John Crow's Devil

This stunning debut novel tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in 1957 With language as taut as classic works by Cormac McCarthy, and a richness reminiscent of early Toni Morrison, Marlon James reveals his unique narrative command that will firmly establish his place as one of today s freshest, most talented young writers.In the village of GThis stunning debut novel tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in 1957 With language as taut as classic works by Cormac McCarthy, and a richness reminiscent of early Toni Morrison, Marlon James reveals his unique narrative command that will firmly establish his place as one of today s freshest, most talented young writers.In the village of Gibbeah where certain women fly and certain men protect secrets with their lives magic coexists with religion, and good and evil are never as they seem In this town, a battle is fought between two men of God The story begins when a drunkard named Hector Bligh the Rum Preacher is dragged from his pulpit by a man calling himself Apostle York Handsome and brash, York demands a fire and brimstone church, but sets in motion a phenomenal and deadly struggle for the soul of Gibbeah itself John Crow s Devil is a novel about religious mania, redemption, sexual obsession, and the eternal struggle inside all of us between the righteous and the wicked.
John Crow s Devil This stunning debut novel tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in With language as taut as classic works by Cormac McCarthy and a richness reminiscent of early Ton

  • Title: John Crow's Devil
  • Author: Marlon James
  • ISBN: 9781888451825
  • Page: 348
  • Format: Hardcover
  • 1 thought on “John Crow's Devil”

    1. The Book of Night Women was so fantastic, one of the best books I have ever read that I couldn't wait to start John Crow's Devil as soon as I'd finished it. I've had to DNF it though. I'm halfway through and I've tried it in print and audio and I just don't like it. The story was of the dynamic new fire-and-brimstone preacher, York the Apostle who had thrown out Bligh the Rum Preacher from his church. But it was not just a battle for the Church, but also for God v Obeah. Most people in the book [...]

    2. "Come now, church, who is ready to be violent for the Lord?"There's something about organized religion that can be really terrifying at times, the way it can feed on fear and trump all logic and decency. This is illustrated to the nth degree in the unsettling debut novel by rising star Marlon James. The book tracks the downfall and destruction of the small Jamaican village of Gibbeah, in the wake of a religious battle between two evangelical preachers for the control of both the Holy Sepulchral [...]

    3. Religion, corruption, promiscuity, sodomy, violence, bloodshed, humor, terror, betrayal, redemption, salvation. These are the subjects of Marlon James’ work, particularly this debut novel about a town in Jamaica in the midst of a preacher war. Go no further if reading about these things will affect your judgment of what is art and what is not. We all have our limits, and James is happy to play right to the edge.There is no Table of Contents in this novel, and midway through, we may find we nee [...]

    4. Coming off my high from "Book of Night Women" I was excited to read Marlon's (yes, we are on a first name basis) first book. I was a little disappointed. It was good but did not come close to "Night Women".This book is about an isolated Jamaican town that is full of sinners including the alcoholic Peacher that the call the Rum Preacher. One day a stranger comes in, Apostle York and kicks the Rum Preacher out of the church and vows to clean up to town of all its sin. What happens next is a battle [...]

    5. "John Crow's Devil" by Marlon James is a novel centered on a group of people, their church, and a battle between two preachers in a remote Jamaican village in 1957. James' second novel "The Book of Night Women" The Book of Night Women is an outstanding, 5-star novel in my opinion. And his third novel "A Brief History of Seven Killings" A Brief History of Seven Killings (which I plan to read in the future) has received excellent reviews. This novel, James' first, feels like (to use an analogy fro [...]

    6. Set in Jamaica, 1957, in the village of Gibbeah, and revolves around the Holy Sepulchral Full Gospel Church of St. Thomas Apostolic. In the opening pages, a charismatic stranger arrives, heralded by black vultures (John Crows) crashing into the windows of the church. The stranger, who calls himself Apostle York, drags the alcoholic and off-the-rails preacher, Hector Bligh, from the church, and takes his place - setting off a series of conflicts as the two struggle for power.Magical realism, Obea [...]

    7. As I wrote in my review for Foreword magazine, this is an astounding book. How could such a rich fictional brew have come and gone - twice - with so little fanfare?John Crow’s Devil tells the story of the Rum Preacher and the Apostle York, two sides of the same coin: one is out “to preach about forgiveness” and the other bent on “tearing down the kingdom of Satan” in the town of Gibbeah, Jamaica, a setting which provides Marlon James ample opportunity to delve into the intricate minds [...]

    8. (Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter]. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)One of the things I like the most about Akashic Books is that, unlike so many other small presses, they make a deliberate effort not to put out only an endless stream of mopey character dramas about white creative-classers living in Brooklyn; take for example one of their latest, John Crow's Devil, which is in [...]

    9. 2.5*What did I just read! Earlier this year I read Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings and was blown away by it. Based on reviews, I was aware that John Crow's Devil wasn't a popular book and that it included a lot of atrocious scenes. The content didn't put me off, but the flow of the story was difficult to follow. I lost track of what was going on because too much crazy stiff was happening. I guess James wanted to depict the horrors of religious frenzy and how group behaviors can l [...]

    10. It's been interesting reading Marlon James's books in reverse chronological order. I was so enamored with his third and second novels, I couldn't help but have high expectations for his first. But this was a hard read for me. It was brutal, relentlessly violent. There were some exquisitely written passages, but this story of two warring preachers in 1950's Jamaica left me cold. Still, I can't give one of my favorite writers anything less than three stars. I'm glad I read it just to see where his [...]

    11. Finished this one last week. It reminded me a bit of Erna Brodber, because of its non-linear storytelling and rich cultural unearthings, specifically African retentions in the Caribbean. Nonetheless, it stands on its own and was a frightful and uneasy exploration of repressed anger brought out in a spiritual environment. It was interesting that a male writer was very good at writing labrish and suss. And I also liked that the exploration of mental instability (craziness) was dealt in this place [...]

    12. Marlon James doesn't so much tell you a story, he grabs the back of your head and grinds your face in it. Visceral and intense, uncompromising from the start and not for the faint hearted, it's a immersive tale of good vs evil, magic, religion and sexual obsession all played out in a Jamaican village in the fifties. Without doubt the most exciting writer today - I've now read all three of his currently published books and I can't wait for whatever is next.

    13. Meh, this just didn't do it for me. Marlon James is a great writer but I feel like this book was difficult to follow. There seems to be too much going on, and while his writing voice is strong, the plot is all over the place.

    14. Marlon James is one of the most important writers of his generations, a position he cemented with his monumental A Brief History of Seven KillingsA Brief History of Seven Killings. I have been obsessed with him from the second I started reading The Book of Night Women and finally got around to reading his debut novel, John Crow's Devil. Wow. He forces you to look and feel and not turn away, even from the most violent, unsavory scenes. He doesn't write to entertain or to cuddle you with nice imag [...]

    15. I finished it 2 day ago but I dont think I'll get the opportunity to write review on my laptop so thisll be on my phone sorry all 2 ppl (maryam and hitarthi tysm) that read this bc it on my phone:)Okay so this stupid book made no sense for the first half of the whole thing, it very likely bc im a stupid english speaking monolingual australian who also doesnt understand deepness but it made no sense and i had to decipher the entire thing, both bc of the language used which to start with was v gra [...]

    16. Reading the earlier works of a great novelist always carries a certain risk. Marlon James' A Brief History of Seven Killings is such a consummate work of fiction that anything short of perfection in its precedents is doomed to disappoint. This first novel is good but not great, far more of a straight-ahead horror story than I would have expected, even more than his Book of Night Women. I was reminded some of Harry Crews' A Feast of Snakes, an explosion of religious excess that writhes well over [...]

    17. Debut novel tells the story of a biblical struggle in a remote Jamaican village in 1957.There is often no greater illusion that something you cannot see will be your saviour or your curse.The language at times was difficult to follow, but the story - although brutal in parts - kept me relatively engaged to get through this book to count it for a reading challenge.

    18. Loved the lyrical language and the "island-ness" of the story. Using local vernacular added a real sense of ethnicity and originality to the book. I hope Mr. James has a lot more stories to share with us.

    19. "He called himself Apostle York. And nothing that had yet invaded Gibbeah - not redifusion radio, Bazooka Joe chewing gum, or condoms - moved with his seismic force. He was a whirlwind. He was a centre. Fluttery voices made mention of the Apostle's looks, so like Tyrone Power in the Mask of Zorro that was still shown at the Majestic, but with a trimmed beard, wet eyes and unruly black hair, like a coolie. God has sent him to Gibbeah. Jesus looked just like him. This meant he had power to deal wi [...]

    20. Another author for the () World Literature group project on Jamaica; Marlon James is one of the newest and most powerful Jamaican writers (this was his first novel). The book is set in a small village called "Gibbeah", in 1951 (although the back cover says 1957). The date doesn't really matter as the story doesn't take place in any definite historical reality. The style is "magical realism", and the basic idea reminded me somewhat of Satanic Verses, with the conflict of two main protagonists, on [...]

    21. ‘Come now Church. Who is ready to be violent for the Lord?’Marlon James’ debut novel was rejected seventy-eight times before publication. It’s not hard to see why publishers might have been afraid to embrace it. John Crow’s Devil is a gory novel, loud with violent evangelism, dark spirits and taboo sexual encounters. Yet for all its sensationalism, it is a profoundly meaningful and cathartic work that leaves readers with a justifiable sense of unease.In 1957 Jamaica, a pastor known as [...]

    22. I just finished this today on the train. After reading Book of Night Woman I had been hesitant to read James' first book. Simply because I thought it couldn't live up to BNW which is now my favorite book of all time. For context I'm half Jamaican my father's family is from there but I grew up in America and have only recently begun to connect with that half of my family. The setting is less important though in this book than the main storyline. James' writing hooks you in with it's ability to po [...]

    23. This book is James's first novel and it is interesting for its vision of good and evil and of human psychology. Two of the main characters Pastor Hector Bligh and Apostle Lucas York are initially baffling in their symbolic representations because of Bligh's drunkenness and York's megalomania. Both bear the shadows of past guilt in their lives. As the novel nears its end in the Golgotha chapter and afterward, a reader can observe how the characters of Bligh and York have evolved in terms of love [...]

    24. James is supposed to be like Garcia Marquez and Toni Morrison and sure there was a lot of the supernatural in it that I didn’t have a reference point for, and I don’t know anything about Jamaica in the 50s, but really? (I’m trying not to spoil it). People are so stupid. They just believe anything. I guess that was the point, but I admire people who are in tune with spirits and connected to ancestors, but these people were so super gullible that I didn’t admire them. It’s like their anc [...]

    25. "So who judgement goin fall?who?Could be a she, could be you." This is my first time reading a Marlon James book; I wish I'd encountered him sooner. John Crow's Devil is a masterful exploration of radicalism, religion, sex and power. It's the story of one man whipping a town into a frenzy through fear and superstition it was, well, relevant to the current political landscape. Explicit and delving into difficult subject matter, this isn't an easy read. Certain scenes left me breathless and I turn [...]

    26. This is one of those books which you think might make more sense if you read it a second time but you know you probably never will.

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