The Mephisto Waltz By Fred Mustard Stewart

Download à PDF, eBook or Kindle ePUB º Fred Mustard Stewart

I’ve seen the movie years ago, and just the other day, but it pales in comparison to the book! The Mephisto Waltz is a fairly quick read, but it was full of details, right to the very end. Mr. Stewart’s writing is through, yet easy to read. Although the movie was unnerving it doesn’t capture the story in its entirety. I don’t want to give away the plot, but what I will say is read this book! The Mephisto Waltz In the great style of Ira Levin (one of my favorite psychological thriller authors), this book is fast paced and suspenseful. A treat for any conossieur of the genre. The Mephisto Waltz When you say Satanic Panic people automatically say 80s. But there was a previous wave in literature in Hollywood and Books starting with 1967's Rosemary's Baby and finally beginning to peter out with Amityville Horror book and film. This is a pretty solid example with a cute twist to end on. The Mephisto Waltz This novel taught me early on that I loved a fast plot, a lot of twists, and characters that are pure evil. The Mephisto Waltz This was such a good read that I plowed straight through in a few hours. I will definitely be reading this one again. Great late-Sixties period piece, wonderfully written, terrific suspense and -- untiol you get to the end -- almost exactly the same feel to it as ROSEMARY'S BABY. The Mephisto Waltz


A nice enough little horror story of Satanism, soul-selling, incest, murder and classical music. To begin with it seems that Duncan Ely may have sold his soul to Satan to become a great and successful pianist and now that he is dying of leukaemia he needs to find a new host in which he can transfer his corrupted soul in order to keep living. In fact it becomes apparent later in the book that his devilish bargain was to have an incestuous relationship with his daughter Roxanne – he was already a brilliant pianist.

Enter Myles Clarkson and his wife Paula. Myles is a journalist and failed pianist and a man with large Rachmaninov hands. He meets Ely to conduct an interview, but Ely sees just the man he needs for his future preservation. On the night of Ely's death, not surprisingly at the stroke of midnight, Roxanne prepares a diabolical ritual for the transference of the soul into Myles' body. This transfusion unfortunately sees the end of Myles but allows Ely, in Myles' body, to take over the relationship with Paula.

Paula quickly realises that something is wrong and, putting two and two together, comes up with thirteen. Ely's first wife, Roxanne's mother, died a brutal death in the jaws of a savage dog. Ely and Roxanne have a savage dog – oh dear. After Paula meets Roxanne's ex-husband she hears of the suspicions of incest and believes that Ely/Myles and Roxanne want her out of the way. There's a lot more detail to it, but at the end Paula uses Ely's diabolism to strike her own deal with the devil and put herself in Roxanne's body.

Which leads to the weakest point in the novel. Was Paula really going to be happy living with Ely in Myles' body? Surely Ely would recognise quite quickly that the Roxanne he was seeing was not the Roxanne he fathered. It didn't take Paula very long to twig that Myles was no longer Myles after Ely died. Or did Paula have some plan in mind, a further deal with Beelzebub perhaps to get Myles back and send Ely to his eternal damnation? To me the story ends in the air, when it should be deep under ground. The Mephisto Waltz Serendipity led me to this book. I attended an estate sale last weekend, which was advertised as a source of tons of books. There were a fair number of books, and most of them concerned music. There was also a fairly large collection of vocal scores and CD's, so I surmised that the decedent had been trained in classical voice.

Most of the books were hardcovers, and focused on the history of music. But there were a few paperbacks, and The Mephisto Waltz stood out among them. I thought: A horror novel? What was this doing here?

I had a feeling that perhaps I'd run across the name Fred Mustard Stewart before. The Mustard part makes me laugh. If my middle name were Mustard, I'd just provide an bland M and keep mum about what it stood for. Not this guy!

Anyway, it turns out that this was a first novel, published in 1969. And it's not bad! Mr. Mustard is quite capable in the areas of dialogue and plot. I wouldn't say he's much of a descriptive stylist, but he was adequate in that department.

This book may have piqued my interest more than usual because I studied classical music seriously for a number of years, and hoped to gain proficiency on the piano. My progress was tepid and unsatisfying. So I've mostly given it up.

It turns out that Mr. Mustard, himself, was formally trained in piano, and turned to writing after he realized that he wasn't going to have the sort of career he'd dreamed of. Myles Clarkson, one of the main characters, has the same experiential profile,and seems to be loosely based upon Mr. Mustard, but he's killed off early in the novel and isn't the most important character.

The most important character is Myles Clarkson's wife, Paula. Paula, as it turns out, becomes a victim of Satanism and almost dies. Well, she does die, in a way. ( . . . warning! spoiler coming! . . . stop now if you want to read the book fresh).



This novel takes a very interesting turn at the end. Paula, the victim, actually becomes the aggressor and eventual victor! She decides that if she can't beat the Satanists, she'll join 'em. And she wins! I loved that.

An entertaining, short read. If you are looking for some light reading in the horruh genre, this is well worth seeking out. If you don't feel up to reading it, then there's always the 1971 film version, starring Alan Alda and Jackie Bissett. I haven't seen it yet, but I did watch the preview on Amazon Prime, and it looked promising.

The Mephisto Waltz Although there are more than a few things that didn't seem right to me this was an enjoyable story and for fans of the supernatural it wont be a disappointment.
Not the best in the genre but certainly not the worse The Mephisto Waltz
This is a totally cheesy 1969 horror novel, along the lines of Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist. I devoured it with equal parts enjoyment and chagrin. It's wonderfully dated - the protagonists are thrilled with their newly renovated kitchen and its blue vinyl countertops - and effusively sprinkled with the most ghastly product placements. Myles and Paula Clarkson smoke TarGard Viceroys, use a Chemex coffeemaker, drink Diet Rite Cola, someone drives an XK-E (it's assumed we know, until the next page reveals, that's a Jaguar), someone's mother is described as a Lady Clairol blonde. Paula wears Shalimar, her nemesis Roxanne wears Joy. Lots of sherry is drunk, but only specific brands. My favorite sentence (I still have no idea what it means, since Arthur Treacher to me just means horrible, frightening, marine fast food) is He's so stuffy he makes Arthur Treacher look sportivo. It's written with many explicit stage directions, along the lines of Paula moved to the window and looked pensive, almost as if Fred Mustard Stewart had in mind selling it to a movie studio. Which happened, it was made in 1971 with Alan Alda and Jacqueline Bisset and I must see it.

I won't reveal any spoilers but the basic plotline is that Myles Clarkson is a failed concert pianist who has had to fall back on writing as a career. He gets an interview with famous pianist Duncan Ely, whose chilliness evaporates when he sees how large Myles's hands are. Ely and his daughter Roxanne befriend Myles and his wife Paula and are massively interested in them and their lives, leading Paula to become suspicious. What do they want? A Faustian bargain, it turns out.

You don't have to know anything about classical piano repertoire to read the novel, but it will enrich the cheesy experience. (Fred Mustard Stewart, like his protagonist, had planned to be a concert pianist and had studied at Juilliard.) What made me suspicious wasn't the demonic happenings as much as Myles's Carnegie Hall program: the Goldberg Variations, followed by the Hammierklavier Sonata, followed by Chopin's Andante spianato and grande polonaise - then intermission? That's somewhere between 1.5-2 hours of music (possibly longer, with repeats), and it's nutty. The Mephisto Waltz “Who are these people of the occult? How long does it take them to drive a woman out of her mind?” Fred is a trained concert pianist, which is why the only parts of this book that have any conviction are the piano playing scenes. Satanism book written by someone whose knowledge of the occult doesn't extend past TIME magazine covers, it was sold with a flexi-disc 45rpm of Liszt's titular Mephisto Waltz, which is probably the most interesting thing about it.

“Oh, God…but there is no God! There is only Satan!” The Mephisto Waltz

Originally trained as a concert pianist, Mr. Stewart drew on this background for his first novel, “The Mephisto Waltz” (Coward-McCann), published in 1969. (The publicity materials for the book included a 45-r.p.m. recording of Mr. Stewart playing the title piece, by Liszt.) In 1971, the book became a film with Alan Alda as a young writer whose body is usurped by an aging pianist. The Mephisto Waltz