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The novel is well written. It certainly loses some shock and mystery factor as you already know the main events from the movie. It is worth reading, though. The core of the book lies on Father Karras trying to convince himself that he's witnessing an actual demonic possession. The novel quotes several freaky experiments on mind-over-body and non-demonic paranomal events. I wonder if Blatty made it all up or took it from somewhere else.
You have then an atheist mother trying to convince a faithless priest about the existence of the Devil. Quite ironic if you think about it. The novel reeks frantic confusion from Karras side. Gripping.
One more thing omitted from the film: When all the mayhem is finally over, the mother is asked by Karras priest friend if she now believes in God. She denies it, but she admits that she totally believes in the Devil: the Devil keeps making advertisements of his evil and existence. The priest replies: "If the existence of evil demonstrates the existence of the Devil, how do you account for all the good daily deeds?" It's a nice comeback.
Originally published back in 1971 - "The Exorcist" is, undoubtedly, one of the most controversial novels ever written. This book actually spent 57 weeks on the New York Times bestseller list where it remained at #1 position for seventeen consecutive weeks.
Apparently inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, author, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses in on Regan, the 11-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C.
2 years after its publication, "The Exorcist" was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations.
"The Exorcist" was, and is, more than just a novel (and a film). It is a true landmark in modern-day horror. This book still has the extraordinary ability to disturb readers and cause them to forget that it is “just a story.”
Even after nearly 50 years when this book first hit the shelves, it still has the potential to give even the most die hard horror fans the chills. Beautifully written and always engaging, this book deserves the read.
William Peter Blatty has a special talent of giving all of his readers a unique experience with each of his stories, and every reader is guarenteed to leave his books with a new view on life as a whole.
Well....I've officially lost sleep.
What I was delighted by in reading this novel was how much science and psychology was included in trying to diagnose Regan. Now it's been maybe five years since I've seen the film (which I will be watching as soon as I finish this review), but I don't remember that much detail on the science/psychology side; that may just be what separates the two entities. I practically devoured all the personality theories of Freud and Jung that came into play when Dr./Fr. Karras and the other psychiatrists were trying to figure out exactly what the hell was wrong with the poor child. I absolutely dug it as a psych major.
Overall, it was definitely one of the best horror novels I've read to date. A lot of people say that this is the scariest novel ever- but not for me. I was definitely creeped out at times. I listened to it on audiobook, which was narrated by William Peter Blatty himself, and he just portrayed everything so well. I truly felt like the demon was yelling and Regan's mother's desperation was wailing in my ears. The language was, while casual at times, very vivid but not overbearing and too descriptive.
Not just a blood and guts (and vomit) horror story. It deserves to be revisited. Great book!
Why is a young girl trying to seduce a grown man? This is like Lolita for horror fans!
One of the best books I've ever read, "The Exorcist" is surprisingly spiritual as well as genuinely scary. Do yourself a favour and don't watch the movie untill after you've read the book!
The detective character struck me as being the character Columbo. I tried to find a connection between the characters, but couldn't find anything indicated that either character was inspired by the other. Coincidentally the book was published the first year that the television show aired. I have to think there's a connection somewhere.
BTW, the book is even better than the movie.
It's surprising how engrossing this book is, despite the fact that the story has been discussed to no end.
The scariest book I'd ever read (at the time it came out!). In my opinion it's equal to the film.