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The Oath Paperback – October 9, 2003

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 550 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson; Reprint edition (October 9, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401685234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401685232
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (502 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Under cover of darkness, something evil is at work in Hyde River, an old mining town deep in the mountains. Its latest victim, nature photographer Cliff Benson, was brutally killed while camping -- and his wife Evelyn has been driven nearly mad by what she saw, but she can't remember what it was. The sheriff thinks a rogue bear killed Cliff. But townspeople whisper -- and Cliff's death is just the latest in a long string of bizarre "accidents." Cliff's brother Steve is determined to find out the truth about what's concealed in the old caverns near Hyde River, a mystery that the local folk legends only hint at. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

A wildlife biologist named Steve Benson has come to the remote mountain town of Hyde River to investigate the gruesome death of his brother. Benson tracks down and kills a grizzly, but then more people are killed and the bears are exonerated. Benson begins to listen with seriousness to the ravings of an old hermit who says that there's a dragon who lives in Saddlehorse Mountain and who lives on sin. It seems that in the 1880s, when Hyde River was a booming mining town, a fire-and-brimstone preacher was hanged, and the perpetrators then signed an oath embracing Reason as their god. In more than 100 years, their sins have grown into a monster. Steve tracks the chimerical dragon, which toys with him and lets him go. Steve is the embodiment of reason but feels the weight of sin when he begins an affair with a married woman, a local deputy named Tracy. A red mark appears over his heart, and gradually it begins to ooze black slime. Judgment Day arrives, and the dragon comes to claim its own. Steve, at last a believer, stands alone to do battle, rather like Bilbo Baggins of The Hobbit, except that Peretti writes with a grim fervor rather than playfulness. Largely because of the success of This Present Darkness (1987), Peretti's name inspires awe in the religious publishing world; The Oath is so heavily anticipated that its prepublication sales placed it fifth on the Evangelical Christian best-seller list. John Mort --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Frank E. Peretti is one of American Christianity's best-known authors. His novels have sold over 10 million copies, and he is widely credited with reinventing Christian fiction. He and his wife, Barbara, live in the Pacific Northwest.

Customer Reviews

Great story, great characters, and great suspense.
Jonathan E.
What I didn't like is that after reading through a book that size, the ending was just way too simplistic.
This is a very well written page turner that will keep you interested until the very end.
Ricks Picks

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

127 of 131 people found the following review helpful By Eric Wilson TOP 1000 REVIEWER on November 2, 2000
Format: Paperback
I've heard more negative response from other Christians toward this Peretti book than any other. Why? Because it's dark, maybe. Because it doesn't paint a gleeful, daisy-filled meadow scene for us, possibly.
And these are the reasons I consider this his best.
Without forgetting to grab our attention and build his characters, Peretti sets the stage for a powerful spiritual metaphor that hits the reader between the eyes. The seductive oath of this town comes back to haunt them, and by the end, no one will be left unchanged--for better of for worse. The consequences of flirting with sin are starkly portrayed here. Don't give up too soon; read on to the finish and you'll understand Peretti's point.
Of all Peretti's books, this one alone have I been able to pass out freely to my nonbelieving friends. The story is genuinely intriguing--not just a hastly sketched backdrop for a sermon--and it grabs your attention, demanding that you heed its warning.
This may not be for all readers, particularly those who like syrupy romance or immediate feel-goods, but it's worth the effort. If you like no-holds-barred Christian fiction, "The Oath" is for you.
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful By "stellane" on May 3, 2000
Format: Paperback
A fan of Peretti's from the first chapter of "This Present Darkness," I was not in the least disappointed in "The Oath." While "This Present Darkness" and "Piercing the Darkness" were true to life from start to finish, this book contained a different approach. Although I enjoyed every minute of it, there were several times during the reading that I stopped and thought, "This is so unreal. This could never happen." However, it was toward the end of the book that I realized it was a parody (in the loosest sense of the word) of what takes place in the spiritual world. The dragon that controlled the town was Sin, and although sin can never take a fleshly form and go around devouring unsuspecting townsfolk, in a spiritual sense, it does just exactly that. While we cannot see a smelly black substance oozing from our chests when we get sin in our lives, if we could see through spiritual eyes, we really would see a blackened heart, full of sin. As in the book, it is when the smallest sins get into our hearts and turn them "black," and we have removed ourselves from the realm of God's protection that the big "dragon" can come and eat us up. It is obvious that Peretti really knows something about the spiritual world, and this book, when taken in the right context, can help the reader to understand what is actually going on although we can't see it in the natural.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By John K on March 21, 2001
Format: Paperback
A very good book! Peretti is very talented in his storytelling style. I read just about all of his adult books and this one ranks as one of his best (second only to the wonderful "This Present Darkness")
There are those who feel this book is too dark and too horrific--This is as close that Christian fiction can come to secular horror novels such as those by Stephen King and Dean Koontz--And I admit, I was surpised from some of the content I read and often thought to myself: 'And this is supposed to be a *Christian* book!?'...But really, it does make sense and is warrented. All in all, this story is about Sin. This book is very allagoric and symbolic of what sin is and what it can do to people. It usually starts small, and it grows. Quickly you become addicted to it. You don't even want to aknowledge your sin and so you become blind to it...that is until it is too late. You become a slave to sin and the only way to truly free yourself is through Jesus. Otherwise Sin will grow and grow until it devours you (Something litterally from this book). I know that this is starting to sound like a sermon, but this message is EXACTLY what this book is about...And yet, It never gets *preachy*
It's a fairly hefty novel, especially for Peretti, and at times you wish something more interesting would happen. But the pace never falters and it does manage to hold you. Only the most impatient of readers would put this book aside for good without having it finished.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Brian K. Walley on September 23, 2000
Format: Paperback
This was a book that my wife wanted me to read a long time ago and I put it off because I wasn't really sure I would enjoy this type of book. Well, after finishing it, I can say that it was definitely worth reading. If this book doesn't have you taking a second look at your life and really, REALLY thinking about the consequences of sin, then you've probably missed the point of the book. The dragon in this book represented sin/Satan and if you were a sinner, the dragon owned you and your soul. The only people who weren't afraid of the dragon were the men/women who believed in Jesus Christ. The powerful and ironic thing in the book was that Harold Bly, who practically owned the entire town and who was a direct descendent of Benjamin Hyde, really thought he was the dragon's "master" but he learned, the HARD way, that the dragon wasn't on his side anymore than any other sinners in Hyde River. For someone looking for a Christian fictional book with an unforgettable message, give The Oath a try.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Zipprich on May 7, 2002
Format: Paperback
The Oath is perhaps Peretti's best work. While this book does not follow his Darkness sequels (no angel and demon confrontations), it paints a very vivid picture of what happens when people begin to try to hide their sins from the world and reject that God exists. Except that the sins of Hyde River are personified in a living being whose mere mention casts fear and anger into peoples minds and hearts. For this reason, the town of Hyde River has kept its past a secret from outsiders. It is a town controlled by sin and fear. And these two aspects of their lives are preyed upon by the descendent of the town founder Benjamin Hyde and the last living family member, Harold Bly. But when an outsider is killed by the town's greatest secret, the people find hiding their past extremely difficult. Especially since the death of the outsider was witnessed by his wife. And even more so when the victim's brother begins to pry into the lives of the town people, uncover their darkest secret, and solve the mystery of his brother's death.
What tale Peretti spins is not a confrontation in the spiritual realm with angels and demons battling for the souls of mortal men, but a very vivid picture of what can happen when people reject God and begin to think they can live how they want.
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