Les cruelles frénésies de Van den Rook (The Cruel Frenzies of Van den Rook) is a sadistic fantasy set in the Amazon rainforest, where the eponymous doctor Van den Rook, his daughter Yolande, and their friend Juanita torture kidnapped youngsters, who are tied to the phallic stake of a lecherous automaton, roasted in a steel cylinder, and treated with carefully-prepared chemicals including HZW 77 which causes bowel pain, BFO 47 which transforms blood into vitriol, and OPS 93 which dissolves bones. The few who survive become love slaves. Not for the faint-hearted. ‘J. van Styk’, the author, is yet another pseudonym for an unknown eroticist.

The six well-executed illustrations plus the coloured cover are rather mild in comparison with the text.


Les cruelles frénésies de Van den Rook was published by Éditions du Couvre-feu, and resissued in 1960 by Eric Losfeld’s L’éditions du crépuscule as Les cruelles frénésies by J. Styka.

We are grateful to Steve Mullins of the Olympia Press website (www.parisolympiapress.com) for these illustrations.