Thursday, 17 September 2009


The book I'm reading at the moment is another random, happy find from my local library. The tome in question is The Flowers of Hell, a Satanic Reader, edited by Nikolas Schreck and published by Creation Books. The book is an anthology of pieces from many genres and many different countries, each of which is concerned with some aspect of the Devil and humanity's relationship with him. The selections range from the obvious (extracts from Dante's Inferno and a brace of Fausts) to surprises such as a wonderful novella by Mark Twain, The Mysterious Stranger and The Diabolicon by Michael Aquino, a US Army lieutenant and specialist in psychology operations who also became an adept in and writer about necromancy.

Mr. Schreck's introduction provides a fascinating summary of the way in which Satan, Hell and associated concepts have evolved in western religious thought and culture in general, and all in all this book is a model of what a good anthology should be: some familiar pieces for context and comparison; some unusual entries - which inspire interest in unfamiliar writers and subjects - and a stimulating introduction which provides a thoughtful and useful framework in which to place the pieces.


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