The Devil is Loose!

Antonine Maillet, Author Walker & Company $16.95 (310p) ISBN 978-0-8027-0958-5
A glittering translation drives us into the teeth of the wind battering the sailing vessal Sea Cow, owned and piloted by fearless Crache-a-pic, one-woman thorn in the side of the bootlegger Dieudonne, lord of the French-Canadian coast. There's never a letdown after that first stunning midnight scene of Crache-a-pic at the helm, dumping confiscated lobster traps and hauling lobster, not liquor, back home. It's 1930; Prohibition is the law in Canada and the U.S.; the Depression empties purses and bellies; and only Dieudonne, who has bought the peasants' land for pennies and sold contraband rum for pounds, seems to thrive. But Crache-a-pic, daughter and granddaughter of giants (some say sorcerers), is tough and smart enough to anticipate his moves and to dare to thwart him. Then a handsome cop aptly nicknamed Quicksilver strides into the melee, and Crache-a-pic loses her heart for good. Both wildly funny and profoundly serious, this book by a winner of the Prix Goncourt is always exciting and frequently thrilling, as the narrative pitches to a memorable climax. (April 6)
Reviewed on: 03/31/1987
Release date: 04/01/1987
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