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Legion by William Peter Blatty
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Legion (1983)

by William Peter Blatty (Author)

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"And he asked him: What is thy name? And he saith to him: My name is Legion, for we are many." Mark 5:9

In 1971, William Peter Blatty was a relatively unknown author who had written a few books -- mainly humorous -- based on his own experiences. I'd read "Which Way to Mecca, Jack?" -- based on his adventures in the USAID in his ancestral home of Lebanon -- in high school, so I actually read with some anticipation ... and then left the llights on in my apartment for a month. I saw the film and got pissed off because William Friedkin simply blew it in my opinion. I was so disappointed that the visceral fear I'd felt when I read the book was traded for a couple pints of split pea soup.

We flash forward twenty years. Blatty is a successful writer. He comes back to his bestseller and creates another book that made me leave the lights on.

Instead of focusing on a famous film star and her little girl, the main character is the wonderful William Kinderman, the police officer who investigated the original crimes. He's investigating a series of grisly murders that appear to be religiously related. In the process, he ...

Well, I'm not going to say anything more. I want you to read the book, after all. And If you think you can get away with only seeing the film, think again. No matter how fine the late George C. Scott is as Kinderman, and how glorious the acting is, the book is, of course, better.

If you like to be scared; if you like to consider the deep questions posed by religion; and especially if you have ever questioned your personal faith, Legion is a book you should read. It is Blatty at his finest and will make you appreciate the fact that the world contains very few chances of you ever running into one demon let along a legion of them. ( )
  bfgar | Aug 6, 2014 |
Interesting. Not a bad book, but not my type of writing style.I found it slow and hard to get into, so I did not enjoy the read as much as I could have.
It's a good book though. ( )
  AshuritaLove | Apr 7, 2013 |
When a young boy is found brutally murdered in a mock crucifixion, there are four totally unlikely suspects. Was it the elderly woman who witnessed the crime? A neurologist who can no longer bear the pain life inflicts on his patients? A psychiatrist with a macabre sense of humor and a guilty secret, or a mysterious mental patient, locked in silent isolation?

Detective Kinderman follows a bewildering trail in a case that grows more mysterious with each subsequent murder. Why are two murder victims priests? Why does each victim suffer the same dreadful mutilations? Is there some connection with a series of equally gruesome murders which took place a dozen years earlier and supposedly ended with the death of the killer?

I have to say that I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I had seen the sequel to The Exorcist the movie version, which this book is based on. The second movie was absolutely terrible, in my opinion, the third movie was alright for a first time watcher, but was not really able to hold up to a second watching.. That is sort of the same reaction that I had at the end of Legion, I was certainly glad that I read it, but I don't think that I will read it again. I give this book a B! ( )
  moonshineandrosefire | Feb 2, 2012 |
The Jewish Exorcist.
  SomeGuyInVirginia | Aug 15, 2011 |
I never really felt interested in this book until it got into the psychiatric ward. There was too much going on with too few explanantions to really pull me in and it seemed to me like it was really torn between being a crime novel, a horror novel, and a macabre murder mystery. The ending was interesting, but the only thing I really found enjoyable was the unique characters and their interactions, which were quite original and I felt they were true to life. ( )
  samlives2 | May 19, 2010 |
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He thought of death in its infinite groanings, of Aztecs ripping out living hearts and of cancer and of three-year-olds buried alive and he wondered whether God was alien and cruel, but then he remembered Beethoven and the dappling of things and the lark and "Hurrah for Karamazov" and kindness.
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When a young boy is found murdered in a mock crucifixion, Lieutenant Kinderman investigates the crime, and wonders if there is a connection to a series of murders that took place twelve years before.

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