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The Sorcery Club

Elliott O'Donnell

Book Overview: 

Leon Hamar and his friends were out-of-work and starving in San Francisco after the firm they worked for went out of business. Leon acquired a strange book and some cash in a trade for his watch-chain, one of his last possessions. He hated books and had no intention of reading the thing, but of course did, and discovered that it told the tale of Atlantis and the society of sorcerers who inhabited it. It not only told the story, but also gave specific instructions for initiation into the black arts. The friends decided they had little to lose and perhaps much to gain, even survival, if they underwent the tests and initiation into the ancient Atlantean black arts. What followed was not, perhaps, what they expected.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Kelson murmured, "and naturally we did. I reckon you've done the same by your expression. I should hardly have known you."

"It shows pretty clearly," Curtis said, "what a lot of bad is latent in most people; and that the right circumstances only are needed to bring it out. Starvation, for instance, is calculated to bring out the evil in any one—no matter whom. But what puzzles me, is how we have escaped being caught!"

"That's a good sign," Hamar said. "It bears out what is written in the book. If you give your whole mind to doing wrong during this trial week you'll meet with no mishap. But you must be heart and soul in it. Hunger made us—hunger has been our friend."

"What do you mean?" Curtis said.

"Why," Hamar replied, "if we hadn't been well-nigh starving we shouldn't have been able to carry out the instructions quite so thoroughly."

"Have you, too, stolen?" Curtis queried.

"I have certainly appropriate. . . Read More

Community Reviews

The fast-paced story telling and interesting aspect of "Atlantean Sorcery" made this an exciting read. However, over the course of the story there were cringe-worthy moments which I forgave due to the time this book was published.

Not

Nice horror book

Despite too many over-descriptive passages and moments of melodrama, this is at times an entertaining read, featuring some dark humour along the way.

My one big criticism is the ending. Some people might call it an open ending, but I call it unfinished. It’s as if the final page has been ripped out.

You get a little touch of everything in this book, Humor, mystery and information of subjects not usually talk about, as well as Fantasy. I loved it.

A frustrating 1912 novel that shows flashes of potential that never develop. Three unemployed men discover a book on sorcery, use it to make a pact with Dark Powers and proceed to exploit their new abilities for blackmail, coercion, making of curses (one of the flashes is when they discover just how

This story had the potential to be good, but it was executed poorly by O'Donnell. Not only are the characters very shallow and hard to be empathetic to, but the author himself comes off as quite racist and certainly sexist. While the same offensive undertones can be picked up in his other "non-ficti

San Francisco is in the grip of an economic collapse, and three clerks find themselves on the verge of starvation until one of them discovers a strange old book in a junk shop. The book dates back several hundred years, and is an account of the history of the lost civilisation of Atlantis and a prac

If you can get past the casual racism, anti-Semitism, turn of the last century British snobbery, shallow character development, and over simple storytelling a fast and amusing read.

Elliott O’Donnell (1872-1965) is hardly known in this country, but in England he was for many years its most celebrated ghost-hunter.

By turns melodramatic, slapstick, sentimental, racist, misogynist, embarrassing and horrific, “The Sorcery Club” is hardly a great novel of the supernatural. It lacks

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