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The Devil Rides Out (Wordsworth Mystery & Supernatural) [Paperback]

Dennis Wheatley
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Mar 2007 Wordsworth Mystery & Supernatural
The Devil Rides Out is the most famous work of a master storyteller, a classic of weird fiction which has been described as 'the best thing of its kind since Dracula' a genuinely frightening tale of devil-worship and sorcery in modern Britain. A group of old friends discover that one of them has been lured into a coven of Satanists. They determine to rescue him - and a beautiful girl employed as a medium. The head of the coven proves to be no charlatan but an Adept of the Dark Arts, able to infiltrate dreams and conjure up fearsome entities. De Richleau fights back with his own knowledge of occultism and ancient lore. A duel ensues between White and Black Magic, Good and Evil used as weapons. Whenever, subsequentley, Dennis Wheatley was asked what he really believed about the supernatural, he would just reply 'Don't meddle!' Few readers will need that warning repeated.

Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Wordsworth Editions Ltd; Reprint edition (1 Mar 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840225432
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840225433
  • Product Dimensions: 2 x 12.2 x 19.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 374,202 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The word thriller has never been more aptly bestowed (Lionel Hale The News Chronicle)

The best thing of its kind since Dracula (James Hilton Daily Telegraph)

He forcibly abducts the imagination (Howard Spring Evening Standard)

There is a thrill for you in every chapter of this book (Richard King Tatler) --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Book Description

The best thing of its kind since Dracula

- Daily Telegraph

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a classic back in print ! 21 April 2007
James Hilton (Goodbye Mr Chips, Lost Horizon) described "The Devil Rides Out" as "The best tale of its kind since Dracula" and I don't think he was far wrong. Many believe it to be Wheatley's finest work and it's a classic of its kind. I first read the book many years ago and on reading it again, it has lost none of its power to grip.

The book is the second, in published terms, to feature DW's hero the Duke de Richleau, and was his first ever black magic novel. It was a huge bestseller in the 1930s when it first came out, and continued to be a bestseller until he went out of fashion in the 1980s/1990s. Fortunately DW is now experiencing something of a resurgence, and well done Wordsworth for bringing this out in a cheap but elegant reprint (a good first edition would cost you several thousands of pounds !).

It's full of 1930s atmosphere, skilfully written and well researched too - although Wheatley never practiced magic himself, he met with many of the most famous occultists of his day (Aleister Crowley, Rollo Ahmed etc) in his endeavour to make the book as authentic as possible.

In The Devil Rides Out, the Duke and a friend find that one of their number (Simon) is missing from a reunion, and it turns out that he has fallen under the influence of a black magic sect. At first disbelieving the Duke, his friends soon discover that he is right when he says that magic still exists and that the powers of darkness are still alive and very real, as they fight a series of terrific earthly and occult battles to save their friend's soul.

The book was filmed in the 1960s with Christopher Lee taking the lead role as the Duke in one of his few appearances as a `goodie', and while Lee was first rate, for my money the book is superior to the film.

If you're grey haired and read it in your youth, it's worth reading again. If you're about to read it for the first time, I envy you. You're in for a treat !
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An All Time Great 9 May 2006
By Mr. D. A. Cure VINE VOICE
Widely regarded as one of the finest occult thrillers ever written, and almost certainly his most famous work, the Devil Rides Out is a rollercoaster of an adventure, set in post WW1 England, and chronologically the third in sequence to feature "Those Modern Musketeers", De Richleau, Simon, Richard and Rex.

Concerned with their friend's absence, The Duc and Rex pay a visit to Simon's house in North London, where they come across a bizarre gathering of strangers. Suspecting foul play, the Duc ignores Simon's claims that he has joined an astrological society, and quickly discovers that he has in fact, joined a satanic sect, led by the powerful Mocata. What follows is a game of cat and mouse as Simon is pulled between the powers of light and darkness in a battle of the astral plane. Dinner at the Ritz, fine wines, brandy, cigars and vintage sports cars are all part of a rich backdrop in what amounts to a phenomenally well researched and gripping thriller. Stand out scenes include the sacrifice to Satan on Salisbury Plain, the car chase, the mesmeric words of De Richleau and of course, the infamous night in the Pentangle, where the friends encounter the Angel of Death himself.

The book was to inspire the sixties Hammer version, and though the film was not quite up to the quality of the original, it did feature a great performance from Christopher Lee, and of course, the most chilling line captured on film by the powerful Charles Gray: "I won't be back, but something will."
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quality Hokum 1 Dec 2010
By The Emperor TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Enjoyable, fast paced romp. It is not always consistent and the writing sometimes seems a bit rushed. The magic elements are done quite well and are not too silly. The 1930's atmosphere is interesting as well.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of Wheatley's best 14 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It must be close to forty years since I last read one of Wheatley's novels and cannot now remember if this was one. Certainly, 'They Used Dark Forces', 'The Satanist' and several Roger Brook novels come to mind but not this one. Therefore, it was a good reintroduction to the author. The writing really does seem dated now but then it was published three-quarters of a century ago and, on that premise, is still entertaining. The locations have to be seen in the context of a country without motorways; indeed, with remarkably few motor-cars on the road and it, therefore, useful in conjuring an image (no pun intended) of what the Home Counties and Wiltshire was like in the early thirties.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Grand adventure! 3 July 2007
By S. Bentley VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Being under 30, I had heard of the Devil Rides Out and Dennis Wheatley without really knowing what it was all about, so finding that such an inexpensive edition of the work was now available from Wordsworth's excellent line of supernatural stories, well I had to buy it, didn't I?

What surprised me is that once I started reading, I couldn't put the book down. The tale is of the Duc de Richleau's battle for the soul of his friend Simon Aron, the fate of a young girl, and ultimately the fate of the world, as he takes on satanist Mocata and his entourage. Having read a biography of Aleister Crowley, we can see that he was the touchstone for Mocata, although it is only a surface representation as Mocata is presented as a villain, rather than as a human being. As far as I know, the representations of magic are well researched, with Wheatley representing both white and black magic and the will to power.

Because of the era it was written in, there are no shades of grey in the story, just as the magic used in the tale is black or white, so is the morality and Wheatley is clearly from the same stable as the other great British adventure writers like Buchan, Sapper and Ian Fleming. It also reminds me of the excellent Carnacki stories by Hodgson. As such you may feel that some of the views are a little dated. I didn't notice anything that I thought was necessarily objectionable as I do with Fleming. But the story is written at such a rollicking pace that it is impossible not to get swept up.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed bag
The proofreading in the last half of the text is poor. There are spelling and syntax errors.
Otherwise it's a quaint Boys Own kind of work which illustrates what used to be... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Simon Burke
4.0 out of 5 stars Tale of the occult
Probably the fifth time I have read this book, and sill thoroughly enjoy it. One to keep returning to .
Published 8 days ago by Stephen George Mundy-Gill
4.0 out of 5 stars Dated, yes, but....
Yes, the style is dated, but the story is good. Maybe it wouldn't be taken up by an agent today without a serious re-write, but the characters still have enough zing to keep a... Read more
Published 29 days ago by Mrs. Jennifer M. Black
3.0 out of 5 stars old fashioned charm and elegance.
A horror story written around the manners and elegance of the well to do. An enjoyable book. Will buy another.
Published 1 month ago by Bob Morton
5.0 out of 5 stars A great supernatural thriller form the 1930s
I have seen the filmed version of this novel and it is fairly faithful to the book. The final sequences which take place on a remote island are removed from the film, but the... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Jonathon M. Stenner
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
I was a great fan of these occult thrillers in my teens & early twenties (nearly 40 years ago!) but on rereading this it seemed very dated, nave and failed to grip me. Read more
Published 1 month ago by M. Hollands
5.0 out of 5 stars Spot on
I read this book many years ago and I enjoyed it just as much this time as the first time round,
Published 1 month ago by wasjig102
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful
I read this book years ago and it has lost nothing in the intervening years. Along with The Ka of Gifford Hilary and The Haunting of Toby Jugg, this is up among Wheatley's best... Read more
Published 2 months ago by doreen binks
4.0 out of 5 stars Old-fashioned supernatural hokum
Great fun if you like this kind of thing: devil-worship and other supernatural nonsense, set in a long-vanished pre-war England. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Roving Chester
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the all tme best Black Magic stories.
I first read this and many more Dennis Wheatley books back in the 1960's. He really knew how to tell a good story. Very nice to read it again after all these years.
Published 2 months ago by D. King
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