Review of Poul (correct spelling) Anderson’s “The Devil’s Game” (1980)

devils game
This thing was tattooed to hell and back with used book store stamps. Red flag #1

OH heavens, where to start with this polyp-laden shit-fection of a novel? Hmm. Let’s do a list! “The Devil’s Game” garbage BECAUSE:

  • Like that special sour baby-boomer brand of vilification via homophobia.
  • Rrrrracist! There’s a black guy. He’s a terrorist who wants to kill all the whiteys, and he dies first.
  • Sexist AF. There are two women in this book, who fuck and sob and fuck and sob- I’m pretty sure Anderson’s character sketch would be like:


So the actual game of the Devil goes like this; man needs help, so he contacts the devil- a devil, whatever. This devil helps the man get ahead in life by devilish means. What devilish means?

devil fruit

So he gets all this money and gets old, so he has seven people over to his island to play the game of the devil, as the devil commands him to do. It’s basically Follow the Leader until all but one is eliminated, the winner gets a milli, okay. So we’re thinking like Saw meets Battle Royale, sounds good. WELP! Here are the games these assholes come up with. Let’s see who can:

devil climb
Everyone did fine, except one guy (the gay villain) who was too drunk on free island drinks.
devil nuts
One contestant was allergic to nuts, so… got ya?
devil math
Advanced elementary though. Like long division. Everyone did fine.
devil chair
Everyone did fine, except for the woman who initiated the challenge, who went completely insane after a few hours.
devil boat
Sure, they’re shark-prone waters… but everyone did fine.

The best challenge is when the black contestant challenged everyone to hang out naked with him on the beach all day. Everyone would inevitably burn to death slowly in the island sun, yay! But he is promptly shot and killed after introducing the challenge, so no one had to do it. Goddammit.

The last challenge, Anderson takes it up a notch with, let’s see who can not lose their minds after taking LSD. SCARY, HORRIFYING, DEADLY LSD!!! The challenge lasts a couple pages. There are two participants. One wins. The other loses his mind. :/

I’ve never burned a book before, but if I were to, I would nominate this turd-gasm in a heartbeat… then again, it’s SO bad… that… maybe… I almost recommend it. It’s a mile marker of how far we come (never mind how far we have to go). You know how you keep that awful movie laying around, just so other people can see and say, “Why the hell did you make me watch that?” No? Just me?


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