Frank E. Peretti

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Frank E. Peretti
Born (1951-01-13) January 13, 1951 (age 70)
Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
GenreChristian fiction
Notable worksThis Present Darkness, The Oath

Frank Edward Peretti (born January 13, 1951) is a New York Times best-selling author of Christian fiction, whose novels primarily focus on the supernatural. To date, his works have sold over 15 million copies worldwide.[citation needed] Peretti is best known for his novels This Present Darkness (1986) and Piercing the Darkness (1989). Peretti has held ministry credentials with the Assemblies of God, and formerly played the banjo in a bluegrass band called Northern Cross. He now lives in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho with his wife, Barbara.


Frank E. Peretti was born in southern Alberta, Canada, but raised in Seattle, Washington for most of his life. Peretti was a natural storyteller who, as a child in Seattle, regularly told stories to neighborhood children. After graduating from high school, he began playing banjo with a local bluegrass group. Later, he studied English, screen writing and film at UCLA, and then assisted his father in pastoring a small Assembly of God church. In 1983, he gave up his pastoring position and began taking construction jobs to make ends meet.

The start of an Author[edit]

Early work[edit]

While working at a ski factory, Peretti wrote and published a well-received adventure story for children, The Door in the Dragon's Throat (1985). A year later, he published This Present Darkness (1986), his most famous and popular novel to date. Although This Present Darkness was not an immediate success, sales improved with word of mouth. The book remained on the Christian Booksellers Association's top ten best-sellers list for over 150 consecutive weeks, and has currently sold over 2 million copies worldwide.

Peretti followed This Present Darkness with a sequel Piercing the Darkness (1989), another tremendous success. Combined, This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness have sold 3.5 million copies.

Peretti also took the characters from his first work The Door in the Dragon's Throat and used them to write The Cooper Kids Adventure Series, releasing seven more titles that contained the same Indiana Jones-style adventures similar to The Door in the Dragon's Throat.

Throughout the 1990s, Peretti continued to write full-time, releasing Prophet (1992), The Oath (1995), and The Visitation (1999). The Oath, generally regarded as one of Peretti's greater works, has sold more than one million copies, and received the ECPA Gold Medallion Book Award for Best Fiction in 1996. The Visitation landed at #19 on the New York Times Bestseller list and was adapted into a film in 2006.[1]

Later years[edit]

The turn of the millennium saw Peretti's departure from writing his popular novels. He wrote a 2000 memoir, The Wounded Spirit, which covered his struggles as a child with a facial tumor known as cystic hygroma, which caused him to be mocked by other children and retreat to solitude, until it was eventually treated with multiple surgeries. He dwelled on the subject of bullying in his non-fiction titles No More Victims (2001) and No More Bullies (2003).

In 2001, Peretti released Hangman's Curse, the first book in the Veritas Project series for teens. The book was an instant hit among both teens and adults, and was made into a low-budget 2003 film of the same name. The second book in the series, Nightmare Academy, was published in 2002 with equal success. The two books together sold more than 500,000 copies, according to Thomas Nelson Publishers. Peretti has mentioned that there may be more possible entries in the Veritas Project series.

Peretti's first full-length novel after 2000 was the 2005 thriller Monster, which played with the Bigfoot legend and explored issues surrounding the "survival of the fittest" and creationist-based objections to evolution. Monster hit the New York Times Bestseller list at #34 on its first week and rose to #29 on its second week.

In April 2006, Peretti and fellow supernatural author Ted Dekker co-authored the novel House. It received mixed reviews from Peretti and Dekker fans, but was popular enough to be adapted as the 2008 film House, starring Michael Madsen.

In April 2010, it was announced that Peretti had signed with Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster) for a new novel. The novel, Illusion, was published in March 2012.


Tilly, a novella which started out as an audio drama produced by Focus on the Family and aired on August 10, 1987, was adapted into a forty-minute film by Pro-Life group, Love Life America, in 2002 and shown on both PAX TV and briefly on the EWTN show Defending Life before being released on DVD. It was directed by Stephen Vidano and produced by IMS Productions.

In 2004 Hangman's Curse was made into a film, in which Peretti himself had a small role as an eccentric professor, Dr. Algernon Wheeling. It had a limited release in theaters but appears to have been successful enough to encourage film producers to continue developing Peretti's books into films.

The Visitation was also made into a film by Twentieth Century Fox in 2006.

House was released in select theaters on November 7, 2008.

In addition to his appearance in Hangman's Curse, Peretti has had a voice role in Flo, the Lying Fly, the second computer animated entry in the Hermie and Friends series for children. He has also made a number of videos (and associated audio tapes and books) in which he takes on the persona of Mr. Henry, a slightly eccentric inventor and Bible teacher. While the format is unusual, it contains none of the theology of his adults' books.

Critical reviews[edit]

Frank Peretti has been hailed as "America's Hottest Christian Novelist" and a "sanctified Stephen King". He has received generally positive praise from many Christian book reviews, his books being heralded as telling entertaining stories with complex interwoven plots.[2][unreliable source?]

Theological criticisms[edit]

Peretti's fictional portrayal of spiritual warfare reflects in part his background in the Assemblies of God and the contemporary focus of Pentecostal writings on the demonic. His concept of Territorial Spirits reigning over cities is paralleled in non-fiction works in theology and missions by Pentecostal writers such as C. Peter Wagner, Larry Lea, Ed Silvoso and Ed Murphy.

As his novels have been widely sold and read throughout Evangelical, Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, Peretti's fiction has excited the imaginations of clergy and laity alike on the subject of spiritual warfare. Michael Maudlin reports that some readers have been so enthused they have declared that This Present Darkness is the best book ever written after the Bible.[citation needed]

Some critical reservations have been expressed by a number of Evangelical and Pentecostal writers that many readers are using Peretti's novels as manuals on prayer, exorcism, spiritual warfare and as guidebooks about dangers of the New Age movement. For example, Kim Riddlebarger expresses alarm that many readers have "redefined their entire worldview based upon a novel" and insists that the Bible does not corn upon Christians to "engage in spiritual warfare as a combat between angels and demons".[3]

Irving Hexham rejects Peretti's depiction of the New Age as confirming a negative stereotype. Hexham observes that Peretti's novels reflect the anxieties that many fundamentalist and evangelical Christians have about secular society, the mass media, the social sciences and tertiary education. He is also disturbed "to see the way Frank Peretti has become a popular and oft-quoted authority on the New Age" because "his actual qualifications in religious matters are minimal".[4]



The Veritas Project series[edit]

  1. Hangman's Curse (2001)
  2. Nightmare Academy (2002)

The Harbingers series[edit]

  1. Invitation: Cycle One (2017)
  2. The Assault: Cycle Two (2017)
  3. Probing: Cycle Three (2017)

The Cooper Kids adventure series[edit]

  1. The Door in the Dragon's Throat (1985)
  2. Escape from the Island of Aquarius (1986)
  3. The Tombs of Anak (1987)
  4. Trapped at the Bottom of the Sea (1988)
  5. The Secret of the Desert Stone (1995)
  6. The Deadly Curse of Toco-rey (1996)
  7. The Legend of Annie Murphy (1996)
  8. Flying Blind (1997) (also known as Mayday at Two Thousand Five Hundred Feet)


  • The Wounded Spirit (2000)
  • No More Victims (2000)
  • No More Bullies (2003)

Other titles[edit]

  • Tilly (1988)
  • All Is Well: The Miracle of Christmas in July (2003)


  1. ^ New Release Today "Author Profile | Biography And Bibliography | NewReleaseToday" Check |url= value (help). Retrieved 1 January 2019.
  2. ^ "Frank Peretti Reviews | Christian Author | Frank Peretti Official Site | Christian Bestsellers - Frank Peretti". 8 June 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-06-08.
  3. ^ Riddlebarger, Kim (1993). "This Present Paranoia". Modern Reformation. 2 (3): 278-279.
  4. ^ Hexham, Irving (1992), "The Evangelical Response to the New Age", in Lewis, James R.; Melton, J. Gordon (eds.), Perspectives on the New Age, Albany, NY: SUNY Press, p. 157

External links[edit]