Worldwide icon-chevron-right North America icon-chevron-right United States icon-chevron-right New York State icon-chevron-right New York icon-chevron-right Review: Me and the Devil by Nick Tosches

Heads up! We’re working hard to be accurate – but these are unusual times, so please always check before heading out.

Photograph: Anna Simonak

Review: Me and the Devil by Nick Tosches

A ostentatiously dark and fictional Nick learns to drink blood—not booze—and awaits congratulations for his naughtiness

By Matthew Love

By Nick Tosches. Little, Brown, $27.

Here’s hoping there’s little in common between the author of Me and the Devil and his narrator, other than that they’re both graying New York writers called Nick (who also both happen to be great friends with Keith Richards). Nick the narrator is a cocksure, alcoholic ne’er-do-well—or, more appropriately, a ne’er-do-anything—who abstains from booze while discovering a new tipple: blood. To satisfy his vampiric habit and the gnawing premonition he’s becoming an earthbound deity, Nick seduces lovely young things with a penchant for self-abuse and sucks out their sweet, sweet plasma. Sadly, no high lasts forever, and when the call of the demon drink grows deafening, how far can a budding godhead fall?

Regardless of his plummet, it’s hard to care whether Nick feels better or ought to just spin into a drunken coma so he’ll stop talking. The trek is offensive not because he’s a dark character pushing limits in search of the truth, but because he’s a bloviating, self-congratulatory, ostentatiously dark character who overestimates the reader’s awe for his tastes, deviancy, humanity and aforementioned Rolling Stones connection.

Tosches can, of course, rap with great erudition and effective belligerence. Devil uses a supernatural lens to distort autobiographical details as Ellis did with Lunar Park, but it doesn’t pack a satirical punch, nor does it make a cogent point about addiction. On the other side of conversations with some sage barmen, Heraclitus and (yep) the devil, Nick finally shrugs off the nagging fear he might have killed a couple of girls—did we fail to mention that bit?—and plunks into his newly found freedom on a barstool. Oh, he’s a bad man, all right; don’t worry, he’ll keep patting himself on the back until you’re ready to take over.

 Buy Me and the Devil on Amazon
 Get Me and the Devil on your Kindle


    You may also like