Book review: Devil’s Ink

by Jeffrey C. Pugh

★★★★★

Is the Devil omniscient or merely opinionated? I don’t know. He certainly has lots to say, as he rants for page after page in his “blog from the basement office.”

At first, I felt like I just wasn’t getting it. I shook my head over the first dozen pages, thankful this lurking evil was all a myth. Then, I considered the many who do take the Devil seriously, imagining him as a sort of personified version of everything wrong with the world, and to them, this book must be absolutely frightful! How does one dare make light of the Evil One himself? The book is edgy to begin with, but as I imagined the dichotomy between believers and non-believers, it became doubly so.

When I came to realize Pugh was just building a little atmosphere, I started to relax. A feisty critter, that Devil. Arrogant, insulting, mischievous, sleazy, often crabby. I stuck my tongue out at the cranky old coot whenever he came unhinged. He does like to rant:

“If someone screws with me, they should pay. I really don’t want them forgiven. That’s just how I roll. Who is “god” to forgive someone who wrongs me, anyway? It’s sheer arrogance, it is.”

But my comfort faded when the book took another turn, and began to get serious. A new, not-so-simple image of God began to surface, one you “can’t put on a stained-glass window like you can a bearded guy on a throne.” Political, intelligent, and relevant, Pugh soon gave me much to think about, if I could keep from burning out by constantly looking at the world through the lens of the gleefully evil.

Suggestion: The blog-sized sections make for a perfect bathroom reader.

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