Hannah Green and Her Unfeasibly Mundane Existence, Michael Marshall Smith Book Review

I don’t think my grandfather was nearly as exciting as Hannah’s. I mean, mine did manage to explode all the windows in a police station back in the war, but he wasn’t friends with the devil…

Goodreads Summary:

It’s not every day that the Devil knocks on your door

From the critically-acclaimed author of Only Forward comes a delightful new tale about Hannah, a young girl living a mundane existence in California, who discovers that her grandfather has been friends with the Devil for the past 150 years . . . and now, they need her help.

This is one of those books that has about four different plots going on at the same time and at no point could I tell you which one was most significant, and that’s a good thing. We have Hannah herself, dealing with her parents recent separation, we have her parents who are doing the separating and we have the devil who is having problems with his sacrifice machine. You’d think there would be an obvious frontrunner but the way this book is crafted the three just work together.

There’s something very Pratchett-like in the writing style of this book, perhaps purely because the author is trying to capture the voice of an eleven year old girl, which is no mean feat. I think that he did a good job maybe 99% of the time. There were a few moments of ‘hmm would an eleven year old, albeit an intelligent one, process this in that way?’ but on the whole I enjoyed being in Hannah’s mind. There are some humorous moments, a few of which made me actually laugh out loud, alongside some thought provoking observations about life that were quite poignant.

I think this is a great book to read if you enjoy this kind of writing style. I can imagine some might find it a little waffly or overly thought out but for me it was just right. While I can see a lot of the influences that this author must have, the book itself is pretty unique. Given how often the devil has been portrayed in literature uniqueness is high praise indeed.

My rating: 5/5 stars

Let me know in the comments below what you think and if this is something you might like to read. A little less YA than I normally go for but well worth the exploration!


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