Most helpful positive review
146 of 147 people found the following review helpful
Very informative and easy to read.
on December 30, 2006
The subject of exorcism is a difficult one, in my opinion, because there are relatively few reliable, accurate, and non-sensationalistic sources of information available. (I make this observation from having worked in Church ministry for the past 28 years. One of my own areas of personal study happens to be the paranormal.) Yet it is an important topic because demons are real and they do possess people. If you are a self-professed Christian, you are obligated to take this issue seriously because the pages of New Testament are quite clear about the reality of demonic spirits and the havoc they can wreak on humans.
The strength and appeal of Fr. Fortea's book lie in the fact that it is a credible source of information, and its Question & Answer format makes it very readable. There are 110 questions in total, and they cover a broad range of material (e.g., types of demons, typical symptoms of possession, the nature and knowledge of demons, the various ways demons can affect humans, what happens in an exorcism, possession vs. psychosis, etc.). The answers are typically just a few paragraphs long, and they are written to the level of someone who presumably has no prior knowledge about the subject matter. The combination of these factors means that you can easily reference specific topics without having to read through entire chapters, and while there is a certain progression of thought in the sequence of questions, you still can jump back and forth between them without any significant loss of continuity.
The book *is* compelling, and I found it difficult to put down once I started to read it. I submit that you are likely to finish it quickly and find yourself wanting more. And this, perhaps, is the only frustration (criticism is not really the right word) I had with the book: it is more of a general overview on exorcism and related topics rather than a detailed treatment of specific cases and examples. I say frustration only because the book was just too fascinating to read and I reached the end too soon!
Fr. Fortea's book will give the reader a good working knowledge of the subject matter, but depending on the extent of the knowledge you seek, you may find yourself still intellectually hungry when you're done with it. Please understand that I do not consider this to be a flaw in the book. It does cover many areas, but they are generally not treated *at length.* For those who do want a more detailed treatment of exorcism and specific case studies, I would highly recommend Fr. Gabriele Amorth's books, _An Exorcist Tells His Story_ and its sequel, _An Exorcist: More Stories_. I have read them both, and they are excellent.
Considering the range of material covered, the cost of the book, and the credibility of its author, you simply cannot go wrong making this purchase.