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Only the Devil Tells the Truth

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A thirty-three year old ex-alcoholic and drug addict, Nick Johnson has come a long way since his rough upbringing on the south side of San Jose, California. He’s had a taste of what most people would call success – a college degree, a well-paying office job, a beautiful wife, and a baby on the way. But his world still has a giant, gaping hole in it, right where his sense o A thirty-three year old ex-alcoholic and drug addict, Nick Johnson has come a long way since his rough upbringing on the south side of San Jose, California. He’s had a taste of what most people would call success – a college degree, a well-paying office job, a beautiful wife, and a baby on the way. But his world still has a giant, gaping hole in it, right where his sense of purpose should be. If Nick is to find happiness, he will have to face his ugly past, and his own demons. As a troubled teenager during the 1990’s, he and his friends must navigate a harsh world of poverty, drugs and alcohol, broken relationships, and wasted dreams. As an adult, Nick struggles to learn from his mistakes, and to put one foot in front of the other as he searches for a life worth living.


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A thirty-three year old ex-alcoholic and drug addict, Nick Johnson has come a long way since his rough upbringing on the south side of San Jose, California. He’s had a taste of what most people would call success – a college degree, a well-paying office job, a beautiful wife, and a baby on the way. But his world still has a giant, gaping hole in it, right where his sense o A thirty-three year old ex-alcoholic and drug addict, Nick Johnson has come a long way since his rough upbringing on the south side of San Jose, California. He’s had a taste of what most people would call success – a college degree, a well-paying office job, a beautiful wife, and a baby on the way. But his world still has a giant, gaping hole in it, right where his sense of purpose should be. If Nick is to find happiness, he will have to face his ugly past, and his own demons. As a troubled teenager during the 1990’s, he and his friends must navigate a harsh world of poverty, drugs and alcohol, broken relationships, and wasted dreams. As an adult, Nick struggles to learn from his mistakes, and to put one foot in front of the other as he searches for a life worth living.

30 review for Only the Devil Tells the Truth

  1. 5 out of 5

    Monika

    This book was much better than I expected. After seeing the cover and reading the blurb, I was intrigued, but not enough to want to dive right into it straight away. When I did start reading it though, I found it quite hard to put down. If I wasn't so busy these past few weeks, I probably would have finished the book in a day, or maybe even just one sitting! I didn't like the beginning of the book when it was written in small time frames with marginal spaces of time in between them (does that eve This book was much better than I expected. After seeing the cover and reading the blurb, I was intrigued, but not enough to want to dive right into it straight away. When I did start reading it though, I found it quite hard to put down. If I wasn't so busy these past few weeks, I probably would have finished the book in a day, or maybe even just one sitting! I didn't like the beginning of the book when it was written in small time frames with marginal spaces of time in between them (does that even make sense?), as I found that this method of writing didn't allow the story to flow as smoothly. All in all, this book was very enjoyable and I would definitely recommend it to my friends. It has a bit of adult content, but not enough to bother me. I am glad for the wonderful opportunity of receiving this book in a giveaway and reviewing it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Jon Gregory

    Powerful and moving, the way this book reads is as a story within a story format which is difficult to pull off but Jake does it with skill. There are some heart wrenching scenes which keep you engaged with Nick, Henri, and Eric in this tale of redemption and recovery. While tracing years of ups and downs, it's a fast read as you find yourself cheering Nick on but wanting to smack him at the same time. I look forward to more from Jake, and would recommend this book to anybody who wants something Powerful and moving, the way this book reads is as a story within a story format which is difficult to pull off but Jake does it with skill. There are some heart wrenching scenes which keep you engaged with Nick, Henri, and Eric in this tale of redemption and recovery. While tracing years of ups and downs, it's a fast read as you find yourself cheering Nick on but wanting to smack him at the same time. I look forward to more from Jake, and would recommend this book to anybody who wants something with depth that will stay with you.

  3. 5 out of 5

    J.B. Garner

    From jbgarner58.wordpress.com: Life is a hard road, something a Starving Reviewer who scrapes by from literary meal to meal understands. This week, the pantry has produced a coming-of-age tale that professes to pull no punches, to deliver a slice of realism pie for its readers. The ingredient list sounds good, but does Mr. Parent produce once he gets in the kitchen? Let’s find out! But first, put your hand over your heart as we recite the Starving Review creed: I attempt to rate every book from the From jbgarner58.wordpress.com: Life is a hard road, something a Starving Reviewer who scrapes by from literary meal to meal understands. This week, the pantry has produced a coming-of-age tale that professes to pull no punches, to deliver a slice of realism pie for its readers. The ingredient list sounds good, but does Mr. Parent produce once he gets in the kitchen? Let’s find out! But first, put your hand over your heart as we recite the Starving Review creed: I attempt to rate every book from the perspective of a fan of the genre I attempt to make every review as spoiler-free as possible. Let’s start out by saying this: this is going to be a short one. For my long-time readers, you know what that means. This meal is a top-notch one! It’s an interesting paradox that my culinary examinations are shorter for fine dining than cheap fast food, one generated by my desire to give away little of a good book for fear of hurting the enjoyment of the other diners about to sit down for a plate, while I do not good for an author trying to find his/her voice by simply dismissing an effort as ‘bad’ without saying why so that they can improve. With that being said, Devil is good. Not just good, I’d say top-notch cuisine. The main characters are fleshed out superbly, the pacing is perfect, and it didn’t go overlong. It mixed subtle foreshadowing, glowing and realistic interactions and dialogue, with a real sense of understanding of the decades involved and the locations explored. There is both entertainment and meaning dripping like a delicate glaze from this slice of literary pie and I loved every moment of it. One point that deserves special praise is the use of a book-within-a-book structure. Though this is a kind of layer cake that’s easy to get wrong (so very very wrong), Mr. Parent uses it with the careful touch of an expert chef. The ‘book’ within serves as flashback and foreshadowing, never crushing the pacing and always pushing the framing story onward. Bravo to the chef for handling this oft-maligned technique so well! So I am not doing a disservice to my fellow literary foodies, let me be plain in that this coming-of-age tale is a hard one. There are no punches pulled and nothing glossed over. However, as any proper tale, it isn’t impossibly bleak or continually set on a downward spiral. Still, if you are upset by realistic depictions of some of life’s darker sides, you might be put off by the events of Devil. To come to a quick and final summation, Only the Devil Tells the Truth serves up a top-notch must-read coming-of-age tale filled with both tragedy and inspiration! I would strongly suggest you go to Mr. Parent’s table and get yourself a nice serving of this meal. Chew slowly … this is the good stuff! FINAL VERDICT: ***** (A top-notch must-read coming-of-age tale filled with both tragedy and inspiration!)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    Parent does a good job of navigating difficult material without causing the reader to feel that they are having their emotions toyed with by the author. More emotional scenes are well-written and well-earned. Characters (even ones who only appear for a few pages,) feel unique from each other and real. Nick Johnson is a believable character who becomes more interesting throughout the book as more about his past is revealed. By the end, I found myself rooting for him as he faces his problems head o Parent does a good job of navigating difficult material without causing the reader to feel that they are having their emotions toyed with by the author. More emotional scenes are well-written and well-earned. Characters (even ones who only appear for a few pages,) feel unique from each other and real. Nick Johnson is a believable character who becomes more interesting throughout the book as more about his past is revealed. By the end, I found myself rooting for him as he faces his problems head on. The narrative is laid out such that it switches between current-day Nick and Nick from the past. Although initially I found this switchback to be a bit jarring, the two narratives support each other nicely by the end.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Amanda Mic Perkins

    I received this book via Goodreads first reads for review. This book follows the story of a man who breaks his leg and writes a book as a means of coping with his loss of mobility and freedom. It’s an interesting and in depth look at his past and his desires for the future as seen through the lens of creativity. For me, the writing was a little slow paced, but the story was compelling enough to keep me reading it. It’s worth a look if you’re interested in the writing process and how it can be us I received this book via Goodreads first reads for review. This book follows the story of a man who breaks his leg and writes a book as a means of coping with his loss of mobility and freedom. It’s an interesting and in depth look at his past and his desires for the future as seen through the lens of creativity. For me, the writing was a little slow paced, but the story was compelling enough to keep me reading it. It’s worth a look if you’re interested in the writing process and how it can be used to cope with trauma.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Doug Miller

    A different kind of book that I really enjoyed. Lots of ups and downs with emotions and life's journeys. A different kind of book that I really enjoyed. Lots of ups and downs with emotions and life's journeys.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Wow! Occasionally I read a book and think, "I want everyone I know to read this book," and this is one of those gems!!! Wow! Occasionally I read a book and think, "I want everyone I know to read this book," and this is one of those gems!!!

  8. 4 out of 5

    susan murray

    Nick is unhappy with the way his life is going then a grammatical event happens and everything is turned upside down. Nick decides to write a book about his life which starts with his mother and how she coped with the cards life gave her. Nicks life has its ups and downs which he mostly causes through drugs and drink and at the extreme causes his best friend to get really hurt. Nick feels guilty and ends up losing everything especially his friends and all on his own . The book travels from prese Nick is unhappy with the way his life is going then a grammatical event happens and everything is turned upside down. Nick decides to write a book about his life which starts with his mother and how she coped with the cards life gave her. Nicks life has its ups and downs which he mostly causes through drugs and drink and at the extreme causes his best friend to get really hurt. Nick feels guilty and ends up losing everything especially his friends and all on his own . The book travels from present to past but does it really well and the ending is good read a d find out if Nick really does turn his life around. Would recommend this novel

  9. 5 out of 5

    Katarzyna Polek-craven

    If not for having to go to work, I would have finished this book in one day. Simply told yet emotionally complex, it is a raw view of one screw-up's road to redemption and fulfilling his dreams. If not for having to go to work, I would have finished this book in one day. Simply told yet emotionally complex, it is a raw view of one screw-up's road to redemption and fulfilling his dreams.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dana Gittings

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sara E-H

  12. 5 out of 5

    Susandamski

  13. 4 out of 5

    Lata Cherath

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jodi

  15. 4 out of 5

    Annie Zaya

  16. 4 out of 5

    Jake Parent

  17. 4 out of 5

    Susan Risty

  18. 4 out of 5

    Nav Sng

  19. 5 out of 5

    J B Smith

  20. 5 out of 5

    robert ramers

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sharon Green

  22. 5 out of 5

    Alexis

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ruth Wilson

  24. 5 out of 5

    Dustin John

    A page-turning creative work of words. The characters in Only The Devil Tells The Truth are remarkable and deep. Each one sprung to life as the words on the pages effortlessly flowed from page to page. Painting their self portraits, and intertwining their personalities with their individual quirks that make up a strong, multi-layered and likable/unlikable character. I found the chapter breaks a bit difficult to follow. The book was bouncing from "reality" to "story" (which is not a critique, jus A page-turning creative work of words. The characters in Only The Devil Tells The Truth are remarkable and deep. Each one sprung to life as the words on the pages effortlessly flowed from page to page. Painting their self portraits, and intertwining their personalities with their individual quirks that make up a strong, multi-layered and likable/unlikable character. I found the chapter breaks a bit difficult to follow. The book was bouncing from "reality" to "story" (which is not a critique, just a fact) and it was a bit difficult for me to understand which time frame I was reading. I was able to figure it out rather quickly but it did briefly break my reading flow. The book as a whole was very well written and edited. The words the author used painted the most vibrant and multi-layered pictures in my mind. I found it very appealing. This book could have been a perfect outlet to expound more on the relationship between a son and a single mother but unfortunately it did not. Fiction is a great way to get across facts without directly facing the opposition. That is one topic our society refuses to look at with an objective eye. That wasn't the authors point of this book of course, nor is this a criticism of the book but it would have been an added, and valuable bonus in my opinion. I am excited to read another book from this author. Overall this was a great book that was well worth my time to read and review it. Touché, Jake Parent!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Katie Grogan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jc Lord

  27. 5 out of 5

    Henry

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dani Norwood

  29. 5 out of 5

    Chrisie Jones

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary C WIlson

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