Devil House

A Novel

Formats and Prices


Trade Paperback


Trade Paperback

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around October 4, 2022. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

From John Darnielle, the New York Times bestselling author and the singer-songwriter of the Mountain Goats, comes an epic, gripping novel about murder, truth, and the dangers of storytelling.

Gage Chandler is descended from kings. That’s what his mother always told him when he was a child. Years later, he is a true crime writer, with one grisly success–and a movie adaptation–to his name, along with a series of subsequent less notable efforts. But now he is being offered the chance for the big break: to move into the house where a pair of briefly notorious murders occurred, apparently the work of disaffected teens during the Satanic Panic of the 1980s. Chandler finds himself in Milpitas, California, a small town whose name rings a bell–his closest childhood friend lived there, once upon a time. He begins his research into the murders with diligence and enthusiasm, but soon the story leads him into a puzzle he never expected–back into his own work and what it means, back to the very core of what he does and who he is.

Devil House is John Darnielle’s most ambitious work yet, a book that blurs the line between fact and fiction, that combines daring formal experimentation with a spellbinding tale of crime, writing, memory, and artistic obsession.


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Two books were invaluable to me in building the mythical Devil House from bricks: Christopher Tyerman’s Who’s Who in Early Medieval England (Shepheard-Walwyn, 1996) and R. M. Wilson’s The Lost Literature of Medieval England (Methuen, 1970), from which I nicked many of the subheaders in part 3; world-building is tricky business, and no one knows this better than medievalists. I’m grateful for their work.

To my family and especially my wife, Lalitree, deepest thanks for the near daily forbearance of the mania that can accompany the making of a new book.

To Sean McDonald, whose editorial hand measures pressure in exactly the right proportions and who bears my love of obscurity patiently, protecting my book against its creator’s love of lost and losable things, my deepest thanks.

To my band and crew—Peter Hughes, Jon Wurster, Matt Douglas, Brandon Eggleston, Trudy Feikert, Avel Sosa, and Ryan Matteson—nothing I do is possible without you. Thank you, forever.

Finally to Donna, a great friend, consultant, and confidant at almost every step of the way for this book, the particular gratitude that comes from knowing that this book attains whatever stature it has only from the twin graces of your ear and your good words along the way. May I repay your many kindnesses!

On Sale
Oct 4, 2022
Page Count
432 pages