The White Devil
Set in a four-hundred-year-old boys' boarding school in London, a chilling gothic thriller by the author of the critically acclaimed A Good and Happy Child . . .A fierce and jealous ghost . . .A young man's fight for his life . . .The Harrow School is home to privileged adolescents known as much for their distinctive dress and traditions as for their arrogance and schoolboy cruelty. Seventeen-year-old American Andrew Taylor is enrolled in the esteemed British institution by his father, who hopes that the school's discipline will put some distance between his son and his troubled past in the States.But trouble--and danger--seem to follow Andrew. When one of his schoolmates and friends dies mysteriously of a severe pulmonary illness, Andrew is blamed and is soon an outcast, spurned by nearly all his peers. And there is the pale, strange boy who begins to visit him at night. Either Andrew is losing his mind, or the house legend about his dormitory being haunted is true. When the school's poet-in-residence, Piers Fawkes, is commissioned to write a play about Byron, one of Harrow's most famous alumni, he casts Andrew in the title role. Andrew begins to discover uncanny links between himself and the renowned poet. In his loneliness and isolation, Andrew becomes obsessed with Lord Byron's story and the poet's status not only as a literary genius and infamous seducer but as a student at the very different Harrow of two centuries prior--a place rife with violence, squalor, incurable diseases, and tormented love affairs. When frightening and tragic events from that long-ago past start to recur in Harrow's present, and when the dark and deadly specter by whom Andrew's been haunted seems to be all too real, Andrew is forced to solve a two-hundred-year-old literary mystery that threatens the lives of his friends and his teachers--and, most terrifyingly, his own.
- Hardback | 366 pages
- 152.4 x 228.6 x 38.1mm | 566.99g
- 10 May 2011
- New York, NY, United States
"Evans ratchets up the suspense at an expert pace. . . . "The White Devil" [is] an authentic page-turner that may well be devoured in one sitting."--"Shelf Awareness"
Our customer reviews
Andrew Taylor, given one last chance to shape up after being kicked out of yet another boarding school in America, is sent to Harrow School in England. He lives in \"The Lot\", the same building that Byron lived in when he attended the same school. He must learn to adjust to a different dialect, less tolerance for suspected homosexuals, and a different type of social class distinction than that of America, all while trying to shake the \"drug dealer\" persona perpetuated by Vasily, the thickset leader of the popular band of boys. His unpopular housemaster is Piers Fawkes, who at one time won an award for his poetry, but is in danger of losing his present post due to his drunkenness and inattention to the boys who are his charges. He is also writing the school play, centered around the loves of Lord Byron. Andrew\'s similarity to Byron is noted by Penelope Vine, the only girl in attendance at Harrow, and she recruits Andrew to play the part in the upcoming play. When Andrew comes across what appears to be a pale, long-haired, diseased-looking man choking a fellow student in a graveyard, he keeps quiet about it after alerting the neighborhood to the victim, as one of the detectives gives him information that lets him know that he COULDN\'T have seen what he thought he saw. As Andrew becomes increasingly haunted by visions involving a white-haired youth, violence, attempted sodomy, and murder, he finally confides in Fawkes, and together, they seek to unravel the mystery behind his visions: Who is the white-haired boy? What role did Byron play in causing the restlessness of what appears to be his spirit? Why is he apparently fixated on Andrew? Part Gothic mystery, part thriller, and part ghost story, The White Devil is a slow descent into the mind of an obsessive lover, full of past and present tragedy. Some of the flashbacks in the Andrew\'s visions are a bit murky and confusing, and the novel does have a rather slow start, but, it is still a worthy read. If you like well-written Gothic tales and ghost stories, and/or if you are interested in learning a bit more about Byron, you will definitely want to read this one. QUOTES She heard a sharp intake of breath - human breath, shaped by lips, but ghastly, ragged, popping - that struck a note she knew. The deep inhalation before somebody started a nasty task, say, beating to death the old lady they were robbing. She saw four white orbs appear on the rim of the door. What were they? Her heart thrummed a beat before she realized. Fingertips. She felt something at her feet. She looked down. Now she screamed. \"Lord Byron. It was commissioned to go in Westminster Abbey. But the church wouldn\'t accept the statue of a known sex maniac. So they sent it to Trinity - where sex maniacs are always welcome.\" \" . . . Starts with a guilt trip - where\'s the money to keep me well fed? Where are the funds for my journey abroad? He wants his rich boyfriend to give him some cash. And Byron, typically, is selfish in all the wrong moments. We\'re talking about a man who later left his own daughter to die in an Italian convent.\" Writing: 4.5 out of 5 stars Plot: 5 out of 5 stars Characters: 4 out of 5 stars Reading Immersion: 4.5 out 5 stars BOOK RATING: 4.5 out of 5 stars Sensitive Reader: It involves Lord Byron; there\'s homosexuality. There are teen boys; there\'s a lot of the F-bomb flying around.show moreby Julie Smith