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Ritual Paperback – 7 Apr 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: FINDERS KEEPERS RECORDS (7 April 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0956706312
  • ISBN-13: 978-0956706317
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.6 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 293,491 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Herod on 16 July 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been meaning to pick this book up for many years, mainly because of 'The Wicker Man' connection. It is deemed by some to be the inspiration behind Anthony Shaffer and Robin Hardy's much-loved occult horror film, and this in itself is the cause of much controversy and sometimes heated debate. For me, the thrill of finally getting hold of 'Ritual', apart from the prospect of becoming absorbed with an obscure 1960s occult novel, was in discovering exactly what similarities exist between the two works and whether the accusations of plagiarism are in any way justified.

Basic premise? Well, it's not dissimilar to the aforementioned film. Policeman arrives at a remote village to investigate the death of a child and is confronted with an increasingly bewlidering array of psychological trickery, erotic encounters and pagan practices.

If you can get past the excessively rich and over-worked dialogue, 'Ritual' is an enjoyable, engrossing read with a narrative that, after the initial Wicker Man similarities, treads a very different path towards an entirely different conclusion. The characters are grotesque, vaudevillian creations and wonderfully over-the-top; it's as if they have one eye on the audience in the stalls and are intentionally camping it up, playing for cheap laughs. If you think Lord Summerisle is fond of a florid turn of phrase, wait till you hear Lawrence Cready, Pastor White and Squire Fenn in full flow.

So, is it fair to say that Anthony Shaffer borrowed from this novel? To a certain extent, yes. We know that Shaffer attempted and abandoned a screenplay based upon the novel. We have the initial basic premise, which is almost identical.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Countess Spider on 13 May 2009
Format: Paperback
David Pinner's Ritual opens in the Cornish village of Thorn where the dead body of 8 year old Dian Spark is found by an oak tree. Suspicion is stirred by the fact she is holding a sprig of garlic and the press raise the question of a ritual killing. Enter Detective Inspector David Hanlin, a no nonsense police officer despatched from London to investigate the incident, and whose eyes remain almost permanently behind a pair of shades as he suffers from sun blindness.

Hanlin begins with Reverend White at his church who insists the village is a Christian one, but David notices the altar cross is missing, to which the Reverend insists it often disappears and reappears again. However, the holy man is outraged when David finds a monkey's head and garlic flowers on the altar.

Events cut to a seance being conducted by Dian's mother to ascertain if her child was murdered. Meanwhile, David is exploring the wood and is taken by Gypo, the local nutter, to the oak tree where Dian was found. The monkey's head is back, along with two bats pinned along side it.

Back at the seance, Mrs. Spark claims there is witchcraft in the village and some of those present are involved. The accusation stirs up hysteria among the group, until the village squire takes control, suggesting the police should be brought in. Quite conveniently, he then makes the acquaintance of David Hanlin when Anna brings the detective back to the
house to give him lodging.

Hanlin initially spends his time visiting and getting to know the leading village characters. He visits Lawrence Cready, a rather camp character who had bought Squire Fenn's mansion, when Fenn had become debt ridden. Although Cready does have a witchcraft museum in his manor, he insists to David it is merely memorabilia.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By teehee on 24 Oct. 2012
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Have just started to read this and already cant put it down. Brillant. Recently finished the Whicker Man which I thought was A1 but yet again another great book. will really savour reading this.Looking forward to reaching the end, I can only imagine the journey I have to get there. Just buy it and read it. It will become clear then
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By M. J. Atha on 2 July 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'd been looking for a copy of this for a while but was clearly reluctant to fork out over £100 for the original - hats off to Kindle for reissuing it as an e-book.

The parallels are clear, a remote village with lots of weird pagan customs, the death of a young girl in suspicious circumstances, a policeman called in to solve it.

But there the parallels end, it is clearly a product of its time, the language is excessively flowery and profanities are avoided even when the characters are clearly using them. The copper is not Sgt Howie, and the village lacks the charm of Summerisle. I won't spoil the twist, but it was a bit obvious from around half way through.

Glad I read it though, but if you are not a Wicker Man buff then I wouldn't bother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Usher on 7 Sept. 2014
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Brilliant book from which the film The Wicker Man was taken
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jake on 2 Jun. 2012
Format: Paperback
This is a great read! I liked the film and at the end it was mentioned that it was based on this book, so I googled it and bought it. You will not regret the purchase of this book if you like the film or reading. Great deliverly and condition of the book is absolutely mint. :)
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