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The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist (1971)

by William Peter Blatty

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2,766762,118 (3.87)131
  1. 11
    Legion by William Peter Blatty (JonTheTerrible)
    JonTheTerrible: I quite enjoyed the characters in The Exorcist and felt that Legion gives you a bit more of the enjoyable Kinderman as well as the darkness of the demon. While Legion is not nearly as good as its predecessor it is still an essential read if you enjoyed the mood and pace of The Exorcist.… (more)

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ABR's full The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition audiobook review can be found at Audiobook Reviewer.

Holy crap! I can remember watching this as a kid in the dark. I loved being so freaked out and so scared and curious about the world and if this kind of thing can actually happen. Not much has changed in those twenty years! I'm still really curious and still love being scared, which is why I jumped at the chance to review the audio version of The Exorcist!

Not only am I excited that this is in audio but I'm super excited that the author is narrating this! He has a really interesting voice that adds to the drama of the story itself. A sense of hypnosis happened while listening to his voice which again, just adds to the zen before the horror starts. I think it's also great when authors narrate their own stories. They are the only ones that know exactly where they want the anticipation to heighten or when to add in a softness that other narrators may not pick up on.

Overall this was amazing. There are a few differences if you compare the book and the movie. Firstly is being able to get into the thoughts of the characters more. I was able to completely understand how the mother is really into making sure that Reagan is ok after her parent's divorce. She is very into Reagan's life and in the beginning of Reagan's "illness" she is trying to take Regan to everyone she can think of to get Reagan better. She even has a career opportunity that she gives up for Reagan and I don't remember any of that coming through in the movie. Being able to hear how solid and secure she is and then watching her entire self get slowly chipped away was a huge thing that I think wasn't in the movie. Chris is completely flabbergasted and at her wit's end! I could feel her tension in every part of the book, even when it seems like nothing is going on that is that crazy.

Also, there is Father Carries. He is completely unable to believe in God or Demons which creates another huge amount of tension. He's a normal guy that is just faced with some real questions in life. Something we ALL go through.

So, I was loving the story, three hours in the intensity goes from ok, this is creepy to HOLY CRAP!! IT has started! ( )
  audiobibliophile | Oct 1, 2014 |
What a day to read the Exorcist. Here's the situation: there are rats making rhythmic pounding in my attic and my son is sick with a stomach flu. It was the perfect (!) atmosphere to read about possession.

Okay so onto the book. I came to it via the film. I've never actually seen the film from start to finish in any one sitting but I think I've seen every scene at least once. The most surreal place I've seen snatches of the Exorcist was at a McDonalds in Gorman in the middle of summer.

Having the book land in my lap via a BookCrossing book box, I knew I had to read it. I actually like the horror genre. Having found the film (in the bits and pieces I've seen) rather hokey, the book was very enjoyable. I liked the ambiguity of the situation. Is Regan possessed? Is she mental ill? Is she angry over her parents' divorce? Is she being manipulated by Karl? The only thing never answered is what does the prologue have to do with the rest of the book? It seems tacked on to give a reason for the possession (if it is possession) ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 21, 2014 |
Ultimately, I enjoyed this book. The book was fast paced, thoroughly researched, and extremely well written. The characters were well rounded and endearingly honest. On the other hand, to quote the book jacket, this definitely was not “the most terrifying novel ever written.” Don’t get me wrong, while I found the book extremely disturbing I did not get scared at any point. ( )
  bjh3038 | Aug 22, 2014 |
Ultimately, I enjoyed this book. The book was fast paced, thoroughly researched, and extremely well written. The characters were well rounded and endearingly honest. On the other hand, to quote the book jacket, this definitely was not “the most terrifying novel ever written.” Don’t get me wrong, while I found the book extremely disturbing I did not get scared at any point. ( )
  bjh3038 | Aug 22, 2014 |
I wasn’t sure what to expect of this one. I’ve seen the movie a lot of times. A LOT of times. Despite its poor quality special effects and overzealous acting, it’s a seriously creepy movie that goes to some very ugly places. Rest assured, the book does, too.

I was pretty surprised to see that the movie is nearly word-for-word like the book. That threw me off at first, because it all seemed so anticlimactic. With as many times as I’ve seen the movie, how could anything in this book surprise me? But, though the plot was extremely familiar, the writing really grabbed me. Even with knowing how certain scenes would play out, the author’s perfect wording put a like-new sheen on everything. Made the two experiences unique, despite their being very little differences between the paper and reel versions.

Blatty can induce a cringe like it’s nobody’s business. He was also fantastic at setting the perfectly creepy mood. No details are spared here and it all works beautifully to both intrigue and repel you. There were a lot of perfectly-placed words and abrupt phrases that made big impacts. I am, though, left wondering how I would have pictured this, had I not already had a brain full of imagery. That's just curiosity speaking.

The one negative is that it’s wordy. I wouldn’t say it’s Stephen King-level wordy, but still. It’s pretty wordy. Especially because a lot more focus is put on diagnosing Regan’s condition. In the movie, a lot of that is glossed over and condensed, but here, you have to read through Father Karras’ inner musings and a couple of doctors’ testings and findings. This didn’t detract too much from the story, but it did create lulls in between the real action and what we all came for – REGAN’S CREEPY ASS. The scenes with possessed Regan are scary and disconcerting as expected. I just wish there were more.

All in all, The Exorcist is definitely one of the better horror books I’ve read, if only because of its uniqueness and the author’s ability to go to CREEPY-ASS places.

Buddy read with Shandra and Athena.

( )
  JennyJen | Aug 14, 2014 |
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To my brothers and sisters, Maurice, Edward and Alyce, and in loving memory of my parents.
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Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men's eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061007226, Mass Market Paperback)

When originally published in 1971, The Exorcist became not only a bestselling literary phenomenon, but one of the most frightening and controversial novels ever written. (When the author adapted his book to the screen two years later, it then became one of the most terrifying movies ever made.) The deceptively simple story focuses on Regan, the 11-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C.; the child apparently is possessed by an ancient demon. It's up to a small group of overwhelmed yet determined humans to somehow rescue Regan from this unspeakable fate. Purposefully raw and profane, this novel still has the extraordinary ability to literally shock us into forgetting that it is "just a story." The Exorcist remains a truly unforgettable reading experience. Blatty published a sequel, Legion, in 1983. --Stanley Wiater

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:34:14 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Actress and single mother Chris MacNeil becomes increasingly terrified for her young daughter Regan as a malevolent force takes possession of the child.

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