Guardian Fiction Prize-winning and extraordinarily highly critically acclaimed, The Devil’s Own Work is a subtle, compulsive hallucinatory tale of possession. A world-renowned writer living in the South of France owes his extraordinary career to a mysterious literary spirit — or is it a demon?– that controls him. The existence of this supernatural muse, and the price it exacts, remain hidden until the famous writer’s death, when the spirit is transferred to a rising but as yet unformed literary hopeful, whose own celebrity begins immediately and inexplicably to grow. The only clues to these two possessions are an ancient, inscrutable manuscript and the continuing presence of an apparently ageless woman who attaches herself in turn to these gifted but soon distracted and eventually desperate men. And as the narrator, a guileless teacher of literature, pieces their stories together, we begin to see what can happen when an artist surrenders to the charm of fame.
‘More chills in its little length than in a whole shelf of bestsellers.’ STEPHEN KING
‘At once moral fable, cautionary ghost story and inspired attack on the whole hellbent drift of modern letters, this is a splendid tale, splendidly told, which Ford or Henry James would have been glad to have written.’ Robert Nye, the Guardian
‘This novel delighted and terrified me as it must terrify writers, showing them a pit of hell.’ Ruth Rendell, the Daily Telegraph, Books of the Year
‘Judd’s creation is perfect in itself: totally true, totally “real”, totally right. And superbly written.’ Mary Hope, Financial Times