This Present Darkness

by Frank E. Peretti

Paperback, 1986



Call number

813 PER



Call number

813 PER




"Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful pastor begin to compare notes, they suddenly find themselves fighting a hideous New Age plot to subjugate the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race"--Container.

Local notes

Ashton is just a typical small town. But when a skeptical reporter and a prayerful pastor begin to compare notes, they suddenly find themselves fighting a hideous New Age plot to subjugate the townspeople, and eventually the entire human race. Not since The Screwtape Letters has there been a novel with as much insight into spiritual warfare and the necessity of prayer. Fast-moving, riveting reading ranking with the best thrillers on the bookshelf. Recommended by Kathryn Mesward


Crossway Books (1986), Edition: Assumed First, 376 pages

Original publication date



0891073906 / 9780891073901


(633 ratings; 3.9)

User reviews

LibraryThing member dccab73
This is my second time reading through "This Present Darkness" and each time I get reminded on how important the power of prayer is to our lives and spiritual survival. Peretti does a great job depicting the spiritual struggles between demons, humans, and angels. This is definitely a book that the devil does not appreciate. It is an awesome reminder that we have victory through Christ's Blood and becasue of that we can overcome the evil in this world. The books plot is not super strong, but it's the vivid reminders of spiritual warfare that makes this book.… (more)
LibraryThing member hopefully86
If you have ever wondered why it constantly feels like there's a war going on...this book is for you. The war Peretti details has nothing to do with bombs, however, but the battle for our souls. Fans of C.S. Lewis will love this series by Peretti. I would recommend these books to anyone.
LibraryThing member duthduck
I read this book many years ago, and loved it and was completely enthralled by it.
LibraryThing member bluenichols
spiritual warfare at its best. really makes you think
LibraryThing member KingstonUCA
This spiritual thriller is an enthralling read, although a little slow at the beginning. It centres around a ficticious town, Ashton that is being taken over by New Age forces. Much of the story occurs within the spiritual realm with battles between angels and demons. It is a powerful illustration of the necessity of prayer.
LibraryThing member ShortyBond
This amazing author does it again in this incredible book about the forces of good and evil!
LibraryThing member Islandmumma2seven
Kept me on the Edge Of my Seat Great Book
LibraryThing member Omrythea
A story about the battle for souls. It is a page-turner.
LibraryThing member raquel_soto
I remember when I first read the book. I thought: Wow! Someone wrote down what I think goes on behind what we cannot see.

I loved this book so much that when CBD put it on sale a few years ago I got like 10 of them and gave them away as gifts. It not only entertains, but opens your eyes to the wonderful ministry of angels and the beauty of God's love for us, in spite of what is out there to try to steal, kill, and destroy from us.… (more)
LibraryThing member casanders2015
A hard-nosed reporter and a praying preacher find themselves fighting against unknown elements in their small college town of Ashton. Each combat the unknown in his own way. At the same time, forces of good and evil converge for an ultimate battle in which the entire town is at stake.
LibraryThing member Ameliaiif
I've griped about Angel fiction lately, so here's a book that has angel characters "done right." In fact, this is one of my favorite books of all time. It's a fun read, but definitely meaningful and a little freaky, actually. I would recommend this book to everyone - realistic, useful and incredibly exciting, these are the kind of angels to read about! Check this out!… (more)
LibraryThing member trueturquoise
This is my second Frank E. Peretti book. It's long like is others...but it's good none the less.
LibraryThing member HobbitGirl09
An amazing story about the warfare between angels and demons, the battle of good against evil, and the fact that everyone, everywhere -- even in a quiet, small town -- has a hand in it. My favorite of Peretti's work!
LibraryThing member esharp393
this is one of the best books i've ever read, also it's sequel, piercing the darkness.
LibraryThing member TPLThing
I just reread this spiritual warfare thriller by Christian author Frank Peretti. It is as pertinent now as when published 20 years ago, and deserves an encore. I have my reserve in for House, the new epic Peretti wrote with Ted Dekker that's just come out this month. I'll be reporting back!
LibraryThing member KathleenA
I thought I had read this book. It was new to my library when I came to my current position. My book club students picked this book to read, so I began what I thought was a second read and realized pretty quickly that I hadn't read it, since I would not have forgotten this book that easily. It is excellent.
LibraryThing member scarpettajunkie
This Present Darkness was first published in 1986. The edition I read was in its seventeenth printing. It is a book that has proven itself shelf and read worthy by virtue of its universal theme of good versus evil. There are also themes of light versus dark, the big corporation versus small town business, and racketeering/intrigue versus the psychological and spirtual well being of community at large.

On the surface, this is about the small town of Ashton in which things are taking a downhill turn for the worse. The town is slowly leaving its typical activities for more nefarious shadow type dealings. A reporter and a pastor compare notes and discover a plan to control the townspeople and even all humanity.

What is unseen is the holy and demonic battle for all of earths souls. Angels and demons converse concurrently with the townspeople of Ashton. This creates two plots that eventually mesh into high stakes race for souls.

This book kept me turning pages well past my bedtime. It makes praying to God mean something. The book shows horrible consequences for actions that are not well considered. It was as if all the stories of the Bible were complied into one whopper of a meaningful tale. This book gets my big thumbs up as being an insightful morality tale for all.
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LibraryThing member baruchviviers
Helpfull and encouraging,but there is nothing better than the real thing.
LibraryThing member LisaMaria_C
This gets as high a rating as it does because I have to acknowledge it does have its merits when contrasted to the books in the genre I've read, even if this is emphatically not a book for me. I tried this because I'm working through a list of recommended reading, "The Ultimate Reading List" and decided not to skip the "Inspirational Fiction" section of Christian fiction despite not being a believer. After all, I do love CS Lewis, so I thought there might be one gem on the list. This did well in presenting a community, that of small town Ashton, in displaying a sense of humor, and gets points for imagination.

In this novel, dark forces are gathering in the town--a battle of good and evil, with two chosen humans, the young pastor Henry Busch and the weary, cynical publisher of the small town newspaper, Marshall Hogan. Demons hover over both trying to break them or at least wear them down--demons with names like Complacency, Deception, Lawlessness and Jealousy. Also gathering are an Angelic host, but they need "prayer cover" from believers to have the strength to defeat the evil.

What kills this novel for me is what Peretti sets as his forces of darkness. The Reverend Olive Young is one of those personifications of evil--because, after all, he cares about "saving the whales" and his congregation is described as "different, liberal, even bizarre." But the most venom goes into the descriptions of Professor Langstrat, a woman who actually teaches her psychology students to ask difficult philosophical questions of ontology and metaphysics, but worst of all, promotes such New Age ideas as goddess worship.

Sorry--I've known too many wonderful people who consider themselves part of the New Age movement or even Pagans--kind, compassionate honest and wise, to put up with this bigoted demonization of them for the purposes of fiction.
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LibraryThing member gbgirl
Excellent book on Spiritual Warfare
LibraryThing member christianlit
This is a very compelling book that really explains the fight between good and evil that is going on around us all the time.
LibraryThing member jennifer.a.mcgee
The first novel I've read from Peretti, and let me tell you I was NOT disappointed! What amazing insight the author has into a realm that could and probably does exist all around us. It really pushes you to think outside of the box as well as your own comfort zone. This book and it's sequel are absolutely incredible and life changing!… (more)
LibraryThing member DaleCogdell
This book along with its companion, Piercing the Darkness, puts a real mental picture on the subject of the real supernatural.Must read for those wanting to know what is going on all around us in the invisible realm.
LibraryThing member OCMCCP
This Present Darkness, by Frank Peretti, is among the classic novels of the Christian thriller genre. First published in 1986, Peretti's book set a suspenseful standard in spiritual warfare story-telling that has rarely been met by his contemporaries. Set in the apparently innocent small town of Ashton, This Present Darkness follows an intrepid born-again Christian preacher and newspaper reporter as they unearth a New Age plot to take over the local community and eventually the entire world. Nearly every page of the book describes sulfur-breathing, black-winged, slobbering demons battling with tall, handsome, angelic warriors on a level of reality that is just beyond the senses. However, Christian believers and New Age demon-worshippers are able to influence unseen clashes between good and evil by the power of prayer. Peretti's violent descriptions of exorcisms are especially vivid: "There were fifteen [demons], packed into Carmen's body like crawling, superimposed maggots, boiling, writhing, a tangle of hideous arms, legs, talons, and heads." This book is not for the squeamish. But for page-turning spiritual suspense, it's hard to beat.… (more)
LibraryThing member DanielAlgara
If this didn't reek of Christian-speak and lame religious devices it would be a 4 star. Peretti is a master of character development. My only complaint would be that everyone is is starkly black and white, no gray characters or great thinkers, just religious:good; not-religious:bad. Kind of lame, but hey it's a Christian market book.… (more)


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