December 22, 2009

End the year with Evil

by Timothy Carter

There are a lot of issues to deal with in this novel: masturbation, homosexuality, religious fanaticism, hatred, torture, love, forgiveness (or lack of it), and the occult. It all begins when Stuart's brother catches him masturbating in the shower. It sets off a bizarre chain of events that result in Stuart teaming up with a demon named Fon Pyre to save the townspeople from a pair of hatred-inciting fallen angels.

The angels' negative influence over the townspeople cause them to perceive innocent acts, such as watching music videos or changing a tampon, as sinful and punishable. This leads to mob scenes, stone-throwing - injuring the town priest, Father Reedy - and a cringe-inducing incident when Stuart's mother almost scalds his privates with boiling water. It also makes the entire town vulnerable to an invasion by demons.

Evil is fast-paced and violent, but it does contain subtle, even humorous lessons about the dangers of taking the Bible too literally, of not thinking for oneself, and of blindly following amoral leaders without question. Amazingly, it all ends well, even though Stuart is forced to leave town for good. But don't assume that we have heard the last of Stuart, Reedy, and Fon Pyre. More adventures are sure to follow.

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