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White Devils Paperback – February 2, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (February 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0743238850
  • ISBN-13: 978-0743238854
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 6.1 x 1.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,629,647 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Arthur C. Clarke Award-winner McAuley (Whole Wide World) delivers a grim and gruesome near-future thriller, in which a series of devastating plagues, some natural, some manmade, have spread across the earth. In Africa, where civil wars rage out of control and an enormous Dead Zone stretches across the continent, transnational corporations have taken over several nations, using them to conduct experiments in genetic engineering that are illegal elsewhere. Nicholas Hyde, part of a team sent to investigate a massacre, discovers that the dead have been horribly mauled, their skulls smashed and their brains removed. When gun-wielding primates the size of 10-year-old children with enormous claws and teeth-the white devils-attack the team, Hyde is one of the few survivors. On returning to what passes for civilization, he's appalled to learn that the powers-that-be refuse to believe his story, insisting that the hideous creatures were merely enemy soldiers in disguise. Obsessed with a need to speak for the dead, Nicholas, who has his own dark secret to hide, sets out to uncover the truth about the white devils. Though more complex than necessary, this novel serves as a powerful warning about the sinister possibilities inherent in genetic engineering. FYI: McAuley has also won the Philip K. Dick and John W. Campbell awards.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

With its mantra against genetic engineering, White Devils raises natural comparisons to the works of Michael Crichton and, with its leap into Africa's modern heart of darkness, Joseph Conrad. Critics agree that McAuley, a British biologist-turned-award-winning SF writer, has written a minor thriller masterpiece. It's smart, appropriately sinister, and has a plot that "roars along like a bushfire, crackling with fast and brutal action" (Guardian). McAuley's message is clear--runaway genetic engineering leads to no good, not to mention plastic vegetation. His examination of biotechnology's implications complements other provoking themes, including lost childhood innocence and the ethics of military conflict. But McAuley's no alarmist. After reading this thriller, you'll see him as a realist.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

Paul McAuley's first novel won the Philip K. Dick Award, and he has gone on to win almost all of the major awards in the field. For many years a research biologist, he now writes full-time. McAuley's novel The Quiet War made several "best of the year" lists, including SF Site's Reader's Choice Top 10 SF and Fantasy Books of 2009. He lives in London. Visit him online at unlikelyworlds.blogspot.com .

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By KatPanama on September 25, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Terrific proposition but flabbily executed. Genetically engineered proto apes and maybe more in Africa, the kind and the terrible. Good, solid characters but too much lard. Needed to be cut by a third; in otherwords, sorely needed a good editor. Although, you know, I'm not that fussy and kinda liked it. The writer's view of Africa 30 years or so down the pike is both plausible and convincing. Looking forward to McAuley's next.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Harper on January 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
After some of the poor reviews here I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.

Bad bits; as pointed out in other reviews the ending is somewhat predictable and cliched. The 'in the present tense' style feels awkward for the first few pages but then becomes unnoticeable, and even adds to the story by including the reader in the drama as it unfolds.

Good bits; Pretty much non-stop action, some interesting technological and biological advancements.

I would recommend this book to anyone who likes a fast paced action/science fiction thriller.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on November 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This was my first Paul McAuley novel, but certainly won't be my last. I just flat-out loved this book! I made the mistake of starting it over Thanksgiving, and ticked my family off because I kept abandoning them every chance I got to go read more of this great story. I was initially intrigued by the science, but really got hooked on the characters and was anxious to see how the tale played out for each of them. McAuley does an excellent job of letting the reader inside their heads, and made me *care* about how their intertwining issues were resolved. The action and suspense are taut from the very beginning and never let up - I did not find any part of the more than 500-page tale to be boring or unnecessary, and would have gladly read more had the author written it. I'll have to satisfy myself with his other works. Since this book has received such mixed reviews, I say pick it up from the library and give it a shot without financial investment. I think you'll be glad you did.
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By Charles Homan on November 4, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Too much fluff in this book. Great story but too much time is spent on insignificant detail. Other than that, a good book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I started reading this book as part of an on-line book club. I enjoyed the first 5 pages so much that I bought the book. The first part of the book was terrifying! Unstoppable monsters killing people in the Congo. The last part of the book dwindled into predictability.
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