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Hostage to the Devil: The Possession and Exorcism of Five Americans Paperback – 31 Oct 1998

4.2 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 477 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins,Australia; Reissue edition (31 Oct. 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006065337X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060653378
  • Product Dimensions: 3.2 x 13.3 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 29,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"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

""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"

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"

"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""

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"

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"

"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

"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

About the Author

Malachi Martin eminent theologian, premier authority on the Roman Catholic Church, and former professor at the Vatican's Pontifical Biblical Institute-is the author of such national bestsellers as The Final Conclave, Vatican, The Jesuits, and The Keys of This Blood. His most recent book is Windswept House: A Vatican Novel.


Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on 8 July 1999
Format: Paperback
'Hostage to the Devil' is an incredibly frightening read.
It is not flashy. It will never be made into a movie.
'Hostage to the Devil' tells of true stories of possession in a manner of fact manner that is creepy beyond my ability to describe.
Malachi Martin is an excellent writer, I recommend all of his books. This book shows Martin smart enough to stand back and not try and add anything to material that on it's own will effect the reader in ways that one can not easily forget.
'Hostage to the Devil' is a very scary, truly terrifying book.
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By A Customer on 10 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
A well written, well researched explanation of the Catholic rite of exorcism as well as being a compelling story. Martin reviews five recent (70's) exorcisms in the U.S. and explains the different degrees of possession. I found myself developing a certain empathy for the possessed and praying for the exorcism to be successful.
The book is a compelling read and will capture your attention from the opening pages.
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Format: Paperback
I would have given this book ten stars if I could have. This book should be compulsory reading for everybody. It casts a light on this all too real unseen world of evil, a world that like it or not exists. The old saying comes to mind 'know thy enemy'.
This could very well be the best book ever written on the subject and is an immense help to anyone who takes their salvation seriously.
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By A Customer on 10 Jun. 1999
Format: Paperback
I don't quite understand what Malachi Martin is trying to achieve, but this book seems to have an eerie feeling surrounding it. From beginning to end, it breaks down the defences of the mind, and ends all logical reason.
I have had a profound change since reading this book, mentally and socially. The book has a frightening grasp, and almost demands to be read after finishing the first few pages. Feelings of guilt and terror accompany any reading. I truely feel that this book does more harm than good for the reader. Nonetheless, i cannot give it anything below 5 stars. Malachi Martin acheives something more from this than any ordinary book.
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Format: Paperback
I have to say that I couldn't put this book down! It is a big book and for me, a big read. I have to admit I didn't have any of the creepy things that happened to one or two of the other reviewers, happen to me because of the book, for which I was glad! Malachi Martin's style of writing, I thought, was excellent, as I was reading the different cases, I could almost feel what the person was going through, I've never known that in any other book I've read I must admit.

The main thread throughout each case, was that the person eventually "let" the invading spirit/being "in", they gave their permission, I had also heard this in other cases so I didn't have any problem with that thought, what I did, however, find disturbing, was just how easy it could be to "give in". Situations and the pressure getting so much the person just sort of "gave up".

I recommend this book, it was a terrific read and I bet it is one of those books that if you read a second time, you will find bits you missed the first time.

For anyone thinking of giving this book a go, I say go for it, it is compelling reading.
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Format: Paperback
I reccomend this book to anyone interested in the subject of demonic possession and exorcism. The book has a copy of the Catholic ritual of exorcism, along with extensive notes and information including prayers and several short essays. The only fault I found with this book was the reporting of the 5 cases themselves. Written as one might write a novel, these cases appear alomst fictional. Not that this is much of a problem, and it certainly makes the book more interesting to read, but I felt like I was reading a story rather than a true-life situation. Nevertheless, the many detailed sections of the book, combined with a non-preachy style make it a good buy for anyone interested in the subject matter.
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I was interested to read that so many other reviewers found this book frightening, but then I did not read it at night but during my lunch breaks at work. It is without doubt the best analysis of possession I have ever read. Most books on this topic treat exorcism like a walk in the park but I think this book tells it like it is however, I've only seen one possessed person so I'm no expert...It also leads out the thinking to the broader implications of the spiritual realm and in this day and age it is a place often forgotten...but actually central to our destiny.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Superb and utterly chilling accounts of demonic possession by the late great Malachi Martin. Martin is virtually unknown in England but was a highly successful bestselling author in the US and a former Catholic priest. He was in fact one of the best popular authors of the 20th century. This book scared me more than any horror film etc. I've ever watched. Whether you believe as Martin did that these cases are genuine or not it is well worth the read. I have read most of Martin's books now: they are all brilliant. If you can listen to his Art Bell interview about this subject. Your hair will stand on end!!!
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