It cracks me up how disparate the ratings are in this book’s reviews. That’s a sure sign of controversy about the book and its subject matter, with little regard to its quality. To rate a book 1 star because you believe the content is made up, yet being peddled as real is inappropriate. It would be like bashing Frankenstein or The Malleus Maleficarum for being unbelievable. I know, I know, the former was intended as fiction and the latter was from an unenlightened age by people who didn’t know better. But does that imply there aren’t books today peddling dubious concepts as fact by people that ought to know better…? I rest my case. I didn’t make it ten pages into Chariots of The Gods because not only was the subject matter ridiculous (which I knew before picking it up), but the style of presentation itself was ridiculous, like a street-corner preacher tugging at your shirt angry that you don’t take his words as self-obvious fact. This book was nothing like that.
I thought this book was even better than The Exorcist. The prose was clear, sharp, and intellectually rigorous. The plot, or rather the progression of the cases presented, was well-structured. The book oscillates, documentary-like, between the interview format and the narrative exposition of some of the cases. The cases are presented using simple, straight description. The interviewees give thoughtful, intelligent responses, dripping with expert knowledge. It is easy to tell the Warrens are well-read, humble individuals who love their work.
Do not pick up this book for a scare. Like The Exorcist, it is intended to inform the curious, not frighten an audience. The content can be appreciated for its explanatory detail regardless of the reader’s level of skepticism. Theology can be a fascinating subject, but reading original documents can be tedious. This book succeeds in explaining theological concepts using secular language, and that is the source of its power.