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Possession: The Strange Life of Walenty Karnowski Published by Outskirts Press

Gerald R. Schmidt concocts a brew of Catholic Poles, Lutheran Prussians and local Jews in this supernatural 19th century tale of sexual obsession, demonic possession and the role a baby plays at the cultural center of this turbulent religious world.

Jacksonville, FL, June 10, 2011 --( Gerald R. Schmidt announced today the release of The Strange Life of Walenty Karnowski, The Rabbi’s Illegitimate Grandson, published by Outskirts Press. Schmidt’s new historical fiction tells a tale of murder, rape, kidnapping and sacrilege that have terrified the rural inhabitants of this mid-nineteenth century Polish countryside in a pre-industrial age when people actually lived by the faiths they professed.

In 1842 in the once peaceful Polish countryside, now dominated by Prussian rule, young Marta Nering gives birth out of wedlock to the babe Walenty. Moishe Karnowski, the father, a sexually addicted peddler and the son of the town’s rabbi, is soon after drawn deep into the woods by a coven of Satan worshippers. He becomes possessed by demons who propel him on a pornographic spree of graffiti writing and desecration of the Eucharist at several local churches.

Moishe’s demonic possession and sinister acts of sexual and religious obsession continue to escalate and the local townspeople are forced to lock their doors as the hexed wares of the possessed peddler cause various evils to befall some of his customers. After kidnapping his tiny son Walenty, for a sacrifice to the coven on the day of Corpus Christi, Moishe has the baby stolen from him by a man who hopes to use Walenty to extort a ransom. Moishe finds the man, kills him and rapes and kills his concubine, but forgets to take Walenty with him back to the coven. He does have a communion host, however, and this satisfies the coven as the centerpiece for their next sexual orgy.

The Strange Life of Walenty Karnowski continues with the pursuit of Moishe by an inept German detective and a Catholic exorcist whose first attempt fails to rid Moishe of the twelve demons now possessing him. Schmidt weaves a suspenseful web of surprising twists and turns for the tragic Moishe in this fifty year saga of Polish history and culture where religion is no Hollywood prop, but is the driving force behind this fascinating narrative.

The Strange Life of Walenty Karnowski is available on-line in paperback through Amazon and Barnes and Noble and at for a maximum trade discount in quantities of ten or more.

Format: 6 x 9 paperback cream ISBN: 978-1-4327-7226-0 SRP: $14.95
Genre: Fiction/religious/historical/19th century

About the author:

Gerald R. Schmidt was born in 1937 in Chicago and earned a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Illinois in 1966. He was licensed in 1972 and then went on in 1996 to earn an M.A. in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He has spent many years exploring religious life.

For more information or to contact the author, visit

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