Wednesday, September 21, 2022

The Devil in Silver Read-Along - Discussion One

Spoiler Warning: If you are not reading along with us, the below discussion post and comments may contain spoilers.

A few days late. What else is new with me? Always a day behind and...well, you know. Anyway, to start, this book is amazing so far! 

I read LaValle's The Ballad of Black Tom novella several years ago and I really liked it. Such a great spin on a Lovecraftian tale. I didn't hesitate to buy this one, but then it languished on my shelf for a time. My mom did read it and said it was really good so at that point I knew it would be right up my alley. I have not been disappointed so far.

I think we all secretly fear being imprisoned against our will, especially if that imprisonment occurred in a mental hospital. This may be even more visceral for women, who in history were committed for hysteria and other stupid reasons like speaking their minds, or going against the norms of the time. So, I can relate to Pepper's predicament, even though I've never been committed myself. I mean really, if you're arrested for assault, the last thing a person would honestly expect would be to find themselves in a mental hospital. Jail would seem the proper avenue, right? So, right off the bat, I knew something was fishy. Next we get allusions to danger in various ways...Dorry stating Northwest Four is off limits, then Coffee talking about needing to call the Mayor because he's "seen it," and then perhaps not really an allusion...Pepper's encounter with the creature (yikes) putting its hands in his mouth, etc. Now that part was unsettling. 

Not much more to say about this section except for speculation on who or what this creature is. Is it indeed a creature that had been living there and Northwest was built just to hold it, or is it what Dorry said, it being the first patient on the ward before her time? I guess we will find out, but I will say there seems to be some kind of supernatural element as well. Remember the invisible snorting and stench with no obvious source that Pepper and the cop (Dewey) experienced? Also, the strange pull that door at the end of Northwest Four had for Pepper when he ventured that way. What do you think?

Share your thoughts on this week's section in the comments, or leave a link to a post. We'll be back for the next discussion on October 2nd (or If you need the reading schedule, find it here.

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  1. I'm also really liking this book but I think I know where it's going to go with the Devil in Silver and I don't know if I like that...but I do really enjoy the tension and the supernatural elements and some obvious social commentary on public mental institutions and the lines it can cross.
    Have you read Changeling by him? Oh, man. That's his best. They're making a movie LaKeith Stanfield!

  2. I'm enjoying it! I started reading it and then switched to audio. Hopefully I'll be able to renew it from Libby. It is a little creepy but not overwhelmingly so. The scariest thing is being involuntarily held at a mental hospital!

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