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Me and the Devil: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Nick Tosches
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.00
Kindle Price: $9.99
You Save: $7.01 (41%)
Sold by: Hachette Book Group

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Book Description

A raw and blazing novel by "the single, most brain-searingly dangerous man of letters. Read him at your peril." (Anthony Bourdain)

An aging New Yorker, a writer named Nick, feels life ebbing out of him. The world has gone to hell and Nick is so sick of it all that he can't even have a glass of champagne. Then one night he meets a tantalizing young woman who agrees to come back to his apartment. Their encounter is the most strangely extraordinary of his life. Propelled by uncontrollable, primordial desires, he enters a new and unimagined dimension of the forbidden and is filled with a sexual and spiritual ecstasy that is as intense as it is unholy.

Suddenly Nick's senses are alive. He feels strong, unconquerable, beyond all inhibition and earthly morality. He indulges in life's pleasures, pure and perverse, sublime and dangerous, from the delicate flavors of the perfect tomato to the fleshy beauty of a woman's thigh. But Nick's desire to sustain his rapture leads him to a madness and a darkness far greater and dreadful than have ever ridden the demon mares of night.

Writing in a lineage that includes Dante, William S. Burroughs, Charles Bukowski, Hubert Selby, Jr., and Hunter S. Thompson, Nick Tosches may be America's last real literary outlaw-a fearless, uncensorable seeker of our deepest secret truths and desires, from the basest to the most beautiful. Me and the Devil is outrageous, disturbing, and brilliant, a raw and blazing novel truly unlike any other. Like the man said: Read him at your peril.

Editorial Reviews Review

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2012: Once upon a time--before heartthrob bloodsuckers sparkled in the sunlight of chaste daydreams--vampires meant sex and danger, blood and animal, Victorian taboo made unflesh, scratching at your windows in the small hours. In Me and the Devil, Nick Tosches doesn’t quite reach back to the Gothic (though he may reach for the Gnostic, if you want to dig into the seedier details) with his tale of an aging writer--a decrepit Drac of the New York night--who discovers rejuvenation in the femoral blood of his willing female complements. His book is so packed with grit, vice, and gore as to make it a queasy recommendation for unsuspecting readers, but if you think you’re ready, go for it. Me and the Devil is a throwback to the fearless writing of William Burroughs, Jim Carroll, and Richard Hell, a book heedless of boundaries and conscience. --Jon Foro

From Publishers Weekly

In this novel of sadomasochistic vampirism, an aging writer drinks blood to restore youth, vitality, and the urge to write. Nick is a misanthrope who sees people as a source of tedium and acid reflux. With young women, he enjoys rough sex, the kind that draws blood (his pickups like to be raped, bitten, and whipped). But there are no black capes or bats; instead, drinking blood is the transgressive act of an intellectual, an incarnadine feast over dull conversations about, among other things, the efficiency of the Greek language or the precision of Latin when it comes to oral sex. Nick also converses with the devil, about haberdashery and The Music Man. Occasionally, Tosches (In the Hand of Dante) uses the narrator as a mouthpiece to decry the monopoly of bookstores (a subject he's covered before), island-nigger nannies... pushing white yuppie brats in three-grand prams and strollers, and other topics. The book is composed of turgid prose, pornographic sex, misogyny, and slurs, images, and scenes impartial in their offensiveness, such as a woman falling in love with her rapist. A novel for the most devoted fans of transgressive fiction and the most outré vampire erotica. (Dec. 4)

Product Details

  • File Size: 1065 KB
  • Print Length: 393 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00ERQQ50W
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (December 4, 2012)
  • Sold by: Hachette Book Group
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0076DD4TI
  • Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #397,545 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book that should have a warning label on it! November 22, 2012
Over the weekend I read a galley of ME AND THE DEVIL.

This book reminded me of Michael Faber's UNDER THE SKIN and Katherine Dunn's GEEK LOVE and some of Thomas Tessier's work--dark stuff that you really can't get out of your head once you've read it.

Had a couple dinners, and people asked what they always ask me, "What are you reading?" and for the first time, I said, "I have no idea. It's a book that mentions Bela Lugosi, the Desert Fathers and Norman Rockwell. This guy dates an odd assortment of women and I think he wants to kill them and he believes he's becoming a God and getting healthier even as he's losing his mind..."

You know when you're getting sick and you're not aware of it, but gradually things just don't feel right? That's what this book was like. From the beginning, I knew something was wrong with the narrator but you couldn't get away from him, you're sucked into his weird fever-dream world.

It was like "reading" Brad Anderson's film THE MACHINIST, David Cronenberg's SPIDER and David Lynch's ERASERHEAD--all at the same time!

It's a book that should have a warning label on it.

Really an amazing writer and I was certainly drawn back to it after taking breaks for walks in the sun and seeing "normal" people. I haven't read anything like this in years.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. (But you'll never get it out of your head.)
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This isn't Twilight December 8, 2012
Me and the Devil will never be mistaken for Twilight, despite the protagonist's craving for blood. In fact, my impression is that Nick Tosches wrote this as the Twilight antidote. He is (the novel makes clear) anguished that readers prefer fluff to Faulkner, that reading and literacy are dying and that the writing racket is "only a vestigial withering on the much bigger dying racket of conglomerated business itself." Still, writing a transgressive novel that many readers are likely to hate seems an odd way to protest the shelf space that bookstores give to Stephenie Meyer. By creating such an unlikable blood-drinking protagonist (even if it is the author's alter-ego), it is as if Tosches is daring readers not to buy his novel, a protest strategy that seems self-defeating. Of course, Tosches isn't the first writer to express his frustration by howling at the moon, and this is at least an interesting howl.

"We were all monkeys about to die" is the lesson drawn from life by Nick, a writer who has stopped writing, an opium-craving alcoholic who has stopped feeling, haunted by the memories of the dead monkeys he saw while serving in the Korean DMZ. Once consumed by "the combustions of sensuality," he can "no longer bear a human touch without recoiling." Only after he tastes Sandrine's blood is he awakened to the promise of a new life. In this new life, instead of biting women on the neck like a conventional vampire, he bites their thighs. The taste of blood invigorates him, stimulates his appetite for a flavor-filled life. The newly energized Nick meets a much younger woman who is aroused by the biting, even after he severs her femoral artery, and another who prefers to shed blood while being whipped.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not for everyone January 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book is dark. The whole story is told from inside the head of a man who has a lot in common with the author - just more of it!

Are you an aging man still wrestling with demons inside your head? Do you remember stumbling around among dive bars sometime in your past. Remember the goth women you met before anybody heard of goth. Remember the darkest side of your mind when you were drinking too much. Remember reading The Geek by Craig Nova.

Now, imagine doing that in your sixties, living alone and possibly becoming sociopathic without understanding how your mind is changing or why. (The sex in this book is less pornographic than 50 Shades of Grey but it makes that silly novel look like BDSM for Kindergartners.)

The character is Nick and he has made enough dough writing novels in his past that he does not need to work or worry too much about money. He is an English major's dream because his mind endlessly pursues the meaning of words and the history of gods and the meanings of myths. And, it is all inside his own head rambling on and on. It gets harder and harder to know what is real plot and what is in his head.

So, readers are likely to give this book zero stars or five. There is not likely to be too much room in the middle. This book still haunts me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The most alarming and remarkable thing about Nick Tosches' latest novel, ME AND THE DEVIL, is that the protagonist --- an aging New York City writer named Nick --- may be an autobiographical version of himself.

The Nick Tosches of the novel is an over-the-hill writer with strong appetites. He is reminiscent of other old school writers of "new fiction" that drink hard and play harder. They almost always pour their lives and souls into their works but at the risk of coming across as self-absorbed and overindulgent.

Nick attends AA meetings, sometimes daily, while still pursuing the vices that have made him the writer he is today. He longs for youth and vitality, and lives vicariously through the various assortment of characters he meets in his daily jaunts around lower Manhattan. He has an unquenching proclivity for drinking human blood, yet is not a vampire. He simply seeks to live life to the fullest and exist far beyond what is acceptable to normal people.

While seeking a muse for his latest writing effort, he comes across a young woman named Melissa. She is many decades his junior, yet readily comes back to his apartment and engages in a night of sexual indulgence that would have made the Marquis de Sade blush. The result is a new-found inspiration and unknown source of vitality for Nick. Melissa seems to have infused him with a power that makes him feel nearly invincible and almost god-like. This can only end badly.

Nick mentions early on in the novel that writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a bout with a painful illness. His newly realized energy somehow lifts him above this but leaves him wanting more --- much more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars This Celebration of Darkness and cynicism is actually an affirmation...
Tosches proves once again here that he's one of the best writers of our generation, and his knowledge of everything from ancient semantics to upscale cuisine is impressive. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert G. Allen
3.0 out of 5 stars much like the author
I had a difficult time getting through this book.

The narrator is an aging writer living in NYC, much like the author, I figure. Read more
Published 2 months ago by The JuRK
5.0 out of 5 stars Great!
Item was as described. Great!
Published 2 months ago by WtW
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books I have ever read.
Writing style, subject matter, voice, sense of humor, sense of pleasure—the desire to live boldly and well while still stalking this doomed earth. Read more
Published 8 months ago by william Greene
5.0 out of 5 stars This way there be demons
This tale is not for the delicate or simplicity-seeking. Nor is it for the mundane or typical pop-culture lover. Read more
Published 10 months ago by deaays
1.0 out of 5 stars Wish I could give it a zero star rating
This is pseudo-intellectual garbage of the worst kind! I'm sure the author (so megalomaniacal that he is the main character in his own book) wants to "open our minds" by making... Read more
Published 14 months ago by Darren Whalen
4.0 out of 5 stars a lot of fun
Loved his twisted and poetic voice. NIck constructed sentences and passages that are original, learned, and striking. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars "Headline required" here? This book can't be reduced to a catch...
Despite the gloomy predictions on the flap about a descent into Hell by the storyteller, I found the opposite to be true. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Geox
4.0 out of 5 stars read anything by Tosches
he is bitter and vile and angry and brilliant. 'nuff said. some of the stuff in this book if fairly gross without actually being interesting, but that is forgivable at this late... Read more
Published 18 months ago by White Rabbit
2.0 out of 5 stars 50 Shades of Grey for Old Men
Let this book be a lesson to burgeoning writers on the importance of networking; cultivate a well-rounded circle of celebrity associates and even works of this disappointing... Read more
Published 18 months ago by Central Industrial
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