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The Devil's Dictum

4.29  ·  Rating details ·  17 ratings  ·  9 reviews
In a topsy-turvy United States founded by pirates, the personal assassin to the chief justice receives a terrifying order: round up and kill all men who look like himself. Why does the chief justice want these men dead? What threat could they possibly pose? And can the assassin save them—or will he become the final victim? Spooky, sly and satirical, The Devil’s Dictum reca ...more
Paperback, 462 pages
Published September 25th 2015 by Frederic Himebaugh
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 ·  17 ratings  ·  9 reviews

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Scott Danielson
Oct 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Are you in the mood for something atypical? I read this book not knowing what to expect and was pulled in from the first chapter, which begins "The Chief Justice liked his presidents crazy, but not too crazy." The year was 1946, and an assassin is intent on killing the President, whose identity is the book's first surprise. In this dark, crazy United States people get around by raven taxi and Edgar Allen Poe was president for nearly a year (1848). It's a fun read that will have you cackling mani ...more
Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This will be a difficult review to write, because the book does not fit into a standard genre and its hook is mainly in its cleverness. The author has created an alternate version of the United States that is part Stephen King horror, part Mark Twain parody, and part Neal Stephenson ramble of seemingly unrelated characters and events until all are pulled together. His writing is filled with subtle and sometimes outrageous humor, characters who are real historical figures but skewed into recogniz ...more
Jul 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
What if the Mayflower were scared away from America's shores by pirates, who then founded the United States instead? That's the core of a weird, wonderful, and highly detailed alternate-history mystery in The Devil's Dictum.

Looking back at the other things I've read this year, none of them have been so downright FUN; I spent most of this past weekend unwilling to put it down. Don't let the famous names in unusual circumstances (like J Edgar Hoover as a high-ranking Satanic priest) intimidate yo
Jul 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
In "The Devil's Dictum" there is science fiction, urban fantasy, and an alternate history, but mostly there is satire. The heart of the story doesn't kick in until about half-way through the book, but the Mark-Twainian wit is entertaining, and kept me reading.

If you are looking for a fast-paced thriller, this is not it, but if you like satire, especially political satire, along with a solid story, you will like this book.
Oct 07, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
An ingenious premise (the pilgrims are rerouted to the Caribbean by pirates, who found what is now the United States) and very funny in parts. Plot is meh because it's hard to figure out why anything matters, and I generally don't enjoy action scenes in books.
Brian Koser
I like alternate history, and I like American history, so this book was a good combo for me. The premise is that instead of America being founded by Christians, it was founded by Satanists. The resulting world sometimes seemed over-the-top, but I kept thinking, “Well…maybe it could have happened like this?” And the author mentions writing pulp fiction in the acknowledgments, so a little over-the-top is to be expected. :) Most of the enjoyment for me was learning the history, seeing familiar char ...more
Alex Himebaugh
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Loved it. I was confused for 3/4 of the book until the end when all the puzzled pieces connected. This isn't the kind of book where you read half of it and then give up; you HAVE to finish it. It's worth it; trust me.
I loved the mystery element and the plot twists! It's weird (and vulgar) but that's what made it funny. A great read.
Chris Hudson
Dec 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Totally unique, blends historical names with bizzare non-historical events. Fun read, really keeps you guessing and eventually rooting for Chief Master/Satanist
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Oct 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
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Margaret Doty
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Apr 20, 2016
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
As a fan of uchronia, I expected one kind of book and got another.
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