Synopses & Reviews
A stunningly imaginative, sharp, funny, and slyly tender novel featuring the Devil himself, John Scratch.
He's made of wood. He cooks an excellent gumbo. Cows love him. And he's the world's first love story . . . and the world's first broken heart. Meet the darkly handsome, charming John Scratch, aka the Devil. Ever since his true love, a fellow fallen angel named Arden, decided that Earth was a little too terrifying and violent, John Scratch has been trying to lure her back from the forgiving grace of Heaven. Though neither the wonders of Egypt nor the glories of Rome were enough to keep her on Earth, John Scratch believes he's found a new Eden: America.
John Scratch capitalizes on the bounty of this arcadia as he shapes it into his pet nation. Then, one dark night in the late 1960s, he meets three down-on-their-luck musicians and strikes a deal. In exchange for their souls, he'll grant them fame, wealth, and the chance to make the world a better place. Soon, the trio is helping the Devil push America to the height of civilization—or so he thinks. But there's a great deal about humans he still needs to learn, even after spending so many millennia among them.
Overflowing with imagination, insight, and humor, rippling with history and myth, Up Jumps the Devil is as madcap and charming as the Devil himself.
"In his skillfully plotted and richly metaphorical debut novel, Poore sweeps from the beginning of time to a media-obsessed, 21st-century America chronicling the Devil's quest to 'raise the civilizations of earth until they looked down on Heaven.' The Devil's motivation is not to win the universe, but only his long-lost love, an angel who descended with him from heaven only to leave again because she felt life on Earth was too brutal. In his mission to make Earth a 'smarter, shinier, braver place,' the Devil pops up in ancient Egypt, in Ben Franklin's lab, on the 1776 battlefield beside George Washington, and in the White House with JFK. He also makes an appearance at Woodstock and on his own reality TV show. Though the novel makes many jumps through time and location, the love story at the core holds the work together. In Poore's hands, the world's oldest antagonist becomes an unlikely but thoroughly lovable hero. Agent: Michelle Brower, Folio Literary Management. (July)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
“The sustained comedy in this hilarious novel is equaled only by its heart, and the myriad ways there are for it to break. I love this book. Michael Poore writes like an angel.”
—Daniel Wallace, author of Big Fish
John Scratch, the Devil himself, is the protagonist in this stunningly imaginative, sharp, funny, and tender novel, as he tricks, teases, and prods America to greatness in the hope of luring his lost love back down to Earth from Heaven. Up Pops the Devil is fiction with humor and heart, the kind of hilarious, off-beat, and original reading experience that fans of Chris Moore, Joe Hill, Chuck Palahniuk, and Jim Shepard would sell their souls for—a brilliant blending of the occult and the outrageous starring the anti-hero of anti-heroes, the one and only Prince of Darkness.
About the Author
Michael Poores work has appeared in the Southern Review, the Carolina Quarterly, Haydens Ferry Review, Fiction, StoryQuarterly, and Glimmer Train and has been nominated for a 2011 Pushcart Prize. His 2009 story “Blood Dauber,” written with Nebula Award nominee Ted Kosmatka, appeared in Asimovs and has been nominated for the prestigious Sturgeon Award. It also won the Readers Choice Award and was selected for inclusion in the 2010 Years Best Science Fiction anthology. Up Jumps the Devil is his first novel.