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Never Bet the Devil Your Head: A Tale with a Moral
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Never Bet the Devil Your Head: A Tale with a Moral

3.60  ·  Rating details ·  369 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Suspense, fear and the supernatural provide the center for this tale by the master prose writer.
Kindle Edition, 16 pages
Published November 26th 2015 by Crow Press (first published 1841)
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3.60  · 
Rating details
 ·  369 ratings  ·  35 reviews

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Oct 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Moraleja: hay batallas que se pierden desde el inicio.
Sundus HameedUllah Khan
A boy named Toby Dammit would always bet his head to the devil for everything and one day it came true. It is a short story by Edgar Allan Poe written in response to the criticism that he faced regarding his work.
Jan 24, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This short story is part of The Complete Works of Edgar Allen Poe.

My Synopsis: Mr. Toby Dammit has always been a troubled young man--due to his mother being left-handed and that rather then beating the evil out of him, she inadvertently beat it in--fond of drink and women and especially gambling. Unfortunately, one should never bet the devil his head...

My Thoughts: Oh my, this is one of the funniest things I've read in ages! I was rolling right from the start... Poe is best known, of course, for
Joshua Shioshita
Every time I read this story I laugh. Poe is so sarcastic. It comes across as a big "F you" to his critics and a dig at those branches of thought he found silly. I'm laughing now just thinking about it.
Nov 28, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Never Bet the Devil Your Head is another quick and enjoyable Poe read, another you can complete in a single sitting when you want to pass a small amount of time.

Although this is not my favourite Poe read, it was an interesting little tale. You knew where things were going, yet that did not prevent you from enjoying the outcome. With the sarcasm I’ve come to expect of Poe, Never Bet the Devil Your Head is a pleasing little read.
I don't recall Poe to be this comedic in a story, but I did have my titters here and there, and I have to admit that Edgar is very much a witty satirist.
It was a good story which tells you to never bet the devil your head, and a humorous kick into the gut of Transcendentalists after he was fed up with abiding their criticism (because he despised their unbridled optimism).
Whilst Transcendentalists wrote of hope, God, nature and light, Dark Romantics showed that even in light, there is a dwellin
Jess at
Sometimes I forget how great a satirist Poe was, and this story just proves it.

"I bedewed his grave with my tears, worked a bar sinister on his family escutcheon, and for the general expenses of his funeral sent in my very moderate bill to the transcendentalists. The scoundrels refused to pay, so I had Mr. Dammit dug up at once, and sold him for dog’s meat. "
Jenna Glode
Oct 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poe
the moral of the story is....don't bet the devil your head.
Alexis Chateau
"I felt particularly puzzled, and when a man is particularly puzzled he must knit his brows and look savage, or else he is pretty sure to look like a fool..."

That was my favourite part. Everything else sounded self-righteous to me. I imagine it was the thoughts of the people in high school and college who tried (and failed) to bully me out of my dark make-up, black clothing, rock music and coloured hair.

To each their own.
Feb 02, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
This book is funny. I was laughing so hard. Also, what the heck kind of name is Toby D*mmit?
Dec 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-story
Very, very clever Mr. Poe.

Dark Romantics: 1 , Transcendentalists: 0
Jan 03, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: white
Not what iI've expected . Still prefering the Tell -Tale heart.
Vanessa J.
Mar 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh, Poe, you and your sense of humour.
Every fiction should have a moral; and, what is more to the purpose, the critics have discovered that every fiction has.

A novelist, for example, need have no care of his moral. It is there--that is to say, it is somewhere--and the moral and the critics can take care of themselves.

Toby Dammit is a semi-friend of the narrator. He has an unfortunate habit have betting his head to the devil over many things.

At all events the phrase in question grew daily in favor, notwithstanding the gross impr
Ana Paula Jurado
Mi primo siempre me dijo que leyera a Edgar y al fin decidí hacerlo.
Sin embargo este relato corto no fue de los más memorables; fue simple de leer pero aún así nada increíble.
Un poco gracioso quizá pero hasta ahí llega, tal vez debería leer otros relatos del autor.
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I laughed so hard! Everyone remembers Poe for his broody, atmospheric poems, and they forget how funny and clever and satirical Poe can be. A new favorite of mine!
Bailee Walsh
Not a great Poe story to me, but a memorable one because of the title and premise. Not very intriguing until the end when the action happens.
Giwrgos Preftitsis
Από τον ποε περίμενα κάτι καλύτερο, όπως πολλή καλά ξέρουμε ότι ο ποε έχει κάνει κάποια πολύ καλά βιβλία και γενικά η γραφή του είναι πολύ ιδιεταιρη και μερικές φορές πολύπλοκη. Αυτό το βιβλίο είναι αρκετά έξυπνο με μαύρο χιούμορ αλλά σε κουράζει, βεβαία είναι ένα καλό βιβλίο για να αρχίσεις να διαβάζεις ποε αλλά είναι πολλά μυθιστορήματα που δεν βγάζουν κανένα νόημα είναι ένα μέτριο μικρό βιβλίο που ναι μεν έχει κάποιες καλές στιγμές αλλά εγώ προσωπικά δεν τρελάθηκα περίμενα κάτι διαφορετικό!
Thalía Cruzado
Dec 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Una historia en la cual un hombre siempre apuesta su cabeza al diablo nunca puede terminar bien. Es un cuento corto y uno de mis favoritos de Edgar Allan Poe. Con una narración fluida y con un aura constante de misterio, la recomiendo totalmente. Claro, debo añadir que es la historia que me ayudó a terminar el challenge de Goodreads 2018 :)
Ebster Davis
"I can call to mind only the beads of his discourse. He would be obliged to me if I would hold my tongue. He wished none of my advice. He despised all my insinuations. He was old enough to take care of himself. Did I still think him baby Dammit? Did I mean to say any thing against his character? Did I intend to insult him? Was I a fool? Was my maternal parent aware, in a word, of my absence from the domiciliary residence? He would put this latter question to me as to a man of veracity, and he w ...more
Anano Aspanidze
May 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"აქეთ გორასა წიხლსა ვკრავ, იქით გორასა ძვრას ვუზამ" + "რაც მოგივა დავითაო (ნუ, ფსონითაო), ყველა შენი თავითაო" რომ მოთხრობა იყოს.

• „[იმის შემდეგ, რაც თავი დაკარგა] დიდხანს ვერ გაძლო ამ საშინელი დანაკარგის შემდეგ. სათანადო დოზით არ აძლევდნენ ჰომეოპათები წამლებს და რასაც აძლევდნენ, იმასაც არ სვამდა. ბოლოს ისე შეიქნა, რომ მოკვდა კიდეც; გაკვეთილი იყოს ეს ამბავი სადავიდარაბო გართობის მოყვარულთათვის. ცრემლები ვღვარე მის საფლავზე, კეტით დავამშვენე მისი საგვარეულო გერბი და მისი დაკრძალვის ამ მცირეოდენი ხ
David Doyle
Sep 18, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor
I never imagined Edgar Allan Poe as a comedian, but this has many jokes. In this story, Mr. Poe has a friend named Tony Dammit, a surname begging to be used for comic effect. Dammit has a habit of using the phrase "I'll bet the devil my head". Apparently, this bet gets put to the test with unfortunate results for Dammit who suffers "what might be termed a serious injury."

In reality, this is a farce aimed at critics of the author and at the end of this story, he singles out 'transcendentalists' w
May 31, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This story was apparently written by Poe because people accused him of never writing a story that had a moral. So, he wrote this story with the moral to "never bet the devil your head." This short story was very amusing at times. I enjoyed that the character who made a bet with the devil was called Dammit. It is a nice little play on words. I enjoyed when Poe was talking about Mr. Dammit as a baby. The ending was pretty good as well. Overall, this is an okay story with some really funny parts an ...more
Macey Vaught
This story by Edgar Allan Poe definitely fit the mold of his stories being dark and twisted. I enjoyed the read because it came together and told a moral at the end, but the way in which he presented it was somewhat disturbing because it was presented literally. The basic moral of the story is to never joke around with betting something serious, like your head, because it might just come true and you will have to pay up, like the poor man in the story did.
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Poe's wit is at it's greatest in this story. The humor was so dry and clever. I could just feel his sarcasm exuding from the pages. The name of the character, being a cuss word, just made me laugh. I loved the way he lost his head and how Poe dryly explains that he was given medicine but was not able to take it so he died. Just funny.
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
For those who like to find a moral in every story- you are in for a bang in this story. Poe uses his underused sense of humor to silence these moral- seekers. The story has a different touch and the element of horror is dark and humorous at the same time. Enjoyable.
May 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I can never Fault on any of Edgar Allan Poe's work
The Tell-Tale Heart is still my favorite piece of work by him.
this one is still as expected a really good short story !

Jul 06, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four and a half stars.
Entertaining w Transendentalists, literatalists, moralists. I wish the devil-in-the-hend wheve better developed a character. Without that characterization, 2 stars.
Montserrat Aportela Letona
Absolutely brillant. Magnificent little story!
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The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as The Tell-Tale Heart, The Raven, and The Fall of the House of Usher. This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of ...more
“Mysteries force a man to think, and so injure his health.” 124 likes
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