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Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans Paperback – January 6, 1999


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Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Contemporary Americans + The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren + Deliver Us from Evil: A New York City Cop Investigates the Supernatural
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: HarperOne; Reissue edition (January 6, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006065337X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060653378
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (287 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Martin is above all serious. He is not speaking about madness, about illusions or the irrational, but about the real beyond all reason.... He presents exorcism as ... a titanic clash of wills that threatens the lives, the sanity, even the souls of all attending.” (Newsweek)

“Martin’s polished contemporary sense of traditional theology entices even the skeptical.... Stunningly pertinent ...Will set you thinking-and thinking-and thinking.” (Detroit News)

“The most shattering book on demonic possession isn’t fiction at all but Malachi Martin’s spellbinding work of interpretive reporting.” (New York (Sunday) Daily News)

“In the barrage of books on possession and exorcism, this is undoubtedly the most authoritative and convincing.” (The Washington Post Book Review)

“Malachi Martin ... was the greatest expert on the subject of possession and exorcism in the English speaking world.” (M. Scott Peck, M. D., author of Glimpses of the Devil)

Hostage to the Devil is the first and only textbook on the subject of possession and exorcism in modern times. It is the only work to describe the stages of exorcism and it is obviously based on an enormous amount of personal experience. ... a brilliant work.” (M. Scott Peck, M. D., author of Glimpses of the Devil)

From the Publisher

A chilling and highly convincing account of possession and exorcism in modern America, hailed by NBC Radio as "one of the most stirring books on the contemporary scene."

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book for beleivers and non beleivers alike.
ajay
"Hostage to the Devil" is necessary reading for all who understand that evil lives in the world and must be fought by faith and goodness.
"summerbeard2"
Malachi Martin chronicles how one comes to be "possessed" and how the exorcism process works.
Thomas More

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

305 of 314 people found the following review helpful By Rick on October 27, 2005
Format: Paperback
A Masterpiece of Spiritual Insight by a Masterful Writer and Priest, October 27, 2005

Reviewer: Rick (Beijing, China) - See all my reviews

First, a confession: I am on the verge of becoming a member of that nearly lost legion--the reborn Roman Catholic. Second, a minor revelation: this book brought me back to the Faith. Rather than scare the reader into submission to the Will of God, Father Martin stirs one's dormant and perhaps deeply buried awareness of what is altogether pure and holy and ultimately victorious in the seemingly eternal struggle between Good and Evil. In an age of jaded youth media culture, comedians and pundits who relish in their cynicism, and unabated Hollywood hedonism, it is a breath of fresh air after the rain to read and ponder on Martin's accounts of personal travail and utter spiritual anguish.

This is not an "easy read;" it requires concentration and an appreciation for intricate prose style. In five lengthy and detailed case studies, written in stirring narrative style, the author carefully chronicles the slow descent of otherwise unusually clever, sensitive, and gifted people into the pit of demonic possession. Father Martin does not sensationalize, nor does he intend to appeal to the reader's emotions. Nor does he harangue or cajole or attempt to make us feel guilty. Instead, his very sure hand and deft writing leads us to realize that whether we wish to confront it or not, evil and its dark kingdom of demons thrives in this soiled earthly domain, guised and cunning but here nonetheless.

Some have attempted since the untimely death of the author to dismiss him as a fraud or, worse yet, one possessed himself.
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57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 26, 2005
Format: Paperback
"Hostage to the Devil" offers 5 (and part of a 6th) in-depth accounts of exorcisms. Both the victims and the priests (all these exorcisms were performed by Roman Catholic priests) performing the exorcisms are examined in pretty good detail. It was much more real than any horror film or scary book you have ever read - because it was all real. The accounts are gripping and the narrative will propel you to the finish. After the 5 stories, the author offers insights into exorcism and theological underpinnings of it. Very interesting stuff.

Word of warning: This book is not for everyone. There are detailed accounts of satanic rituals and experiences - only for a mature, well-grounded audience with a stomach for it. I fancy myself a pretty tough fellow, but there were things in this book that made me cringe/flinch and almost vomit. So be forewarned.
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137 of 147 people found the following review helpful By ~LEON~ on September 11, 2006
Format: Paperback
Informative and entertaining though this book is, and other reviews cover the formalities, it may hit you on a more personal level than you are prepared for. It did me, take the anecdotal evidence or leave it.

To cut a long story short, there is a chance that, by reading this book, new light will be shed on aspects of your life that you maybe rather wasn't shed.

You might, as I did, cement a realisation of just how close you have come to the dark one, or something operating in his name, and in doing so, bring to the immediate fore elements that you'd rather not get too acquainted with.

This book, just paper and print though it is, could act as a trigger to strange happenings that will revolve around very personal (and usually undesirable) aspects of your life and your self.

It will not "create" anything new in your life, only make you aware that certain influences already present might actually be something more than you feared and act as a catalyst to escalate certain processes.

Yes, you might be getting "tested" by dark forces and not be entirely aware of it until you read this book and relate the experiences and processes described. Not a nice revelation to have, though perhaps, necessary? The subtlety, complexity, disturbing "realness" and almost boundless reach of Lucifer into your very life and person will make itself known to you in stark and obvious shades of bright light to an extent that is hard to digest. So don't read this book if you doubt you are ready for such things.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Hunter Baker on January 24, 2003
Format: Paperback
Hostage to the Devil makes the world's worst bedtime reading. When you read fiction by a horror master like Stephen King, you can turn out the lights and reassure yourself it's just a work of imagination. You will experience no such relief in reading Malachi Martin's in depth portrayal of real exorcisms. What I read in Hostage to the Devil, left me wide awake long after I set the book down.
The stories are not sensationalized, but rather display an interesting combination of story-telling, reportage, and scholarship that make them impossible to dismiss. Although I am not a Catholic, I finished the book believing I'd been exposed to dangerous, but edifying truths about the nature of evil.
If you are truly interested in the phenomena of possession and exorcism and are not easily disturbed, then Hostage to the Devil will be well worth your time.
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