The Exorcist

The Exorcist

Book - 2011
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Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist remains one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon. Inspired by a true story of a child's demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.

Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On opening day of the film, lines of the novel's fans stretched around city blocks. In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater. In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events; CBS's Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a true landmark.

Purposefully raw and profane, The Exorcist still has the extraordinary ability to disturb readers and cause them to forget that it is "just a story." Published here in this beautiful fortieth anniversary edition, it remains an unforgettable reading experience and will continue to shock and frighten a new generation of readers.

Publisher: New York : HarperCollins, 2011.
ISBN: 9780062094360
Characteristics: xiv, 379 p.


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May 13, 2021

A classic for horror fans worldwide, “The Exorcist” follows Regan and her family as she is possessed.
As an avid horror fan, I was very much looking forward to reading this book. I hate to say that I was a bit let down by the novel. It felt drawn-out and the horror was watered-down. I found that Blatty’s simple diction did not succeed in making the novel as terrifying as it could have been. The “horror” parts were short and simple. I hate to say that I liked the movie better due to that. Normally, we read books in hope to go a little more in depth than the movie did. This novel, however, lacked depth. It felt like I was reading the movie script at times.
Overall, I would suggest one to watch the movie instead. You definitely take more away from it.

Feb 02, 2021

I remember reading this a couple years ago and couldn’t stop thinking about the mother characters Chris. She is smart , hip . She loves her daughter, but also have a life on her own ( which the author criticises ) all those intentional flaws make her more believable. I loved her reaction to the supernatural and I sympathised her. The desperation to make her better and look into alternatives. The boring priest was introduced and things got less interesting. I wish his character was a background , because I couldn’t care less about his brooding and lost faith bla bla ..I am aware this is horror not character study . I want to say So what?

Jan 02, 2021

2 novels and 5 movies. William Peter Blatty even wrote and directed the third movie and also he produced, wrote the screenplay, and story for the for the first movie that was nominated for 10 academy awards including best picture. It won best adapted screenplay and sound.

Jul 05, 2019

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.

Jun 07, 2019

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.”

Jul 05, 2018

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.

Feb 17, 2017

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.

ECiriello Jun 03, 2016

Not just a blood and guts (and vomit) horror story. It deserves to be revisited. Great book!

morrisonist Aug 22, 2015

Why is a young girl trying to seduce a grown man? This is like Lolita for horror fans!

Kittykatkins Oct 26, 2011

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!

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May 13, 2021

nathaliecorrea1220 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jul 05, 2019

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Apr 11, 2012

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Dec 15, 2011

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Oct 30, 2018

"Possession; not in wars, as some tend to believe; not so much; and very rarely in extraordinary interventions such as here... this girl... this poor child. No, I tend to see possession most often in the little things, Damien; in the senseless, petty spites and misunderstandings; the cruel and cutting word that leaps unbidden to the tongue between the friends. Between lovers. Between husbands and wives. Enough of these and we have no need of Satan to manage our wars; these we manage for ourselves... for ourselves."


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