Antall’s latest novel is a delightful review of the mistake called “Christmas” from a perspective that every pro-abortion Democratic politician would appreciate: Satan himself.
If the preceding sounds emotionally charged, then you’ll love Richard Antall’s latest novel, an account of how Satan and his minions would view the birth of Christ if, as the novel suggests, “computer” files were obtained of “reports” from Satan’s demons, trying to explain how they let the baby Jesus slip through their hands and failed to kill Him.
The novel is an attempt of reportage from Hell. No one has ever considered the birth of Christ from the perspective of Satan, who calls the Incarnation the “Invasion” by the “enemy” angels who chose to remain with God. Antall does a remarkable job of filling in the gaps of what a demonic account of this supreme failure would be.
And “failure” is what Christmas is, if you’re a fallen angel working for Lucifer. Since devils despise human life (which explains why they would promote abortion, infanticide, and euthanasia), the birth of Jesus is the ultimate failure for the third of the heavenly host which fell from Heaven instead of the joyous time that the Christian world knows it to be.
The novel is certainly not simple, as in naïve. It contains several erudite passages, including sophisticated Persian or French terms like “Dahak” or “mauvaise foi”, most of which, fortunately, are translated for us ignorant American readers (9, 58). Also, some literary allusions require diligent readers to check DuckDuckGo. For example, “who said that history might have been different if a certain Egyptian queen [Cleopatra] had had a longer […] nose”? Answer: Blaise Pascal (172).
But that’s the fun of this fictional account of Satan and his minions covering their asses for the failure of stopping the birth of the Messiah.
Antall has a wonderful ability to create characters with whom us ordinary people can identify, probably because he has decades of experience not only reading the quantities of books that he has (when you think of Antall, think of an educated man), but also “reading” people who come to him for spiritual counseling or remission of their sins.
For example, even though she was a most exuberant whore and conveyor of abortifacients all of her life, readers will cheer when Pulcheria has a change of heart near the time of her collapsing in death (118). Similarly, readers feel joy when the drunkard Nathan acts like a little child, urging his animals to warm the Holy Family as the Virgin Mary gives birth (178).
Moreover, the novel’s comedy is obvious and sophisticated. I laughed out loud on reading the hilarious “transcriptions” of what are purported to be court records of the trials of the devils who were unable to stop Jesus’ birth. A filmmaker would have a delightful time producing a Perry Mason-like version of many of these passages (cf. 58ff).
Technically, the novel has merits which should endear it to college and university faculty and students. The polyvocal contributions of devilish commentary on the Messiah’s birth, the sometimes erudite literary allusions, and the plausibility of what can be categorized as a spiritual allegory should make this novel popular with students in secular institutions, which love anything which seems to attack Christianity. Orthodox Catholic colleges and universities, of course, will appreciate the novel for its contrarian perspective.
Not only to be read during Christmas, Antall’s latest work can supplement one’s faith journey throughout the year since the topic is universal: the importance of Jesus’ Incarnation. Who would have “thunk” that a novel written from the perspective of devils could increase someone’s faith?