There is just something about a classic book, especially a classic horror book. The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell is a story we are quite familiar with, but it is still worth the read to see how the genre changed throughout the years.
Susan was a straight laced 16 year old, until the fits started happening. She wouldn't go into church anymore, she has started swearing, and when confronted by a priest, she attempts to seduce him before digging her nails into his throat.
Two other priests are called into action. One is the Bishop of the area, who has seen something like this in the past, but doesn't want to believe it is happening again. The other is a younger priest who struggles with his faith as well as a drinking problem.
Susan is brought to the priest's house to have the ancient rite of the exorcism performed. Throughout the next few days, both men must clear Susan of the devil. She will tell their darkest secrets, parishioners will become suspicious as they hear a woman in the priest's parsonage, and the two men will fight one another. They will continue on to help Susan become the sweet 16 year old she once was.
Now immediately, most people will say- that sounds like The Exorcist! You would be correct, except this book was written almost a decade before the Exorcist made its way onto the screen. This book is an original work of a now well known genre.
The book is tamer than most of the newer exorcism type stories, but it still has a lot of bite for a book written in 1962. Imagine the idea of a 16 year old seducing a priest by sitting nude on his desk and telling the priest she knows he wants her to a soon to be counter culture group, but not there yet. Think about the idea that priests can rape children to this same group, which we would find out later was happening, but the idea would have been shocking. This is why one reads classic books.
The book was a very fast read at just over 150 pages and was a lot of fun. I enjoyed myself while reading this and was glad I cracked the spine to see the origins of a genre.
I gave this one 4 stars.
Here is your Amazon link- The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell