The Devil I Know Him

Fiction - Visionary
247 Pages
Reviewed on 10/17/2022
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

The Devil I Know Him is a work of fiction in the interpersonal drama subgenre. It is aimed at mature readers and was penned by author Iliyan Kuzmanov. The book chronicles the Devil as he moves through various stages of history, as he watches humanity develop and considers the direction that he and the human race are taking. The Devil encounters the humans and non-humans who feed his imagination as he considers the ideas of freedom versus control, worldly power versus spiritual fulfillment, and the tools by which our society organizes itself.

This piece of fiction is huge in scope with a narrative spanning most of human existence and colossal ideas being brought to the fore and dissected with a cerebral reverence that draws the reader in and sinks them into a philosophical and intellectual exercise that entertains as surely as it provokes profound thought. Author Iliyan Kuzmanov is extremely gifted with prose and uses the written word to bring a profoundly meaningful yet utterly fantastical protagonist to life, seeing the journey through what it means to be a member of the human race and growing piece by piece as the story unfolds. There is a gravitas given to each of the ideas considered here, a gravitas grounded in real-world experience that allows The Devil I Know Him to feel like both an ode to the common man and his experiences but also a lofty table at which great minds sit and discuss the big ideas that keep so many of us up at night.

Pikasho Deka

The Devil I Know Him is a wonderfully surreal and thought-provoking novel by Iliyan Kuzmanov. Spanning multiple cultures, continents, and eras while blurring the lines between reality and myth, the book explores themes of love, regret, redemption, revenge, faith, and much more through the lens of a man's journey, or rather the Devil's journey, through time. From Eastern Europe under the rule of the Egyptian empire to the modern civilization of the western world, the narrative covers a wide range of environments to showcase ever-changing morals and ideals of humanity. The book opens with a proud horseman who saves a young girl from ruffians seeking to acquire her in exchange for her father's debts. The horseman will go on to rebel against the Egyptian empire, eventually spending multiple lifetimes traversing the different eras on Earth.

Despite the heavy themes Iliyan Kuzmanov delves into, the irony and humor permeating the pages add a much-needed sense of levity to the book. The Devil I Know Him touches on the absurdities of life and explores the human condition in all its myriad forms. I suggest readers take their time with this book because the narrative is complex and quite often needs the reader to soak in the experience and wonder about the true meaning of the relevant subject matter. The stories are drenched in magical realism, adding to the dreamlike atmosphere of the narrative. If you're a fan of provocative books with heavy philosophical undertones, The Devil I Know Him is the perfect book for you.