The Demonologist: The Extraordinary Career of Ed and Lorraine Warren by Gerald Brittle

Life’s too short to finish shitty books.

I love ghost stories. I really do. I love them enough that I’ll sit through awful movies and tv shows – Paranormal State level awful. It was actually that show where I first became aware of Lorraine Warren – a sweet, elderly woman who senses paranormal entities and such. The name slid into my mental file cabinet, and I never thought about her again. Then I saw The Conjuring (which I found highly entertaining) and Ed and Lorraine Warren were a pretty central role. A combination of peaked interest, internet research and a friend’s tweet led me to The Demonologist.

I don’t believe in what the Warren’s do, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t make for entertaining content. The story in the movie about that freaky doll – awesome and terrifying. I had images of huddling, terrified under the covers while I read the stories of the Warren’s adventures. Andrea warned me that the book had its flaws – badly structured, too casual, littered with grammatical mistakes – but I can deal with that when it’s entertaining enough.

However, I just couldn’t finish this book. I can’t figure out if the problem was the fault of the writer or Ed Warren. The attitude toward the Warren patriarch was almost idolatrous at times. Brittle spoke of him in tones so full of awe, there’s no doubt in my mind that if Warren had told him that writing this book was a sign that he was possessed by a demonical (I’ll get back to that in a second)entity, he would have totally agreed and rushed himself to an exorcism. It’s like listening to a little boy talk about his awesome dad. Warren could do no wrong in Brittle’s mind.

If Warren is as conceited and disrespectful as this book makes him out to be, it actually skews my opinion of all the media I’ve seen featuring the Warren cases. Since this was written in the 80s, maybe there needs to be some wiggle room. It’s a different time and a different supernatural climate. The uber-religious focus of this book skews everything. The Warrens explain that there are two types of spirits – human and demon. Apparently, demonic is really the only kind! No matter what happens, it’s because of a demonic force: good things, bad things, completely random things (like running into the circle of light created by a street light). Demons apparently rule the world and Ed Warren is the only person who can save us.

Demonical – that’s the clinched my decision to stop reading. It seems like a little thing, but it was in pretty much every sentence. Every single paragraph at the very least. There are other words, Mr. Brittle. There are other words.

If you’ve ever rationalized weird thing that have happened in your life and want someone to spank you for it, give this book a read. Otherwise, just stick to the glamorized Hollywood representations; they’re more entertaining.

*I believe that if Mr. Warren was still alive, he would credit this bad review to the demonic forces influencing my life.

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