The Devil You Know

The Devil You Know

K.J. Parker / Oct 29, 2020

The Devil You Know The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil All he wants is twenty years to complete his life s work After that he really doesn t care But the assistant demon assig

  • Title: The Devil You Know
  • Author: K.J. Parker
  • ISBN: 9780765387899
  • Page: 123
  • Format: Paperback
  • The greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil All he wants is twenty years to complete his life s work After that, he really doesn t care.But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world hasThe greatest philosopher of all time is offering to sell his soul to the Devil All he wants is twenty years to complete his life s work After that, he really doesn t care.But the assistant demon assigned to the case has his suspicions, because the philosopher is Saloninus the greatest philosopher, yes, but also the greatest liar, trickster and cheat the world has yet known the sort of man even the Father of Lies can t trust.He s almost certainly up to something but what

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      Published :2020-07-18T17:04:29+00:00

    About "K.J. Parker"

      • K.J. Parker

        K.J Parker is a pseudonym for Tom Holt The author s true name was revealed on 21 April 2015 According to the biographical notes in some of Parker s books, Parker has previously worked in law, journalism, and numismatics, and now writes and makes things out of wood and metal It is also claimed that Parker is married to a solicitor and now lives in southern England According to an autobiographical note, Parker was raised in rural Vermont, a lifestyle which influenced Parker s work.


    1. I don't know how to put this novella into words. Really, I don't. Maybe the best one is “mindblowing,” because I legitimately feel like KJ Parker just took my mind and threw it into the sun. Or maybe into a blender. How was this only 120 pages. How was this somehow the cleverest thing I've read in my whole damn life. I really don't know how to describe this. It's existentialist. KJ Parker asks plenty of questions about gods and men here. It's surprising. I honestly didn't expect much of what [...]

    2. One of my Hugo Award nominees, novella, 2016. ____In the grand Faustian tradition 'The Devil You Know' takes a familiar tale and gives it a genuinely new twist and a wonderfully wry dose of humor. A brilliant and famed philosopher, entering his twilight years, decides to sell his soul to the devil. The particular devil who's sent to collect the contract (Hell is, apparently, quite the bureaucracy) happens to be a fan of the philosopher, who's known for his atheistic views and his arguments in fa [...]

    3. This novella is the sequel to KJ Parker's earlier novella Blue and Gold and again features Saloninus, the great philosopher and alchemist, and possibly the most devious man who ever lived. Into his twilight years and fearing he is not long for life Saloninus does the unthinkable. He sells his soul to the devil for 20 years more life so he can complete his life's work. Saloninus is assigned a demon assistant (to grant his wishes and keep and eye on him!) but soon that demon assistant has cause to [...]

    4. The Devil you know is an intriguing novella about a clever man and his attempt at the scam of a lifetime. How to trick the ultimate trickster. I enjoyed how the world was set up, the idea of a manservant demon as part of your contract with the devil was pretty interesting. There was also some pretty funny one liners in the book as well. Part of the twist at the end was a little predictable, but for the most part a lot of thought was put into the story. 3.5/5Buy, Borrow or Bin Verdict:BorrowCheck [...]

    5. Review from The Speculative Herald: speculativeherald/2016So, what happens when the greatest philosopher of all time and a representative (a demon) who works for the Devil strike a deal. Who do you think manages to get the better end of that deal? That is essentially what The Devil You Know explores.The philosopher, Saloninus, is quite well versed at finding loopholes and using manipulation as a means to an end. He can find power in words (as well as power in the words that are missing) and he i [...]

    6. Some books just have an amazing idea that gets better as the book goes on. This is one of them.Saloninus was a genius in many areas, but more specifically, in thievery, cons and such. He did make great scientific and philosophic discoveries, but almost always was running or making up for his messes. Then looks in the mirror and realizes now that he finally had success and peace of mind to purse his true desires he's 67.What to do? Sell your soul to the devil to rejuvenate back to 25. Twenty more [...]

    7. On the strength of The Last Witness, I was ready to pick this up as soon as it came out; I really enjoyed pretty much every aspect of Parker’s other Tor novella, and definitely wanted to read more from him. The Devil You Know is significantly weaker, though; apparently, one of the main characters is from another book by Parker, Blue and Gold. I think knowing that, I’d have picked up Blue and Gold first, because while the background is easy enough to grasp in this book, it might’ve helped i [...]

    8. This was a novella about a philosopher named Saloninus that sells his soul to the Devil in exchange for 20 more years of life to pursue his intellectual pursuits. The demon that barters the deal is an actual fan of Saloninus' writing about morality and if there is actual good and evil. Saloninus gets his way and begins to build himself an empire because the demon can grant him whatever he wants. The demon in return is very hesitant of Saloninus because Saloninus never tells the demon what he is [...]

    9. with a premise (and its implications) that is hard to swallow being full of illogical holes and essentially absurd, the novella is still entertaining for the dialogue and characters (the demon and Saloninus), while also being a sort of sequel to Blue and Gold as the events of that short novel form the keystone of the main plot here, in so far such really exists; looking at this as a sarcastic and ironic take on beliefs, genius and what it mean to be human, the novella succeeds, looking at it as [...]

    10. “Man is not something to be overcome. Man is something to be kept firmly in its place.”Could devil be outsmarted by a mortal? In case Saloninus is involved, everything is possible, but not certain. And above all, nothing is reliable or to be trusted. More to say about it but I’ll keep it short: great sequel of Blue and Gold; same witty style, same irony and hilarious situations – perfect reading for a weekend and not only.

    11. FULL REVIEW ON MY BLOG, TOTAL INABILITY TO CONNECTThe Devil You Know presents an interesting conundrum - in a world where you can sell your eternal soul to the devil, in return for a few years of service from a pseudo-god, how can you be sure it's worth it? How can you be sure who is getting the better half of the deal?When the person making the deal is Saloninus, known to be manipulative, genius, subtle and crafty, as well as the greatest philosopher of all time, that question gets even more mu [...]

    12. K.J. Parker sigue manteniendo un nivel altísimo en sus novelas cortas tocando los temas que son comunes: el poder absoluto y sus consecuencias.The Devil You Know es una divertidísima historia (como también lo es Downfall of the Gods y Things We Do For Love) en la que explora las consecuencias de firmar un contrato de compraventa con el diablo, ¡para el diablo mismo!Como nos tiene acostumbrados, bajo una pátina de humor se encuentras reflexiones muy interesantes sobre la divinidad, las lagun [...]

    13. What happens when the greatest philosopher and conman of the time makes a deal for his soul? Some seriously awesome shit, that's what!This was fun and funny and thoroughly entertaining right from the start. I'll definitely be seeking out more from this author

    14. 4.5 starsA Faustian tale about a man who sells his soul to the devil but the devil is convinced the man is up to something.I ended up rooting for the devil.Highly recommended!

    15. Really enjoyed this novella. I've read a few novellas now by KJ Parker and I think he's one of the best at this length. I've yet to read one of his novels, and who knows if I ever will, but I have a few more novellas I'm hoping to read this week.Anyrate, this is a fun and quick read. The most brilliant man in the world makes a deal with the gods and it's all conning, bluffing, plotting, and deceiving from there. It's a con so strong and so good you're really not sure what's really at stake until [...]

    16. This one was delightful, if you're in the mood for a sensitive and conflicted demon, the world's smartest (and most dishonest) man, and a deal with the devil that may or may not be as ironclad as it seems. The story is not particularly deep; the entire thing consists of slowly revealing why the protagonist signed the deal in the first place, and what he's planning to do about it.I loved both the MCs in this. The demon is actually a pretty nice guy -- he enjoys culture, he collects rare books, he [...]

    17. I mentioned previously that Parker's shorter works are -to me- vastly superior to the longer ones, let alone the trilogies. This is the case exactly with this one here.Technically, you could call this a sequel to Blue and Gold, I guess; though it isn't mandatory you read that one first. It'll help you understand the MC and it'll do the worldbuilding that this book clearly has no intention of repeating; both, however isn't necessary for this novella.Yes, not much worldbuilding in this one. It wou [...]

    18. Read all my reviews on urlphantomhiveoklikes The greatest philosopher (and trickster) of his time, Saloninus offers his soul to the devil in exchange for twenty more years to complete his work. Although suspicious, the devil agrees and they spend the rest of the time together. When time starts running out, in this Faustian story it is the devil who's getting nervousI really enjoyed this story. It's quite short but it was still told well. I'm always a fan of Faustian stories, and this was no exce [...]

    19. Not everything is what it seems when making a deal with the devil, especially when the devil is our protagonist and the deal-maker has found the perfect legal loophole. Parker's convoluted plotting and acerbic wit really shine in this novella. Stands alone perfectly well despite being a sequel.

    20. It is a philosophical con about the alchemy of humanity. As it points out, if you possess personality, then you can be understood, for what is personality but a set of predictable patterned traits. And if you can be understood, then you can be deceived, fore what is understanding but insight into that which is predictable patterns. Thus, my gathering is, if you can be deceived, your personality can undergo a sense of alchemy, which is to take something and make it into something else, maybe simi [...]

    21. 3.5I received this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.It was my first Tor novella and I really enjoyed it. My main problem with novellas in general is that I don't usually like their pacing, however, The Devil You Know was very well paced. I read this in one sitting because the flow of the story was great and nothing felt rushed.It was my first K.J. Parker work and I really enjoyed his prose so I am definitely going to give his books (and novellas) a try. He has another Tor nov [...]

    22. I am not sure what to say about this book. First pages are interesting. I am drawn by the Demon character who's assigned to assist Saloninus, the great philosopher (and also an exceptional trickster), who have just sold his soul to the Devil for an extension of 20 years lifetime. This Demon is the kind of character I like in this kind of story: confident, cool, and acting that he does not care at all of what happened with others, but actually has a heart. But then, he became uncertain and less c [...]

    23. Enjoyably solid novella in which the greatest philosopher and con man of his age (possibly of all time?) decides to end his life with one fantastic heist. He's going to steal himself a new life. By conning the devil. Fun shout outs to classical philosophy and history, sympathetic art-loving demon who is in charge of the contract with the main character's soul and watches in growing horror as his plot becomes clear. "Help he's destroying morality. Oh no he's building a social utopia. AUGH IMMORTA [...]

    24. Alright, so I loved this book, but I kind of hate that I did because it’s actually, objectively, a lot of things that I hate. Mostly, The Devil You Know is just not nearly as clever an idea as the author seems to think it is. Still, I just ate it up, and I tore through this little book in the space of an afternoon, it was so much fun. K.J. Parker has taken an idea that has been done before and freshens it up just the right amount, but without making it overly precious or smugly faux-intellectu [...]

    25. Not gonna lie, I was SO disappointed in the second half of this. The first half was witty and ingenious and even bordered on literary territories. But the second half was pretty lame. I would give this 3 stars for the awful second half alone, but the narration is something to behold. I was constantly sniggering and laughed outright a few times, while I was occasionally amazed with the brilliance of what was written (in the first half, that is. The second half really disappointed in that respect) [...]

    26. I'm surprised that he didn't write this under his Tom Holt pen name, it's a very funny take on Faust and not the usual gore fest he writes as Parker. Maybe it's because the protagonist is so sneaky and amoral. It's a real fast read, scarcely a novella.

    27. Fantastic novella with a great sense of humor and a witty plot. The author has became one of my favourites.Review in english: dreamsofelvex/201Review in spanish: dreamsofelvex/201

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