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Sympathy for the Devil

3.58  ·  Rating details ·  533 Ratings  ·  68 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

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Alex ☣ Deranged KittyCat ☣
Note: This review will be updated periodically, as I read each short story.

1. "The Price" by Neil Gaiman - ★★★★★

Because Neil freaking Gaiman! Is there anything written by him that's bad?

This story centers a family with a predilection to taking in stray cats.
And then there is the black cat. Who has no other name than the Black Cat, and who turned up almost a month ago.

That cat, my wife had said when he first arrived, is a person.

This is a sad story that brought tears to my eyes. It turns
Jul 02, 2011 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
Dec 13, 2011 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
Jun 20, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: c-dl
I started this book least two years ago, got about 25% of the way through it, and abandoned it because it was so boring. But I'm always looking for more stories about the devil so I figured it would be stupid of me not to at least skim the rest of it. There were a few good stories here and there, but it was overwhelmingly just the same old crap.

On the one hand I feel like it was entirely too long and that maybe they should have picked a more narrow theme because there was just a lot going
Jan 19, 2016 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.
Иван Величков
Приятна антология почти без пълнеж, учудващо за цели 35 произведения. Разказите се въртят около дявола и варират от чист ужас до хумористична пиеска. Повечето не са нови, но събрани на едно място във внушителна колекция правят доста добро впечатление. Четох я доста време, защото си подслаждах с по 2-3 разказа между другите книги. Може би за това ми хареса повече от колкото на другите читатели.

„The Price“ by Neil Gaiman – Разказът е превеждан и на български, но това беше първият ми прочит. Много
Jul 03, 2015 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
Fantasy Literature
May 22, 2013 rated it liked it
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
Dec 04, 2010 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
Oct 17, 2015 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
Rebecca McNutt
Mar 22, 2015 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.
May 07, 2015 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
Lattisha Fox
Oct 22, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: horror
The ratio of good to bad stories was weighed heavily towards terrible. Every other story was simple county bumpkin/child/ bumbkin child. The intro said Pratt had a hard time choosing so you'd think he could have gotten more variety. Also, very few actual devil involvement. Either some unseen malevolent force or unnamed demon. The few great stories can be found in other, better collections. Hard pass.
Melissa Nestor
Aug 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Some of the stories are fantastic. My favorite being the one by Neil Gaiman. However, some of the writing in this book is etrocious. Also, some of the stories are very generic and typical "devil at the crossroads" stories.
Dec 01, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: anthology, horror
I’m not the one to actually complain about the book when half of it is good, but this book disappointed me 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
Feb 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
As with any anthology, a mixture of good and bad. Some of the particularly good pieces: "The Price" and "We Can Get Them for You Wholesale" by Neil Gaiman, "A Reversal of Fortune" by Holly Black, "Metaphysics" by Elizabeth M. Glover, "Bible Stories for Adults, No. 31: The Covenant" by James Morrow, "By Good Intentions" by Carrie Richardson, "Details" by China Mieville, and "The Professor's Teddy Bear" by Theodore Sturgeon.
May 24, 2012 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
Jun 02, 2013 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
It seriously pains me to give this one so low of a rating because here are two of my absolute favorite things, an anthology and of the horror genre. Totally love the whole devil theme however as this book shows, not all short stories are created equal. I actually skipped over a couple, which I rarely do. They were just such dreck I had to flip through. While they may have been of the same theme the other stories...that hardly makes them worthy of being in a book I'm sorry to say. One of the gre ...more
Victoria Law
Sep 26, 2011 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
Feb 16, 2015 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
May 06, 2011 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.
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
Apr 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love anthologies, because I can read it over time, one story at a time, and read other things in between without losing track. This one features stories about the devil--imagine that!--in many different forms, depending on the author. It was enjoyable, and I will be exploring other works be some of the writers featured. If you love a good story, one with a few tingles up your spine, give these a try.
Feb 24, 2013 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.
Sep 08, 2012 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 23, 2012 rated it liked it
It wasn't bad but it was pretty typical of collections of short stories in that for every good story there's another dud that wouldn't hold your attention if you were being paid to read it. Still, it's worth the read if for no other reason than I think it's a unique collection that you won't find in another book as far as I know.
Feb 18, 2016 rated it liked it
Sad to say, this is not one of my favorite collections. In fact, it is the worst one I have ever read. Not one single story stands out that was awesome. I skipped at least a dozen stories in the massive collection. I think they asked for anyone who can write, to submit a story........ not necessarily actual AUTHORS! Just people who could prattle on. Don't waste your time reading it.
Melanie Clemmer
Aug 06, 2015 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.
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“And, most importantly: Thank you, Satan! I couldn’t have done it without you.” 0 likes
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