“Me and the Devil” By Nick Tosches

Pages: 387         Publish Date: December 2012

To be honest, the reason I selected this novel to read and review is because of the title. Who hasn’t had one of those sensations? Then, upon reading the synopsis, I was further intrigued.  Here it is for you:

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.

  Alas, I did read him at my peril….

Nick is a master of adumbrating. I wasn’t quite sure were it all was leading for the first half of the novel. He is brilliant in how he makes words come together in such a manner that you feel like you are on this journey with him. His accounts are so vivid, that I was actually very impressed early on. He shares the dark side within him that not many can capture in such a beautiful manner. Also, he has accomplished one of  the best portrayals of  trying to ensnare such things as: the fine line between genius and madness, the war within us to conform,  as well as the complexity of explaining beauty and power.  Beauty, be blessed and damned.

After all that had happened in this novel, surprisingly, the ending left me very contented. I cannot say that about many novels. This is one of the more transcendent novels I have read in a very long time. I can tell it is one I will return to again and again. If  for no other reason,  just to remind me how completely intricate each of us are.

Postscript ~To have you even more tantalized~the one sentence at the end~”About the Author”~I found most dark & amazing upon finishing.


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