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The Mephisto Waltz by Fred Mustard Stewart
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The Mephisto Waltz (1969)

by Fred Mustard Stewart

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The cover of "The Mephisto Waltz" by Fred Mustard Stewart states this this slim novel is a rival to "Rosemary's Baby". It does have some similarities. Both are from the same era, the late 1960's. Both are about Satanic conspiracies. Both are dated. Both were made into films. The publisher's obviolusly hoped to cash in on the sensation of the other work. The back cover and the first page also mention Rosemary's Baby. The book in the end is not fully satisfying. It could be because I was already familiar with the film starring Alan Alda and Jaqueline Bisset. I was impressed with that film and feel that this is one of those rare cases where the film version is better than the book. There is no real mystery in the book. It is clear and predictable who the bad guys are and what it is they are trying to do. The concept is interesting. That an evil soul can transfer his being into a younger and healthier host through witchcraft. The result however, is fairly straightforward and fails to develop real tension. I recall reading "The Exorcist" and being compelled to read further and further. I also recall the lingering doubt presented by the book. Is it a demon, is it psychosis, or is it both? This novel fails to successfully interject that modicum of doubt. It is not a bad read, just predictable. I also found interesting the name dropping and product placement. It was like taking a brief look back at 1969. The Mephisto Waltz is a small book and can easily be read in a few days. If the macabre is your taste, you may want to pick it up, but remember it is not the best of the genre. ( )
1 vote Borg-mx5 | Jul 2, 2010 |
A classic Witch Story...very creepy, stayed with me for many years... ( )
  silversurfer | Aug 8, 2008 |
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The call from Duncan Ely had come at eight o'clock on a Saturday morning, which was Paula Clarkson's morning to sleep.
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    ONLY A NIGHTMARE

When Paula woke up, she was alone in the bedroom. it had only been a dream! She could hear Myles walking in the room above her, and she knew that sound had suggested the footsteps - and the ritual - in her nightmare.

But still ...

She slowly raised her hand to her face, almost not daring to touch her forehead. When she did, it was dry.

But there was a slight slickness at the center of it, as there had been on Abby's before she had died.

An almost imperceptible residue of oil ....
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