No, I mean really. I’m looking for a book about the Devil. I love everything to do with relations between Heaven and Hell, angels and demons, God and the Devil… especially things that present The Bad Guy as not all that bad. I loved Constantine, loved The Devil’s Advocate (nothing personal for Keanu Reeves), and I want more like it in readable form.
Ideally it’d be something shrewdly witty but elegant, not too far into either extreme, though I likely wouldn’t be opposed if caught in the right mood. Anyone know of anything like this? Or can I just commission one of you to write it?
Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Not a direct God vs. Devil plot, but two of the main characters are an angel and demon who’ve been pretty much exiled to Earth under the guise of “running the branch office”, so to speak.
I know that Anthony has a bad reputation, but his Incarnations of Immortality series is very good (at least until the final book). Check out For Love of Evil. Anthony managed to keep the squicky teen sex things out of the Incarnations series until the last book, And Eternity, so you’re pretty safe from most of the Anthony-Ickiness if you just read FLoE.
There’s a truly outstanding comic called [Lucifer](There’s a truly outstanding comic called Lucifer that’s one of the best series the medium has ever produced, starring a very smart, elegant Morningstar.
) that’s one of the best series the medium has ever produced, starring a very smart, elegant Morningstar. The series has finished in single issues, which have been collected in ten volumes so far and another one or two to go. I’d say many more adoring things about the book, but then I’d risk coming across as one of those annoying glazed-eyed fans.
Constantine was loosely based on the far superior series of Hellblazer graphic novels (here’s an older thread that discuss it in more detail). Given your interest, I strongly recommend starting with the classic Dangerous Habits and continuing through the Garth Ennis-written books.
Though opinions vary wildly on it, I really enjoyed Anne Rice’s Memnoch the Devil. (It was the last Anne Rice book that I enjoyed at all.) It spins the biblical mythology from the Devil’s point of view (as told–and shown–by him to Lestat).
Neil Gaiman’s Sandman saga has some very interesting stories involving the devil.
For short stories, try to find Ray Russell’s “I Am Returning.” Absolutely amazing take on God vs. Satan as a science fiction story that explains the entire battle between good and evil in about 1300 words. A tour de force.
In movies, there’s Heaven Can Wait. Laird Cregar’s performance as “His Excellency” is the gold standard.
There’s also Damn Yankees. Ray Walston is great at “Mr. Applegate.”
And the gold standard for a comic version of the Devil is the original [url=http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0061391/}Bedazzled. Peter Cook is perfect in one of the few roles worthy of his talents.
Piers Anthony’s Incarnations of Immortality series finishes up with books about “Satan” and “God,” but I can’t recommend them because, like many of his series, it started out promisingly but got lamer with each additional book, and I quit reading before I got that far.
Maybe not quite what you’re looking for, but perhaps in the same ballpark, is James Blish’s The Devil’s Day.
Actually, as I mentioned earlier, For Love of Evil is probably the single best volume in that series. Unfortunately, And Eternity… is without doubt the lamest, so he did end it on a low note. But that’s consistent for Anthony.
*The Descent *by Jeff Long. It’s a very interesting take on the myth and history of Satan and his demon minions. And despite the fact it has the same name and sort of the same basic premise, it’s not related to the recent horror movie, The Descent.
Satan- His Psychotherapy And Cure By Dr S Kassler J.S.P.S by Levin. You may laugh, mostly you’ll cry. This is one of the most depressing books I’ve ever read. It’s also finely crafted and a hell of a read. Without spoiling-
The Prince Of Lies would barely have to lie at all. Such a being would have a supreme mastery of omissions, half truths, and truths chiseled down to a razor edge.
Why was Satan thrown out? What are he and God really fighting over?
What does Satan really want?
What would a human servant of Satan do to advance the master’s plan?
It is indeed. IMO It’s the opposite of glurge. I knew I was being taught a lesson and hearing a message, but the story was entertaining and the writing excellent so I didn’t care.
NonSpoiler(It’s in Lewis’ foreword)- Lewis describes hell as a great bureaucracy,. Devils who fail to meet goals are eaten by their bosses and competitors.
Back To The OP
Happy Birthday To Hell by Louis and Sweetman. This is an issue of Beautiful Stories For Ugly Children. The devil is revealed to be as confused about things as you or I. He just wants to belong and to be loved. He doesn’t entice humans to sin. He doesn’t want the sinners he has now. They make macrame. He hates macrame. The story is serious and ridiculous.