The Devil You Knowby Poppy Z. Brite
In her third short story collection, Poppy Z. Brite finds fresh ways of exploring territory both familiar and strange. Here you'll meet the Devil and his giant cat last seen in the pages of Bulgakov, the gourmand coroner of New Orleans,/i>
The Devil You Know is a tradepaperback edition of the sold-out limited edition of Poppy's latest short story collection.
In her third short story collection, Poppy Z. Brite finds fresh ways of exploring territory both familiar and strange. Here you'll meet the Devil and his giant cat last seen in the pages of Bulgakov, the gourmand coroner of New Orleans, the mad-genius chef who can't stand to have his cheese list criticized, and an assortment of Crescent City characters who also appear in Brite's novels Liquor and Prime.
Poppy Z. Brite has found a way of writing about New Orleans that bypasses the clich�s and approaches the city's true heart: the hard-working, hard-partying cooks; the ways in which race, class, and sexual orientation do and don't matter; the love of bottom feeders, be they crustaceans or politicos; the million little juxtapositions of sacred and profane, bizarre and mundane, sublime and ridiculous that make up the everyday life of New Orleans. Some of these stories are set elsewhere, but Brite always returns home in the end.
- Gauntlet, Incorporated CO
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- New Edition
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- 5.28(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.36(d)
What People are Saying About This
Poppy Z. Brite has been known to state (sometimes nearly militantly) that she is NOT a horror writer, that she no longer has any interest in writing horror fiction. After reading this short collection including (but not limited to) tales about a cat who's really Satan himself, a coroner who raises a murdered chef from the dead, and a rock star eaten alive by a pretty swarm of adoring fans, I can't help but wonder just what, in her big demented brain constitutes "horror".
For those of you Philistines who generally skip introductions, first I would like to say that you should be ashamed of yourselves. Then, I would tell you that this one is definitely worth a read. It's a poignant essay on the ups and downs of a relationship with writing and the search for new positions and new passions for a couple of old lovers. It also gives insight into how each of the stories came to be.
Much has been said about Poppy's new "clean" style and there is no question that it is easy to read. Unfortunately, it also lacks some of her characteristic florid enchantment. There is very little plush, decadent or heaving about it. Depending on perspective, that can be a good or a bad thing. After all, one man's clean is another man's antiseptic.
There's a lot of humor and heart to the stories. Poppy is nothing if not wickedly clever. The characters are charmingly quirky and there are plenty of familiar faces lurking about - Rickey and G-man and the inimitable Dr. Brite.
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In her first new collection in a couple of years, Poppy Z. Brites 'The Devil you Know' focuses many of its stories in and around her beloved New Orleans and often travels in the restaurant world (her husband is a chef). Less gothic than her previous works, one might even consider 'The Devil You Know' somewhat whimsical in certain spots. She certainly is prone to using humor and irony more so than in the past. But don't think that Brite has lost her edge. While she continues to explore new avenues she can still hit you right between the head although she does so with a skillful, subtle hand in this collection of 13 stories. Several of the tales feature Poppy's alter ego, Coroner Dr. Brite such as the black humor tale 'Marisol' about a restaurant critic who writes an unflattering review of a restaurant and then promptly disappears as the chef introduces his newest dish. The 'Ocean' brazenly shows the high cost of fame in a story about a dysfunctional, drug addicted rock band, being fed upon by their fans. 'System Freeze' seems a bit out of place with the other stories in the book, being as much a Sci-fi story as anything else. After a fatal fall from a mountain during a climb, a woman finds she's been given a second chance at life by the mysterious Agent Fine, as long as she completes the new AI program that she is working on. The story is supposed to be a Matrix-esque type tale and is short but effective 'Burn Baby Burn' will have people thinking of Stephen King's 'Firestarter' with its tragic tale of pyrokinetic Liz Sherman (of Hellboy fame) and the destruction she causes to friends and family...not to mention her entire neighborhood when her powers go out of control. Liz finds her only place of comfort and safety is at the governments Bureau of Paranormal Research---with the other freaks. My favorite story was 'Lantern Marsh' as it evoked the feelings of youth when our own little worlds and suburbs were filled with mystery and enchantment. We firmly believed that the big old house down on the corner was home to a mad scientist. Set again in the Deep South, three young friends frequent a local swamp where odd lights are seen to float and dance about. Noel especially us drawn to the area over and over, even after he's warned to stay out by the man who owns part of the land it rests on. Years later, Noel returns home from college to find that Mr. Prudhomme now owns all of the land and plans to fill in the swamp for development. Noel knows he'll have to do something drastic to save the swamp, and whatever it is that lives there. This diverse collection of short tales shows Poppy's development and comfort with various forms and settings as well as her enormous skill as a storyteller. A must have for her fans and a great place to start for new Brite readers!