he thinks it's a mirage. But then a man called Lukas Death stands before him. So begins Lochner's search for "the truth" first hinted at by a young student in Capetown who was mysteriously killed. Lochner meets Lukas Death's clan, where righteousness prevails by day and depravity by night, where punishment for misdemeanors is summary, yet brutal murderers walk unscathed. Everyone has a story, and yet no one tells the story, the story of Little-Lukas and Emma, the woman with the four breasts-the uneasy reminder of a secret hidden collectively by the valley people. Nothing in Devil's Valley is as it seems: the supernatural is an ingredient of everyday, the living and the dead are never quite separate, the grotesque coexists with the banal. Vibrant and darkly humorous, Devil's Valley is splendid entertainment from a master storyteller.

Review:

Flip Lochner--embittered boozer, self-described loser, burnt-out crime reporter, would-be historian, failed husband and father--finds himself on the farthest edge of civilization one day, descending on foot into a region that lies so deep within the walls of wild mountains it is all but impossible to reach. The Devil's Valley has been home for 160 years to a breakaway sect of inbred Boers shut off from the rest of the world, and Lochner has come to dig into their stories, to establish their history, to know their truth.

With Devil's Valley, South African writer André Brink, author of A Dry White Season, takes the reader on a wild ride into all the dark places of human nature that people most like to avoid. He makes a landscape and social history of these dark places as he brings his protagonist face to face with an agrarian community sternly committed to keeping outsiders out and inner secrets in. It's a place where dream worlds, death worlds, and this world blur and blend, where God and the Devil daily wrestle for the souls of the inhabitants, where simple human dignity is all but out of reach. What is history in such a place? What is truth? "The problem is that I have no bloody way of making sure what I have to show for my efforts," Lochner muses on his experience. "Statements, testimonies, accounts, or just a damn handful of ravings?"

Devil's Valley asks the reader to wonder about his or her own history, especially those parts we all like to leave out yet mutter silently to ourselves, the parts that skitter through our own moonlit night lives accompanied by owls and baboons. --Schuyler Ingle

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