Being the Author of The Devil Rides Out
Dennis Wheatley, who wrote more than sixty novels (horror/black magic, thriller, SF), is mainly remembered for one spooky bestselling horror extravaganza — The Devil Rides Out. Now, that’s rather disappointing for someone who was pretty much a Stephen King of his time. Wheatley wrote a lot of first rate thrillers and black magic novels (The Shadow of Tyburn Tree and Gateway to Hell are among his bests), but the Devil Rides Out simply overshadowed the rest of his works.
A Grand Story of Light and Darkness
A young man (Simon) and a beautiful woman (Tanith) get entangled in the web of evil Satanists. As they move towards damnation, Duke de Richleau fights a compelling war against diabolic forces to save their lives. The Duke takes on the suave Devil worshipper Mocata and gets involved in a high stake, perilous game that can destroy his soul. This powerful, action packed occult thriller moves with great speed, and intriguing twists. Wheatley’s brand of Satanism is a bit over-the -top thing, but it makes a great read. The author uses pentagrams, old panelled libraries, satanic orgies, and bull’s blood to scare the shit out of you. And yes, the Devil himself rides out on the back of his steed. It’s pure and refined hokum, but splendid entertainment.
The book has some highly innovative episodes like three people being subjected to a night of demonic attacks by Mocata. You don’t get to read stuff like that anymore. Also, be prepared for a decent dose of racism, sexism, and hopelessly reactionary political views.
All About Editions
Avoid new editions like hell if you want to get a feel of things Wheatley wanted to convey. Search Amazon for a bashed, yellowish edition printed in the sixties. This old school classic is a true reflection of Wheatley’s medieval mind; the Manichaean struggle he depicts can best be enjoyed between worn out covers.
The Hammer Hit
The Hammer film of the same name has reinforced the book’s reputation. Christopher Lee as Duke de Richleau and Charles Gray as Mocata delivered grand performances as the movie went on to become one of Hammer’s most successful ventures.
If you like Duke de Richleau, check out other books in this series:
The Prisoner In The Mask
Vendetta In Spain
The Second Seal
Three Inquisitive People
The Forbidden Territory
The Devil Rides Out
The Golden Spaniard
Codeword – Golden Fleece
Gateway To Hell
Also, check Gregory Sallust series for black magic novels.
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