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Dennis Wheatley

Dennis Wheatley(1897-1977)
Dennis Yates Wheatley was born in London, the son of a wine merchant. In 1926 his father died, leaving him as the sole owner of the family wine business. In the early thirties he had to sell the business and became nearly bankrupt. His first published novel The Forbidden Territory was an immediate success. It was translated in many languages and the film rights were bought by Alfred Hitchcock. His prolific output of stylish thrillers and occult novels made him one of the world’s best-selling authors in the 1950s and 1960s.

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The Devil Rides Out: An excellent source novel

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The Devil Rides Out by Dennis Wheatley

When I first saw the 1968 horror film "The Devil Rides Out" several years back at one of NYC's numerous revival theatres, I thought it was one of the best Hammer films that I'd ever seen, and made a mental note to check out Dennis Wheatley's 1934 source novel one day. That resolve was further strengthened when I read a very laudatory article by Stephen Volk on the book in Kim Newman and Stephen Jones' excellent overview volume Horror: Another 100 Best Books. Now that I have finally read what is generally deemed Wheatley's most successful and popular novel, I can see the Hammer film for what it is: a watered-down adaptation that can't hold a Black Mass candle to its superb original. The great Read More

The Haunting of Toby Jugg: A pretty good study of the psychology of fear

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The Haunting of Toby Jugg by Dennis Wheatley

Although English author Dennis Wheatley wrote a total of 55 novels before his death in 1977, his reputation today, I have a feeling, rests largely on the nine novels that he wrote dealing with the supernatural and the “black arts.” And if Wheatley’s name is not a familiar one to you, it is really no great wonder, as not too many of those 55 titles – mainly in the adventure/thriller genre – are in print today, and it would surprise me if you could walk into your local Barnes & Noble and purchase one. And yet, here’s a cautionary notice to all hugely popular modern-day authors, who may think their fame is of a permanent nature (are you listening, Stephen King?): For many decades, Wheatley was one of Britain’s biggest-selling authors (second only to Agatha Christie), ... Read More