The Devil Is Loose!


Original title: Crache ŕ Pic

Original language: French

Author: Antonine Maillet, translated by Philip Stratford

Published: 1984 in French, 1986 in English

About The Devil is Loose: A young Acadian woman takes on a powerful rum-runner.

Find this book at,,

Review of The Devil is Loose!

Crache-ŕ-Pic and her improvised crew — made up of neighbours, her godmother, her brother, and his foster-brother — got their baptism in North Atlantic rum-running that night. And they outsmarted the boss of the Gulf, big Dieudonné, into the bargain — Dieudonné the smuggler, who had laid down the law along every inch of coast from Newfoundland to Maine for the last ten years.

...from page 2

The problem I have with translated books is that I don't know if what I'm reading is faithful to the original. If I like the book, it doesn't matter all that much. If I don't like it, I have no way of knowing if it's the author's fault or the translator's. And in the case of this book, that would be really useful information.

The underlying story was good but it was told in such a scattered way that I kept getting lost. And honestly, I didn't care enough to try to keep things straight. The main character, Crache-ŕ-Pic, was barely the main character for much of the book and although I laughed a few times, most of the humour fell flat. I can't recommend this book, or at least this translation of it, because I didn't like it at all. Hopefully it's much better in the original French.

Reviewed by Lynn Bornath on 29 June 2008 from the hardcover edition of Philip Stratford's translation.

Find this book at,,


WARNING: Comments may contain spoilers.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Added 30 June 2008.
Updated 25 August 2013.