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Devil House

9780374717674 fc
Hardcover, MCD × FSG, 2022
Jd authorphoto

John Darnielle

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“It’s never quite the book you think it is. It’s better.”
The New York Times

From John Darnielle, the New York Times bestselling author and the singer-songwriter of the Mountain Goats, comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.


Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That’s what his mother always told him. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success—and a movie adaptation—to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for the big break: to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell––his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected—back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Devil House is John Darnielle’s most ambitious work yet, a book that blurs the line between fact and fiction, that combines daring formal experimentation with a spellbinding tale of crime, writing, memory, and artistic obsession.

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  • Devil House is terrific: confident, creepy, a powerful and soulful page-turner. I had no idea where it was going, in the best possible sense...It’s never quite the book you think it is. It’s better.”

    —Dwight Garner, The New York Times

  • Devil House has all the gross-out hallmarks of horror and true crime while also questioning the moral implications of the genres.

    Los Angeles Times

  • "Devil House is not a novel about karma or comeuppance. It is a portrait — sometimes direct, sometimes refracted — of a man realizing that his career, combined with his powerful imagination, has taken him far from his morals. In many such narratives, the career wins. Refreshingly, in Devil House, the morals do." 

    —NPR

  • "Suspenseful, brilliant and chaotically addicting, Devil House triumphs as a page-turning metafictional treatise on the power of narratives cloaked in the trappings of a certifiable true crime classic." 

    —Zack Ruskin, San Francisco Chronicle


  • Devil House is terrific: confident, creepy, a powerful and soulful page-turner. I had no idea where it was going, in the best possible sense...It’s never quite the book you think it is. It’s better.”—Dwight Garner, The New York Times

    —Dwight Garner, The New York Times