What am I reading? Deliver Us From Evil by Ralph Sarchie and Lisa Collier Cool

I picked this book up at Haslam’s in St. Petersburg, Florida, one of the biggest and coolest bookstores I’ve ever seen in my life. I was so overwhelmed by the sheer size of this place that I didn’t take any photos, but trust me, it’s amazing. Supposedly it’s also haunted, but that’s another story.

Unfortunately for me, the place where I purchased it is the most exciting thing about this book.

I was honestly really excited to read it, which is why I purchased it new in physical form. I thought it would be an excellent addition to my creepy book collection. In reality, it’s a whole bunch of churchy proselytizing nonsense.

Don’t get me wrong: while I’m not religious I understand why some people are, and like most other beliefs I have a sort of “live and let live” attitude about it. It’s none of my business how people worship or what they believe, as long as those beliefs aren’t being legislated or in some way forced on me.

The dude who wrote this book is a Catholic cop involved in paranormal investigations and (supposed) exorcisms in New York City; to me, this sounded absolutely¬†fascinating. In the first 100 pages (which is as far as I’ve managed to read), he’s spent the most time talking about Almighty God and his son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. At this point, it’s repetitive and redundant, and I’m wondering why his editor didn’t tell him to cut some of it out. He skimps on the details of his investigations in favor of heaping more praise on God and his tone is so alarmist. He likes to talk about the city being under diabolical siege, and it reminds me of one of those weird preacher dudes who stands on the street in big cities yelling “REPENT!” at the top of their lungs at no one in particular.

He also seems to think that every instance of paranormal activity is in some way demonic. I don’t doubt that there’s true evil in this world, or that humans can be influenced by that evil, but when something weird or out of the ordinary happens, I don’t automatically jump to the conclusion that it’s a) paranormal or b) demonic, and this dude seems to. It’s illogical at best and irresponsible at worst; people trust him to be an authority on these things and he’s potentially giving them false information. Or false hope.

He takes cheap shots at liberals and feminists, says some borderline racist stuff about “thugs” in the “hood”, and generally seems to embody that arrogant, “I’ve seen some shit” cop stereotype. He’s a bad writer. I kind of hate him.

I think it goes without saying that I won’t be finishing this book.

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