Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “This Present Darkness” as Want to Read:
This Present Darkness
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

This Present Darkness (Darkness #1)

4.22 of 5 stars 4.22  ·  rating details  ·  60,148 ratings  ·  1,327 reviews
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 preache ...more
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 10 pages
Published August 28th 1990 by Crossway Books (first published 1986)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about This Present Darkness, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Memz Turaga Piercing the Darkness is something similar to This Present Darkness and it also deals with spiritual warfare....good read and i love it...and both…morePiercing the Darkness is something similar to This Present Darkness and it also deals with spiritual warfare....good read and i love it...and both written by the same author
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Dec 04, 2013 Adam rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one
Shelves: horror-fiction
Besides the bad writing and the clichéd, predictable storytelling, the message of this book is really ugly. Tall, handsome angels are associated with Protestantism, and foul demons are associated with, well, everything else (e.g., New Age spirituality, Eastern religions, and any philosophy that does not place Christ at its center). Personally I think New Age philosophies, astrology, and crystal power are all pretty silly, but deliberately associating them with Satan is not only ridiculously simp ...more
Brian Hodges
Christian fiction at its very best.

Peretti doesn't make the mistake that a lot of other Christian authors make. He doesn't ever stop telling his story to preach some valuable theological lesson. Rather he weaves it seamlessly into the narrative. The overarching theme of this book is "the power of prayer". But the story is straight out of a Stephen King novel. A small town is under attack from dark forces, both in this world and in the spiritual realm. The story is told from the points of view of
I remember "This Present Darkness" with fondness from my early - mid teen years. While some may disdainfully complain that Peretti is nothing but a fantasy writer for Christians and that his works cause the easily influenced to see demons behind every tree, in my opinion he does the church a service by reminding us of the supernatural forces which actually *are* at work in our world and which many of us have done out best to forget in this "modern" era. Do they function exactly as Peretti descri ...more
Eddy Wood
This book was written in 1986, but I read it for the first time just recently. There are some things about the book that seem a bit dated now, but at the time I'm sure Frank Peretti was breaking new ground in a lot of ways.
This book was written at a time when the big enemy to the church seemed to be the occult, and it exercising influence in American daily life, and surreptitiously leading Christians astray; hence the main themes of the book.

What this book did that was unique in its time was giv
Hands down, the most eye opening book I've ever read that actually changed my views and outlook at everyday happenstance in the world. I couldn't wait for the sequel but darn it. It just did not stack up to the first. Sure it's fiction but man..this particular fiction has become my fact by deliberate choice because for me there is no down side in doing so. The book is a sparkler. I passed it on to my husband, who couldn't put it down, then my son who also loved it and finally I convinced my non- ...more
I must honestly admit first and foremost that this is a book I read many years ago and as such I cannot offer properly any views about the quality of writing. That is except to admit while not the worst nor the greatest quality of writing Peretti is in my eyes a powerful story teller (although I must admit in my view his Monster is in some aspects more powerful) and for what he (I believe aimed to do his work is fine).

This Present Darkness is in many ways a thriller but I do not believe that the
Kristen Overton
Back when I was into Christian Literature, I really loved this author. I've moved past a lot of Christian Authors, persay, but Frank Peretti will always have my heart. He's very witty and well spoken (and a ham if you've heard him speak in public). This book was written with a lot of creativity and enlightenment, and though I've moved past a lot of the 'spiritual warefare' movement that ripped through the bible belt in the 90's, this book is still one of the most riveting I've ever read.

It's fl
I read this book decades ago and it had a really significant impact on me at the time. Though I was definitely a person of faith, the idea of spiritual warfare going on all about us in this modern day was very foreign to my understanding of how God works in world events today. Frank Peretti's fictional story of the community of Ashton was an enjoyable read back then, but it really challenged my thinking.

I have just re-read it because, surprise, it is our current book club selection. I was foggy
I have recently reread Daniel’s story from the Bible. Allow me to say that Daniel was my favorite Bible character when I was growing up. He was a prayerful man who did not bent to any pagan rule, even if it meant being fed to the lions on a pit. He was a man miraculously saved by an angel. He was guided by God, not only to see visions but interpret them as well. His book was, for me, the first evidence there was of spiritual warfare. Although angels appeared many times in the Bible, their battle ...more
I read this book twice, about a decade apart, and would read it again. Since I have an open mind about religion I could read it as a story and not as a religious philosophy. My dad didn't like the book because he didn't agree with the religious views in the book, but I saw them as background for the characters.

Anyway, the book is about the basic fight between angels and demons, but you see it from the angels' and demons' perspective, as well as from the humans' perspective that they are protecti
Nov 29, 2010 Hope rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hope by: Hearsay, my curiosity, and Peretti's name on the cover.
How do I review a book like this? I asked myself this question many times as I got further and further in, close and closer to the end.
How can I write a review worthy of this novel?

Now we must pause, and we must reflect…
What made it so good?
How can you even explain what made it so good?

There are no normal, straightforward words that can convey what this book really is. So I’ll go into descriptive/comparative mode now…

This book is dark, it’s frightening, maybe even slightly gritty. Kind of gave
Sarah Booth
May 04, 2012 Sarah Booth rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who enjoy Fundamentalist Christian Fantasy/Mystery books.
Recommended to Sarah by: but didn't warn me it was Fundamentalist Christian Literature that bashes Eastern Religions.
I didn't realize that this book was based on Fundamentalist Christianity when I downloaded it from The story started out just like any science fiction fantasy book and then introduced a Christian component which I was perfectly fine with though I originally thought it was merely a basic good vs. evil type story. Being a C.S. Lewis fan (also of his Christian essays and books) I didn't have any problem with the book until it started to demonized and vilify "Eastern Mysticism". Now man ...more
Anton Styles
Jun 11, 2013 Anton Styles rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Cats, because they can't read and would just piss on it or something
Recommended to Anton by: Church
I forgot all about this book until it popped up on Goodreads... I read it almost 10 years ago, as a sensitive, emotionally-wounded teenager, as I was being funneled through a fundamentalist religious conversion.

Basically, this book introduced a paranoid neurosis into my awareness of self-in-the-world. "The world" (read:everything except for fundamentalist warfare-obsessed Christianity) is painted as basically evil, and all well-meaning people who aren't Christians are actually playthings of demo
Lou Rocama
My boyfriend gave me this, and it had me on the floor laughing. I never actually read any of it past the cover blurb, but the idea of a nefarious new age plot to enslave the world struck me as hilarious, considering the things I knew about Wicca from my adolescent 'I wanna be a witch' phase. It involves a lot of gardening and smelly candles, from what I remember. Watching lunar cycles, I guess. 'Dancing about without your drawers on', as Pratchett's Granny Weatherwax says. Even now, I'm having t ...more
Frank E. Peretti's book This Present Darkness is brilliant. This is my second time reading this book, and I am even more impressed than the first time that I had read it, which was many years ago. As I read through it, I realized that I didn't remember large parts of the story and was so glad to have decided to read it again.

The story centers around two principal characters, Hank Busche, a new pastor of a small church in a nondescript college town, and Marshall Hogan, recently transplanted publi
This is the first of 2 books that were given to me during a very difficult and painful part of my life. I am not one to read religious (particularly Christian) based books if it's not a horror but these were different. This Present Darkness is the first of the two that I have read and is simply the good versus evil story with a much more contemporary drive behind it. More important is the 'hope' that this book can inspire - particularly if you are having a hard time trying to come to terms with ...more
Matt Piechocinski
Okay ... I did what everyone told me to do:

1. Keep in mind that it's written from the viewpoint of the fundamental religious right.

2. At the height of the Reagan era.

and, I still almost couldn't finish it. I'll be the first to admit that I don't agree with Peretti's agenda, but I'll also say that I imagine that there's pleanty of "normal" Evangelicals, just as there are Republicans. But, Peretti, I hope is just blinded by his faith, and just not flat out retarded.

The Cons:

For some reason, I don'
Joseph Lewis
Yes, its over stylized with unrealistically gentle depictions of evil, but its the grand-daddy of them all and deserves its five stars.
Jill Williamson
Review by Jill Williamson

Bernice Krueger, reporter for the Ashton Chronicle, finds herself in jail after being in the wrong place at the wrong time. She came to Ashton to investigate the supposed suicide of her sister. Now, she and her boss, Marshall Hogan, start investigating some strange occurrences in town.

Hank Busche is a small town pastor who is trying to keep his argumentative congregation from falling apart. Little does he know, there are dark forces in town that are set on seeing him fai
Nov 14, 2012 Cassie rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: noone
I read this book when I was a preteen and have been dealing with symptoms of brainwash ever since. Of course it was not this book alone that was responsible for the inner conflicts I have had so much trouble kicking all these years but I know for certain that it contributed a great deal to them. I have not read it since but from what I remember, it basically brainwashes you into thinking that anything other than the specific type of Christianity it condones is in fact a lie of the Devil.. it bra ...more
Peter Ibsen
Damn, It was a long day that involved my spend over 100$ on my truck, so to relax I got a pizza and went to the library to find a good horror novel. They were closing early and this looked somewhat promising. I did not realize it was a christian propaganda book untill halfway through. Damnit. It does get a couple stars for being page-turnery. But once you realize what the message is (new-age, mystasism, eastern religion, meditation, humanism... is SATAN IN THE FLESH) and notice that the author w ...more
Raven Warner
I had to read this book for school and it is one of the worst books I have ever read.

The plot was ignorant and unbelievable, the characters were boring, and I felt like I was being preached to the entire time. None of this should come as a surprise considering it is a Christian novel with an agenda of course. I especially found the idea that the villains would be controlled by demons while engaging in Eastern meditation and preaching unity and self-awareness.

I understand that this book was supp
This book annoyed me in so many ways. There were multiple typographical errors. The characters all began sentences with "Aw". Not every sentence, but enough to be really irksome. THe idea behind this book is interesting but the characters were so unbelievable. The Christians were either fanatical or really evil in disguise. Everything that happens is attributed to either demons or angels. It was just too much. I did finish the book and I have to say at least the pace did pick up about halfway th ...more
This is a fantastic book. I read it when I first became a christian and was having a hard time grasping/picturing spiritual warfare. One of my friends (now husband) suggessted that I read this book (as well as book 2) to get a visual image in my head of what could be going on in the spiritual world. It was an eye opener and really impressed upon me the need and power of prayer.

I've since read both books again. They are just that good..

Michael J
Sep 12, 2008 Michael J rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everybody!
Recommended to Michael by: Kenny
This book was amazing! it begins a little slowly, but the climax literally had me squeezing the book so hard my knuckles turned white. This book is written by a strong Christian, and really emphasizes the importance of continual and sincere prayer, as well as the real-ness of the spiritual battle going on all around us. A must-read for Christians.

This book was really something.
Growing up, I always remember the hype around this book and how it made Frank Peretti a must read for his future publications. I avoided it for a long time because it was a book meant for older audiences, dealing with mature situations and also very long and very boring conversations about investigation.

But this was very epic. It really gave an interesting perspective about the spiritual world and how our world affects almost everything about it. There were very

Lisa (Harmonybites)
Jun 22, 2011 Lisa (Harmonybites) rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christian Fundamentalists Only--No Liberals Need Apply
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 ...more
I remember reading this book for the first time many years ago as a teenager. Reading it again twenty years later as an adult, I find I didn’t enjoy it nearly as much as I did when I read it for the first time at age twelve. What I believed as a teenager and what I experienced as an adult, gave me two different perspectives about this book. Both times I’ve enjoyed it for various reasons: the action, suspense, battle scenes, three dimensional characters, detailed writing, an imaginative plot, and ...more
I loved this book when I was 13. It's fast paced and entertaining with lots of twists, suspense, and a feel good ending. Unfortunately, it is also cliche, naive, and ignorant. Example: A character gets "hopped up on marijuana," and robs a bank. Every vice known to man from complacency to rape is attributed to the influence of specific demons. The christian distrust of psychology is also evident. Psychologists are just satan worshipping, yoga practicing liberals. There is also a blatant ignorance ...more
Has one ever wondered what it is actually like in the celestial world? Are there angels trying to protect us from everyday lives? Does it even exist? In the novel “This Present Darkness,” author Frank Peretti gives a taste of what is going on in the celestial world as his characters go throughout their day by showing the “other side” of things.
Even for those that do not enjoy reading, “This Present Darkness” has an insight on information that the human mind always wonders about. This author tri
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • White: The Great Pursuit (The Circle, #3)
  • Lord Foulgrin's Letters
  • Munich Signature (Zion Covenant, #3)
  • The Veritas Conflict
  • The Ishbane Conspiracy
  • Eli
  • An Echo in the Darkness (Mark of the Lion, #2)
With more than 12 million novels in print, Frank Peretti is nothing short of a publishing phenomenon and has been called “America’s hottest Christian novelist.”

Peretti is a natural storyteller who, as a youngster in Seattle, regularly gathered the neighborhood children for animated storytelling sessions. After graduating from high school, he began playing banjo with a local blueg
More about Frank E. Peretti...

Other Books in the Series

Darkness (2 books)
  • Piercing the Darkness (Darkness, #2)
Piercing the Darkness (Darkness, #2) The Oath Monster The Visitation Prophet

Share This Book

“I understand that sometimes the truth of God’s Word can become a divider, an irritation, a stone of stumbling. But that’s only because it remains unchanged, uncompromising, and steadfast. And what better reason could there be to build our lives on such an immovable foundation? To violate the Word of God is only to destroy ourselves, our joy, our peace, our happiness.” 6 likes
“For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. —EPHESIANS 6:12” 3 likes
More quotes…