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The Devil Rides Out Paperback – 21 Feb 1991
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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 out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The best thing of its kind since Dracula
- Daily Telegraph--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title. See all Product description
Top customer reviews
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."
Yes, it's true, the novel's aged and does seem naive compared to modern, contemporary horror fiction but I still find the ritualistic elements extremely well written and that's possibly because Wheatley was so determined to get it right he spent time with some of the most infamous occultists of the age to deepen his own understanding.
So, what's it about? The principle character of Duke de Richleau, wealthy nobleman, discovers his friend Simon has gone missing and over time it's revealed Simon may well be under the influence of a particularly nasty Black Magic sect. It's here the plot really begins to move along with some great scraps, physical and magical, being fought over Simon's soul. The subplot of someone really unpleasant being conjured up from the depths adds even more tension and intrigue.
Packed with atmosphere and the 1930's are wonderfully evoked in the clipped, polite dialogue and the general 'niceness' of the characters who are such a mix of the wealthy and the downright eccentric.
I would recommend any fan of the supernatural to read this classic. It's neither particularly scary or unnerving by today's standards but it's beautifully written with wonderfully descriptive passages concerning magic, deception and the fight for good over bad. Once you've finished with this story you might feel tempted to try 'To the Devil a Daughter' - I was.
So happy to have had the opportunity to revisit.
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Most recent customer reviews
Good holiday reading.
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