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The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist (1971)

by William Peter Blatty

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Exorcist (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,309981,645 (3.87)162
  1. 31
    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)
  2. 00
    Rosemary's Baby by Ira Levin (sturlington)
  3. 01
    The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell (SomeGuyInVirginia)

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English (93)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All (98)
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
The terror began unobtrusively. Noises in Regan's room, an odd smell, misplaced furniture, and icy chill. Small annoyances for which Chris MacNeil, Regan's actress mother, easily found explanations. The changes in eleven-year-old Regan were so gradual, too, that Chris did not recognise for some time how much her daughter's behaviour had altered. Even when she did, the medical tests which followed shed no light on Regan's symptoms, which grew more severe and frightening. It was almost as if a different personality had invaded the child. Desperate, Chris turned from the doctors to Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest who was trained as a psychiatrist and had a deep knowledge of such phenomena as satanism and possession. Was it possible that a demonic force was at large? If psychiatry could not help, might exorcism be the answer?
  thebblack | Jun 23, 2017 |
Great book which stands on it's own without the film......but I highly suggest reading all three books in this Trilogy. The 9th Configuration.....The Exorcist and Legion. Even though the stories are not really connected, the ideology behind them comes across and ties the elements together. The Astronaut in the 9th Configuration is the same astronaut in the Exorcist. Little things like that give the reader a nod. Blatty wants you to connect with the contents and he does it very well. ( )
  Hymlock | Apr 20, 2017 |
After having enjoyed the iconic horror of the landmark film for many years, I decided to delve into the novel on which it’s based. And while I’m an ardent believer that the book is always better than the movie (in almost all cases), in this case, it’s impossible to state unequivocally which is the superior work of art.

The film is, of course, a classic. I need make no argument for that here. The novel? Probably less so. It is, however, noteworthy for a number of elements that the film seems to lack. In the film, the most memorable scenes are those of the possessed Regan spewing out obscenities and vomit while levitating her bed and telekinetically moving furniture. These scenes create comparable horror in the novel, yet the climactic event itself—the exorcism—lasts just 30 pages or so. The novel also offers greater development of Damien Karras, the young Jesuit whose professional interest in Regan’s case troubles him and challenges his faith. Through him, we learn more about the history of demonic possession. Furthermore, minor characters like Kinderman, the police detective, and Karl and Winnie, the McNeil household staff, are more fully developed through subplots.

Blatty’s prose style is rather pedestrian and unremarkable, but it serves the story adequately. The artistry of this novel does not lie in its use of the language but in its power to portray the terror of the supernatural. ( )
  jimrgill | Feb 21, 2017 |
Noiosissimo. Abbandonato
  masai48 | Feb 12, 2017 |
A surprising little of this is actually scary. It might seem like that would be a detriment. After all, it's supposed to be a horror story about a demonic possession of a child and the exorcism to save her soul and her life. But, actually, this is a very satisfying book and it's extremely well-written.

There are a few slow points near the beginning, but it's a very character driven story and I absolutely love that. It really delves into the characters, their backgrounds, the type of people they are, the things they're struggling with, their innermost thoughts and feelings and fears and worries. Because of that, it's a very engrossing, interesting read and it's difficult to put down for very long.

It felt far more psychological than anything else, although there was definitely an air of desperation and intensity that didn't go away once it began.

I found the characters of Chris MacNeil and Father Karras to be, at times, rather infuriating. Father Karras with his constant doubting that was wasting time once it left the realm of being cautious and following the rules and veered into just being stubborn. Chris MacNeil with how desperate she was to help her daughter, willing to go to great lengths to do so but yet with the smaller, simpler things she dragged her feet or just outright refused. She also engaged in a lot of shoot the messenger and sometimes even outright lying, which was understandable but no less frustrating for it. I sometimes got the feeling that she played a little more helpless than she really was, helped along by the fact that she was certainly exhausted and distraught and with good reason, to avoid really being forthright and honest with Father Karras. At least a couple of times.

I think my favorite character was probably Father Dyer, and a close second being Detective Kinderman. Father Dyer had a wonderful sense of humor and was a gregarious sort, and I loved the way he teased Father Karras (or, well, anyone really) and I loved his friendship with Father Karras. Detective Kinderman was a lot like a lovable Columbo type and I'll always have a soft spot for him.

A great book and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes psychological horror, or just simply enjoys character-driven stories that grab you and suck you in. ( )
  madam_razz | Feb 8, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 93 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (13 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Peter Blattyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Reinert, KirkCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my brothers and sisters, Maurice, Edward and Alyce, and in loving memory of my parents.
First words
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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Book description
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.
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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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:12:13 -0400)

(see all 6 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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