HOSTAGE TO THE DEVIL by Malachi Martin


Email this review


A former Jesuit, scholar of the Dead Sea Scrolls, close associate of Pope John XXIII, a Ph.D. in Semitic languages, archaeology and Oriental history, and an assistant at eleven exorcisms, Malachi Martin is well equipped to write about the Evil Spirit and his power to infect the living. Martin has interviewed the participants of five recent exorcisms and here he collates tape recordings, diaries and other first-hand materials to produce a picture of diabolical evil that is thorough, documented, and often astounding. Perhaps he has created a new genre--Catholic Gothic, a sometimes frenzied mix of Teilhard de Chardin invaded by William Peter Blatty. There is probably no one who has conveyed the degeneracy of possession in all its fervid ghastliness as well as Martin with his bizarre lyricism and passion. Each chapter builds on the last in these tone poems of the palsied damned. The victims are, for the most part, extraordinarily intelligent: a brilliant priest, a transsexual, and a parapsychologist with psychic powers. The evil revealed (""the will of the will of the will of the will of the will"" of Lucifer) conveys a crawling apprehension that the medieval peasants were right, that dark spirits and demons are everpresent, just waiting for a summons. Despite excesses, Martin is a strong writer. A hellish document of intense conviction, likely to brand itself on the marketplace.

Pub Date: March 1st, 1976
Publisher: Reader's Digest-dist. by T. Y. Crowell