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 civilizationor 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.
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.
“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
“Part fable, part warped historical travelogue, Up Jumps the Devil is an inscrutably charming debut novel that poses the question: What if Satan wasn’t that bad a guy? I don’t know where Michael Poore came from, but I sure am glad he’s here.”
-Patrick deWitt, New York Times bestselling author of The Sisters Brothers