Demons and Devilry

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Darren
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Demons and Devilry

Post by Darren » Thu 22 May, 2014 23:24:59

‘Demons and Devilry’ – Five tales of occult horror

There is a new book recently published that is getting a lot of publicity in the horror genre media.
The publishers are using the Dennis Wheatley name in their promotions to help sell the book.

Hersham Horror Books Presents five original stories from the minds of:
Peter Mark May
Thana Niveau
John Llewellyn Probert
David Williamson
Stuart Young

The Fourth anthology in our PentAnth range brings you five more satanic and demonic tales that hearkens back to an age when Dennis Wheatley was the king of horror.


The book gets very enthusiastic reviews and most reviewers further mention the cultural link with DW. Here are 4 examples of different reviewers mentioning DW in their appraisal.

Here’s a treat for fans of classic occult horror in the vein of Dennis Wheatley (author of the iconic/legendary novel The Devil Rides Out).

Does the spirit of Dennis Wheatley live on?


In case you are unfamiliar with Dennis Wheatley, he was an author in the early and mid 20th century who wrote a series of ‘black magic’ books. These titles were considered controversial for the subject matters they embraced. They contained things like sadism (directed primarily at women), Satanism, vulgar racism, and many other topics considered taboo. For this reason, many consider him the founding father of Satanic horror writing.

With their twisted roots buried deep in the works of Dennis Wheatley these stories reach out to embrace even darker, more horrifying, territory.


I’m going away to the coast this weekend and have downloaded the book for my holiday reading – and the weather forecast suggests I’ll be doing plenty of reading.
Regards,

Darren.

Charles
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Post by Charles » Fri 23 May, 2014 16:38:55

Thanks for that - I for one had not spotted it .... your eyes are as sharp as ever !

Suggest you take some DW's with you as well just in case the new crop is disappointing :D
Charles

Darren
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Post by Darren » Thu 12 Jun, 2014 11:23:29

Well I did read the book that weekend - and I enjoyed it. The introduction clearly explains that the authors were invited to contribute stories with a Dennis Wheatley satanic flavour and it does discuss DW at length. I like the anthology films of the early 1970s such as Tales from the Crypt and Dr Terrors House of Horrors and this collection reminded me of that format with explicit horror and humour.

There are 5 stories:
The Abhorrent Man by Peter Mark May
This is probably the most DW-inspired story in the collection. It begins with a prologue that provides a back story set in 146BC in which an ancient demon ultimately gets trapped in an old city that is destroyed. The main story is set in 1924 and begins with two academics sharing a bottle of brandy in a library of a large estate discussing the discovery of an archaeological site of an ancient city.
One of them travels to investigate and you can guess what he unleashes at the site. A fun story with an interesting ending.

Little Devils by Thana Niveau
A tale of a group of young kids exploring a building site and discover the aftermath of a satanic ritual. I enjoyed this one – the story is well told and held my curiosity. Less DW, more Enid Blyton meets Blair Witch.

The Devil in the Details by John Llewellyn Probert
And then we come to the first of the two strongest stories. If you love the old Universal horror films of the 1930s and 1940s then you will enjoy this. It is full of atmosphere, set in an old gothic house on the coast of Wales with an evil Satanist repeatedly failing in his rituals to summon up any demons. This story mixes a good dose of humour with some extreme depravity. Another fun twist at the end.

The Scryer by David Williamson
This is the other of the two strongest stories and is more James Herbert than DW. But I love James Herbert and I really enjoyed this tale. A young couple with little appreciation of life, little to look forward to, living in a block of flats are visited by a strange lawyer who informs them that they have inherited a large stately home.
The set-up of the story grabs your curiosity and you read on wanting to know what is going on. The ending is very satanically satisfying.

Guardian Devil by Stuart Young
And I don’t know how to review this one. Is it well written? Yes. Stuart Young is clearly a skilful writer. Did I enjoy it? Mmmmmmm. I still don’t understand what it is I read. The story reaches the climax almost immediately – but the climax goes on and on and on and on. If you like the “stream of consciousnessâ€￾ approach to art then this is in that vein. Very violent – lots of it continuously, and it’s sexually graphic violence. It’s basically one very long rape scene in which both victim and Satanist leave the real world and Guardian Angels/Devils enter into battle. It’s the longest story in the collection and the DW connection is that it is reminiscent of the battles in the astral planes in Strange Conflict.
I’d be interested in anyone else’s view of this story.

The book ends with biographies of the writers and they have contributed further notes about their stories and the DW connection.

So thank you Stuart Young for pulling this collection together and keeping DW current.

I read it on a rainy weekend away at the coast and enjoyed it and would recommend it. But be warned – some scenes push at the boundaries of depravity, which I think is probably the point of Stuart Young’s story. If you are going to summon up an evil entity then the evil outcome will probably be worse than you have previously experienced or imagined.
Regards,

Darren.

ericmocata
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Post by ericmocata » Fri 13 Jun, 2014 00:41:40

This book sounds pretty interesting to me as well. I think I will order it soon and check it out. Anthologies can be pretty fun. I am also a fan of old anthology films: The House That Dripped Blood, Trilogy of Terror, etc. There is a really crazy low, low, low budget shot-on-video anthology from Germany called the Burning Moon that I am quite fond of (I actually wrote a song about one of the stories from this movie). Of course, I am just a horror fan all around.

It is weird to see people actually remembering Wheatley these days. Aside from here, of course. It's almost like being in some weird secret society, then somebody publishes some expose on it and now everybody else is aware of it. :twisted:

ericmocata
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Post by ericmocata » Sun 29 Jun, 2014 01:20:32

I finally got this book. I have only read the first story so far. Not bad. I will probably read one story or so between other books. I am reading a biography right now, so maybe after that, I will read another (maybe two). I have actually bought quite a few books recently. So, it's tricky deciding what to read next. I think I will read another Wheatley soon. Probably a Sallust novel, but the next on my list is V for Vengeance and my copy is kind of messed up. The pages are a bit warped, like moisture damage, but they do separate. However, due to the warped nature of the pages close to the spine, it is tricky to flip through it. I don't know if I really want to read that copy. Also, Dennis didn't seem too chuffed with that particular book. I really am just wanting to read some of them in order and get to Come Into My Parlour.

Then, there's Codeword-Golden Fleece. The Duc is pretty much always a good way to go. There is a similar issue with my copy of this one, but it is nowhere near as bad as V for Vengeance.

Of course there are the numerous Roger Brook novels that I haven't read. Which is not surprising as he is my least favorite of Wheatley's main characters.

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