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 The Haunting of Toby Jugg 
Level3
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Joined: 16 Apr 2006
Posts: 26
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This is a perfect example of how to write a novel in the first person (in this case, as a diary). The pace, tension and plot flow are fantastic, and even though the theme of the occult is one that Wheatley draws upon for many of his novels, there is enough substance and variation in this to make it unique, and without doubt a page turner. The scene with the spiders is enough to send shivers down the most hardy of readers spines...
It concerns a young disabled man who fears for his sanity after witnessing a strange succession of events outside his bedroom window. He decides to compile a diary of events in order to clarify his troubled mindset, but quickly discovers that he is at the centre of a disturbing satanic plot, with almost no way out. As ever, there is a love story attached, and suffice to say there is a great build up with a fantastic climax underground.
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Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 72
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I enjoyed the scenes with the spiders - they were very well done and truly frightening.
But overall found the book a bit of a plod and very silly with it's Soviet devil worshipers.
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Joined: 31 Oct 2006
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I have waited for years to pass on this story:
Whilst in the Army (1957 /5Cool I had suffered a "potts facture" of my ankle,and, much to the chagrin of the Sgt Major,was excused all duties for about two months.
Dennis Wheatley was a very popular author amongst us Squaddies, we used to have Dennis Wheatley breakfasts etc.
I was lay on my bed in the early hours of the morning reading The Haunting of Toby Judd. I, being a Cpl had my own room.
Being excused all duties and unable to do much exercise because of my ankle sleep did not come easily.
When in a particular scary part (The Spider was clawing at the window),the door of my room suddenly opened of its own volition.
I slung the book at the door and literally sprang at the door,bad ankle or no bad ankle.
It was wonderful; Thank you Dennis.
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Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 173
Location: Peterborough, UK
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Brilliant peterbolt! Thanks for sharing that, and a warm welcome to our community.

I hope you didn't see Tuesday night's pathetic production.

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Joined: 23 Jul 2005
Posts: 154
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Have just read the novel again, and I have to agree that it is a superb thriller. The climax of the novel, with his batty old relative digging to the bottom of the lake does seem rather silly, but only after finishing the novel. Whilst reading it, I was too caught up in events to notice. Helmuth is one of Wheatley's best villains, and the cat and mouse game between him and Toby throughout the book is enormously effective. Nice touch that Toby is saved by two people (Sally and Batty Relative) whom he is rather contemptuous about earlier on. Scariest moments: Attacks by spiders both normal and giant sized. Favourite unintentionally funny moment: After terrible struggle with monster, Sally and Toby seem to forget the danger that they are in and have a long discussion about which sorts of marriages are more succesful. When they eventually remember about the evil arachnid, Sally more or less tells Toby that listening to the two of them express their love has made the poor thing crawl off into a corner and throw up!
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Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 72
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Hmmmm, one to re-read I think. I do enjoy the devil worshiper novels and can remember there being a fair few tense moments here. Like many of his black magic stories they can be re-read.
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