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Publisher's Summary

California pastor Father Gary Thomas reluctantly accepted the request of his bishop to attend a course on demonic possession in Rome. He participated in more than 80 exorcisms alongside a senior Italian exorcist. Matt Baglio had full access to Fr. Thomas as he learned the process of exorcism and as he grew and changed in his understanding of the nature of evil and human suffering.

The Rite describes the reality of demonic possession. It also traces the history of exorcism and and treats related topics such as satanic cults and black masses. Since Fr. Thomas was a skeptic and the author is a fact-seeking journalist, this book is more compelling even than the previous best-seller on this topic, The Exorcist.

©2009 Matt Baglio (P)2009 St. Anthony Messenger Press

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Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • VH
  • California
  • 01-06-11

Excellent

This is an absorbing story, better than The Exorcist, at least from the standpoint of authenticity and documentation of the subject. I later saw the trailer of the film LOOSELY based on this book. While it seems like a good film, it makes major changes to the book. The book, narrated by the author, tells the real journey of a Rome UPI based journalist who started off just wanting to write an article about a new Vatican initiative to train and send off an exorcist to every Catholic diocese. So Baglio befriended and followed the experiences of an American priest undergoing what became a thoroughly life altering transformation from a kind of light hearted Bing Crosby type pastor to one who has witnessed "the dark side" and grown very deeply aware of a reality most of us don't want to even think about. The book does not at all see the Devil behind every corner. Indeed it emphasizes that an exorcism only takes place as a last resort after the analyses of a team of a psychologist, medical doctors, and psychiatrist cannot remedy the symptoms and certain overt paranormal activity takes place. Almost all cases are indeed deemed to be of psychological, not demonic, disturbance. It was really spooky to hear of what medical/head shrinker team members (cited by name and institution) reported witnessing. Though I was spellbound hearing this book, I haven't played again it since because it was a draining experience.

22 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Very Interesting; Wish Narration Had Been Better

Although the delivery was very mechanical, the material held my interest start to finish. The subject gave me quite a bit of insight into the theology of demons. The best part, for me, was the explanation of how demons came to be. This actually allowed me to reach a better understanding of the background of the covenant and the need for redemption by Jesus Christ.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The Rite

Well researched. Not trying to convert. Intelligent and gives you something to think about.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Ratio of background to story too high

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The editor needed to reduce the exposition and explanatory sections and focus on the storyline.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

The priest's story was interesting. I would have preferred to hear more vignettes about actual exorcisms.

What aspect of Matt Baglio’s performance would you have changed?

It is unfortunate that so many authors don't realize that they don't have an entertaining speaking voice. Coupled with a storyline that often provided too much explanation and background, the authors nasal tone made it easy for me to lose focus.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Absolutely not.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Kevin
  • Baton Rouge, LA, United States
  • 06-30-11

veritas

This read is a spiritual work of mercy. Not only does it instruct, it directs the faithful to embrace the sacraments and the sacramentals. Far from sending many devoted Christians into panic or hysteria, the book creates a sense of peace, stressing ordinary means to extraordinary healing. Well written, informative, and filled with what all of our hearts deeply desire: the truth.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Instruction

Would you listen to The Rite again? Why?

No. This book is much more of an instruction giving the history and details surrounding the rite of exorcism. As far as entertainment, thrills, this book is pretty lacking. That is not to say it is not a great text book and very interesting. If looking for factual knowledge I would highly recommend.

What other book might you compare The Rite to and why?

This book would be on the same shelf as those published by Gabrielle Amorth. They are books of instruction and are not written to give readers a sense of thrill or entertainment factors.

Which character – as performed by Matt Baglio – was your favorite?

No favorite character identified.

What’s the most interesting tidbit you’ve picked up from this book?

The variations throughout history of increased and subsequent decreased possessions.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Stephen
  • CLIFTON, NJ, United States
  • 05-15-11

The Rite is right on!

A fantastic book, everyone that has any doubt about evil should read this book!!!!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

This is NOT a scary story, but about the REAL side

If you can get past the sometimes bland reading, there is a lot here to take in.

What I enjoyed most about this was how it simply treated the very serious and spiritual rite of exorcism in a clinical nature like it was the most normal and natural thing in the world. No matter your belief system, this book offers a peek inside a world that is often treated as a vehicle for Hollywood horror. It give you something to ponder.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

I Enjoyed the Story

If you could sum up The Rite in three words, what would they be?

Well written and easy to follow the storyline in addition, the narration was done very well made it easy to listen to for several hours at a time.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rite?

I would not say the book has increased my interest since I already have a high level of interest in this particular topic.

Which character – as performed by Matt Baglio – was your favorite?

I think just being straight forward about telling the story made the information interesting and insightful.

If you could give The Rite a new subtitle, what would it be?

Nothing, the narration was well done for me to easily listen.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Rite

Text like in delivery, but informative with regard to the Catholic religion and it's stances on the subject both past and present. Not a read for pleasure, but rather a read for knowledge.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful