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Sympathy for the Devil

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3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  293 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The Devil is known by many names: Serpent, Tempter, Beast, Adversary, Wanderer, Dragon, Rebel. His traps and machinations are the stuff of legends. His faces are legion. No matter what face the devil wears, Sympathy for the Devil has them all. Edited by Tim Pratt, Sympathy for the Devil collects the best Satanic short stories by Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Stephen King, Kage ...more
Paperback, 500 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Night Shade Books (first published March 1st 2001)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,626)
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Rochelle
I have to confess - Satan was my first bad-boy crush and one of the many reasons I left the Catholic Church. Not that I am a Satanist, but more a sympathizer. I mean, if you read the Bible you quickly get the idea that God is a complete and total dick. The story of the Fall of the Lord of the Morning is a great example of that. God tells his best friend that he has to kneel before him? Bah.

I hate trying to rate anthologies - often I will buy it for just one or two authors, but in this case I re
...more
Shane Noble
The overall score (averaging the score for each) was 3.44. There's no half-stars so that rounds down to 3. As with any collection, there are some great stories here, some okay stories, and some bad ones.

"The Price" - Neil Gaiman: 4/5 - Cats and creepiness. What's not to like?
"Beluthahatchie" - Andy Duncan: 2/5 - Starts off interesting, but doesn't really go anywhere.
"Ash City Stomp" - Richard Butner: 3/5 - An interesting, odd devil.
"Ten for the Devil" - Charles de Lint: 3/5 - Magical music, the
...more
Stefan
Please allow me to introduce Sympathy for the Devil, a fine new anthology filled entirely with short stories about the devil... who is, as we all know, a man of style and taste. However, you won’t just find the smooth-talking stealer of souls here. In addition to that famous version of His Grand Infernal Majesty, you’ll also find funny devils, monstrous devils, abstract devils and strangely realistic ones. Devils scary and not-so-scary, devils who are after children’s souls and others going afte ...more
Vanessa
I'm giving this 3 stars because there were two stories I absolutely loved (Charles DeLint and Holly Black) and some others I really liked (Stephen King.) Alas, there were two many stories about the devil playing poker or blues guitar. The most evil thing he can do is play cards? Maybe those Baptists were right all along. I couldn't make it to the end but I also may not have been in a short story mood. I hope to pick this up and finish it one day. There are two stories by Neil Gaiman and a story ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Interesting collection of short stories, though not very original. I quickly read through them and this book wasn't very memorable.
Alex
What does it say about me that instead of hearing the Rolling Stones in my head every time I looked at the cover for this book, I heard the samples of said song in "Devil Does Drugs" by My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult?

This is an anthology for folks who lean more towards dark fantasy as opposed to horror. Now there's a decent representation of horror, but they're the minority in this collection. Here's my major reactions:

The bookends of this collection are great. Starting with a Gaiman cat stor
...more
David
May 24, 2012 David rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to David by: Demons
Liked:
"Non-Disclosure Agreement" - Scott Westerfeld
"Metaphysics" - Elizabeth M. Glover
"That Hellbound Train" - Robert Bloch
"We Can Get Them For You Wholesale" - Neil Gaiman
"...With By Good Intentions" - Carrie Richerson

Blah:
"The Price" - Neil Gaiman
"A Reversal of Fortune" - Holly Black
"Like Riding a Bike" - Jan Wildt
"Ten for the Devil" - Charles de Lint
"Bible Stories for Adults, No. 31: The Covenant" - James Morrow
"Sold to Satan" - Mark Twain
"Snowball's Chance" - Charlie Stross
"The Heidelberg Cy
...more
Jaimie
I was slightly disappointed to discover upon opening this collection that the stories included within were not original commissions, but just "all the best" that had already been published. That being said, many of the stories were still great (and old favourites were present), so the collection was worth a peruse. I was less impressed with the inclusion of many older stories (R.L. Stveneson, etc) since I don't really like most of that type of author anyways. And gving us a random chunk of Dante ...more
Fantasy Literature
3.5 stars

Please allow me to introduce Sympathy for the Devil, a fine new anthology filled entirely with short stories about the devil... who is, as we all know, a man of style and taste. However, you won’t just find the smooth-talking stealer of souls here. In addition to that famous version of His Grand Infernal Majesty, you’ll also find funny devils, monstrous devils, abstract devils and strangely realistic ones. Devils scary and not-so-scary, devils who are after children’s souls and others g
...more
Victoria Law
A mixed bag. I originally picked it up for the Neil Gaiman stories (which I realize I've read in other collections) and the China Mieville story (which was brand new to me). The real gem, in my opinion, is Natalie Babbitt's "The Power of Speech." I didn't know she could be so hilarious! I read it to my 10-year-old daughter who shrieked with laughter. Then, this 10-year-old, who usually steers clear of anything remotely creepy, requested that I read her another tale from this book. (I didn't like ...more
Mike
I have to say I thought I was ready for this book, but I don't think I was. Some of the stories were scary, but not that scary, a few were good, but not a lot. Although Neil Gaiman's (the only author who had two entries) were both well done, but I would expect nothing less from him. There are many classics here from Mark Twain, Robert Louis Stephenson to Dante as translated by Longfellow. Find these in another book. Save yourself. The bad outweighs the good. Is that to be expected in a book abou ...more
K.
The Devil takes on many forms, many names, and he takes his turn in this new anthology. Hugo award winner Tim Pratt edits his first anthology with Sympathy for the Devil, sharing thirty-five stories that take the Devil through the underworld and multiple adventures topside. With stories both new and old, he has brought together a collection that is sure to become a favorite for fans of the genre.

Read my review on Fandomania.
Angel
I guess like many other reviews there were a few stories that I really enjoyed and alot that were just "eh". I suspect I might have enjoyed it more had I read a few stories, put it down read something else and come back to it. I really felt as though I was just plodding along.
Kathleen
Left off after The Man in the Black Suit. Will read it again once I go back to SF.
M0rningstar
Really wanted to like this book. Sadly, the stories were for the most part predictable and dull, with the following exceptions:

Great:
-Lull by Kelly Link
-The Goat Cutter by Jay Lake

Good:
-MetaPhysics by Elizabeth M. Glover
-Beluthahatchie by Andy Duncan
-The Man in the Black Suit by Stephen King
-On the Road to New Egypt by Jeffrey Ford
-I Refute Beelzy by John Collier
-The Professor's Teddy Bear by Theodore Sturgeon
Gwen
It was good for fictional supernatural short stories. Some of the stories were very weird. Some of them I didn't understand and some of them were quite clever. I wanted to dabble in scary stories for a bit to see if I liked them. I am not sure this was the right book for that but I just grabbed it off the shelf like I do many books. I did like the many versions of how the devil is depicted though.
Paul Phillips
Some fine stories in this anthology...some not so good ones. You find that a lot in these types of books but I was really disappointed by some of the "bigger" names in this collection. Not as good as it could have been, but certainly not terrible.
Shay
Metaphysics by Elizabeth M. Glover 5*
Non-Disclosure Agreement by Scott Westerfeld 3*

Flicked through a couple of the others, but wasn't overwhelmed.
David Littlewood
I enjoyed this book initially, but story after short story with the devil as the central character in each soon palled. I would enjoy this book more in small doses rather than as a cover to cover read.
Ellipsis Ampersand
The Stories By Neil Gaiman, Stephen King were awesome. The Goat Cutter, The Bottle Imp and the eating contest one were all great as well. some were a MAJOR miss but i enjoyed the book none the less
Cara
A strong anthology of stories all themed around the devil.

Read the full review here
Leigh
An interesting mix of stories, both old and new. The good stories were fantastic, but the others were dull and there were enough dull ones to knock this collection down a few stars.
Esther
Nov 18, 2010 Esther added it
Wasn't as good as I thought it would be when I read the summary, but overall I loved the different ideas that came out in this book. If you like reading in depth, this is the ideal book ><
Aasoner
I did not finish the book, I was so bored of repetitive, too common stories. It is back at the library shelves.
Natasha
Some of the stories were really good, others were really boring. It all depends on your perspective.
Lotta
Aug 23, 2013 Lotta marked it as did-not-finish
I should have learnt by now that I am very, very bad at finishing anthologies of short stories.
Jodie
A great anthology by some of the best authors of Sci-Fi around. I enjoyed it tremendously.
Jennykins
Four stars because Gaiman, Black, King, Twain, & Allegheri make the book tolerable.
Jon
A collection of devil themed stories, some quite excellent, but all of them enjoyable.
Ish Acosta
A few classics and a few goodies. Worth a read, not necessarily a reread.
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