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Sympathy for the Devil

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  374 Ratings  ·  47 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 1,985)
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Jul 08, 2011 Rochelle rated it liked it
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
Shane Noble
Jan 06, 2012 Shane Noble rated it liked it
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
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
Jul 17, 2015 Kris rated it liked it
The Devil. Satan. Lucifer. His Satanic Majesty. Is it just me or is the devil one of the most interesting characters in history available to write a short story about? So much possibility and yet, in many of the stories in “Sympathy for the Devil” he falls so short of the mark. What should have been a 5 star read falls to a mere 3.

Part of great anthologizing requires the writer/editor to really spend a considerable amount of time and effort reading and culling. Just because a famed writer puts t
Oct 17, 2015 Jenny rated it liked it
There were some excellent stories. Neil Gaiman, Holly Black, Michael Chabon, Charles de Lint and some others were excellent. There were also some classics. I always love rereading The Professor's Teddybear. There were also some major stinkers, which is not uncommon in your average short story anthology. Especially when it involves something so iconic as the Devil. A couple just did not really try to move beyond "the deal with the devil" or some that attempted to become esoteric in a way that bec ...more
Jan 06, 2011 Vanessa rated it liked it
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
Apr 12, 2015 Rebecca McNutt rated it it was ok
Interesting collection of short stories, though not very original. I quickly read through them and this book wasn't very memorable.
Aug 11, 2015 M rated it did not like it
I’m not the one to actually complain about the book when half of it is good, but this book disappointed my greatly. As you all can see from the cover it‘s an anthologies from various authors including Neil Gaiman and Stephen King. In fact I only found three, maybe four stories to be actually interesting at best. We get the usual Devil and we get the Devil who’s Hell is running as a program. I can openly say that I am quite a classical person when it comes to a supernatural horror, after all it’s ...more
Oct 08, 2015 Kathleen rated it really liked it
Shelves: average-joes
Omg, it took me forever to finish this book. I checked it out from the SF library but didn't finish it and went back home for the summer. Once the school year started again, I checked it out again, but it took me ages to finish.

Like all anthologies, it is kind of a mixed bag. At one point however, I got a little fatigued because most stories were about making deals with the Devil. But later stories in the second half of the book were far more gripping and inventive with spins on the deal-with-t
Jan 03, 2014 Alex rated it really liked it
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
Jan 02, 2016 David rated it it was ok
Recommended to David by: Demons
"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

"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
Mar 01, 2015 Jaimie rated it liked it
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
May 22, 2013 Fantasy Literature rated it liked it
Shelves: stefan
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
Jan 19, 2016 Kinksrock rated it it was ok
I love the concept of this collection -- stories featuring the Devil -- but not the execution. There are a few classic stories and a few interesting ones, but otherwise it's just one bad story after another. I don't know whether to blame the editor; perhaps there are just not a lot of great stories with the Devil in them. But that's kind of hard to believe. Either way, this is a pretty bad collection.
Melanie Clemmer
Aug 06, 2015 Melanie Clemmer rated it liked it
I would give this anthology a 3.5 if goodreads would allow. With a few exceptions, most of the stories were not horror but rather darkly humored commentary on the relationship we have with our dark sides.
Victoria Law
Oct 14, 2011 Victoria Law rated it it was ok
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
Jul 13, 2015 Terrie rated it liked it
Some good stories, especially some of the Oldies like "Young Goodman Brown". Some are just fair.
Miramira Endevall
Jan 23, 2016 Miramira Endevall rated it really liked it
Shelves: own-e-book
I SUPER loved this anthology. 4.5 stars. :-)
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
Aug 05, 2011 K. rated it really liked it
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.
Jun 14, 2014 Angel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jan 11, 2013 M0rningstar rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
Really wanted to like this book. Sadly, the stories were for the most part predictable and dull, with the following exceptions:

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

-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
Feb 24, 2013 Gwen rated it liked it
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
Feb 13, 2011 Paul Phillips rated it liked it
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.
Feb 11, 2014 Shay rated it it was ok
Metaphysics by Elizabeth M. Glover 5*
Non-Disclosure Agreement by Scott Westerfeld 3*

Flicked through a couple of the others, but wasn't overwhelmed.
Jul 25, 2015 Petra rated it liked it
Book #18 of the year. Had a few fantastic stories, and some duds, but it was a decent anthology.
David Littlewood
Aug 27, 2012 David Littlewood rated it it was ok
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
A strong anthology of stories all themed around the devil.

Read the full review here
Feb 02, 2014 Leigh rated it it was ok
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.
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