A Devil Comes to Town by Paolo Maurensig

Reviewed by Max

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Rabies-infested foxes run rampant through the woods surrounding Dichtersruhe, an insular yet charming haven stifled by the Swiss mountains. The foxes are beginning to gain ground, boldly making their way into the village, but this omen goes unnoticed by all except the town's new parish priest. The residents have something else on their minds: literature, as everyone here is a writer. When the devil himself arrives in town, hidden by the guise of being a hotshot publisher, the village's peaceful harmony is shattered as residents vie for an opportunity to publish their previously private works.

This gothic literary parable provides an engaging--if subtle--commentary on narcissism, conceit, and the desire for escapism and creation that dwells within us all. The unconventional structure, creepily overcast atmosphere, and stylistically complex writing shines an austere yet subdued light on the wonders of human imagination and how the limits of escapism, once surpassed, assume a form of weakness all their own. I highly recommend this short yet provocative fable as a must-read for lovers of bizarre thrillers with layered stylistic elements.

Rating: 5/5 stars