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The Devil You Know
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The Devil You Know

5.0 2
by Poppy Z. Brite

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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 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.

Editorial Reviews

Anyone who's ever read anything by Poppy Z. Brite knows that she's a sorceress of words, mesmerizing her readers with language, drawing them into her dark webs of storytelling. She is also a born native of New Orleans who eschews the typical trappings that plague much of the literature about the city, which mostly relies upon cliches involving Voodoo, decadence and Mardi Gras. The city and its inhabitants are so much more than that, she says, and so much stranger. And so, in this, her third short story collection, you'll be escorted into the real New Orleans and meet the hardworking, hard-partying people who make up the unusual fabric of a town that is just...well, different. These stories range from sad to shocking to uproariously funny, but the writing is always dead-on and in-your-face and jaw-dropping gorgeous. Even when she's writing within the proscribed universes of Hellboy ("Burn, Baby, Burn") or The Matrix ("System Freeze"), she makes these worlds her own rather than becoming subsumed by them, as often happens with a less talented writers. No matter the subject, no matter the style or structure, these stories are quintessentially Poppy, and you will love them. Sadly, they've been made even more poignant by the damage done by the recent hurricanes, but, as Poppy's characters will assure you, New Orleans will rise and rebuild. It's the character of the people, and the magic of the place. Click on the cover and immerse yourself in these stories. They are wondrous and satisfying, each and every one.
Publishers Weekly
Once both cult-worshipped and mainstream-reviled for her edgy investigations into supernatural and human horror, Brite (Lost Souls) is now more concerned with the more-or-less ordinary side of life and her home turf of New Orleans, as shown in her provocative third story collection. Four out of the 13 tales lie somewhere between the weird and the mundane and feature Brite's alter ego, Dr. Brite, the coroner of Orleans Parish, who loves to eat. The droll but dark "O Death, Where Is Thy Spatula?" involves raising the dead. In "Marisol," Dr. Brite literally tastes the consequences of revenge. Three tales, notably the bleakly nihilistic love story "Nothing of Him That Doth Fade," involve gay but otherwise run-of-the-mill couples who have some connection to the restaurant world. Abandoning past gothic trappings and using a cleaner, simpler style, Brite emerges as a writer of honesty and wit who may yet find favor with a broader literary readership. (Feb. 3) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

Gauntlet, Incorporated CO
Publication date:
Edition description:
New Edition
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Product dimensions:
5.28(w) x 8.28(h) x 0.36(d)

What People are Saying About This

Kristine Huntley
Brite, a well-known figure in horror fiction, has been focused on New Orleans as of late, and this collection is one result of her exploration of the city beyond its stereotypes. In the title story, the devil's cat plays mind games with the racist leader of the New Orleans Krewe of Onan. Brite's alter ego, New Orleans coroner Dr. Brite, stars in several stories, including "O Death, Where Is Thy Spatula?" which also appears in the thirteenth Mammoth Book of Best New Horror [BKL D 15 02]. In "Marisol," the chef at one of Dr. Brite's favorite restaurants takes revenge on a critic who failed to mention his fine selection of cheeses. "System Freeze" is set in the world of the movie The Matrix and features a young woman who is saved by one of the mysterious agents only to find out how dangerous it is to defy him. Brite describes sumptuous meals at swanky restaurants and icy death with equal aplomb, and her stories are spirited and snappy.
Gary Roen
I've never read this author, but many people at conventions have raved highly about her writing. With this collection I see why she is held in such high esteem. She talks about each story, how long she's lived in New Orleans, the city itself, and other writers from there in her introduction. Brite has collected for the first time many stories with one central theme, highlighting the best elements of the city of New Orleans. The Coroner of New Orleans is a recurring character in many of her pieces. In one there is a spell to bring back to life a chef to keep the flavor of the city alive. In another there is a childs death that is strange. Brite has a way of locking on the reader and keeping the interest unlike many writers of modern horror. What also emerges with this collection is things are different in the Crescent City. Because Hurricane Katrina wiped out so much of this wonderful city, I highly recommend this collection to anyone who thinks that we should not rebuild this municipality. Brite clearly shows why it should rise again.
Jamie Langolf
� Jamie Langolf for Insidious Reflections
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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The Devil You Know 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
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!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago