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The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
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The Exorcist (1971)

by William Peter Blatty

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2,992821,907 (3.87)149
  1. 32
    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. 01
    The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell (SomeGuyInVirginia)
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Showing 1-5 of 77 (next | show all)
A young girl exhibits a radical change in behavior. Is it supernatural possession, psychosis or brain damage? A Catholic priest with problems of faith is called by the mother to determine the cause and to assist the child. If you are hesitant to read the book because you have seen the movie, I would recommend that you read the book since it provides more detail omitted by the movie. It is much better than the movie because the book unfolds in your mind which can be scarier than any movie. ( )
  John_Warner | Jan 23, 2016 |
I read this book before the movie came out. One of the things I remember about reading this story was that my husband worked third shift at the time, so I was alone in the house when I read it. There was a point when I literally had to close the book and stop reading because I was so frightened. That has never happened before and since.

If anyone hasn't seen the movie - make sure you watch the Director's Cut - it gives you background on the film and a particular scene they cut out because they thought it would be too frightening for moviegoers to see. Believe me this scene was in the book, but excluded from the original theatrical release.

Has anyone who has read this book found another book just as scary? ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
I read this book before the movie came out. One of the things I remember about reading this story was that my husband worked third shift at the time, so I was alone in the house when I read it. There was a point when I literally had to close the book and stop reading because I was so frightened. That has never happened before and since.

If anyone hasn't seen the movie - make sure you watch the Director's Cut - it gives you background on the film and a particular scene they cut out because they thought it would be too frightening for moviegoers to see. Believe me this scene was in the book, but excluded from the original theatrical release.

Has anyone who has read this book found another book just as scary? ( )
  Judy_Ryfinski | Jan 20, 2016 |
“You don’t blame us for being here, do you? After all, we have no place to go. No home… Incidentally, what an excellent day for an exorcism…”

When Regan MacNeil, daughter of famous actress Chris MacNeil, becomes strangely ill, coming up with a reasonable explanation proves difficult. Chris’ original belief that this is caused by repressed anger over her divorce with Regan’s father because less likely as time progresses and Regan begins going through increasingly violent episodes and physical transformations as well. When modern medical treatments fail to provide any change in her daughter, Chris seeks out the help of a local priest by the name of Damien Karras. While Karras is also quick to disregard the notion that Regan could be possessed based on a personal crisis of faith, it becomes more and more clear that there’s nothing else it could possibly be. Blatty states that his idea for the novel came after reading an article which claims that a 14 year old boy was successfully exorcised of the devil.

It might be obvious to say that this novel features heavy religious discussions and of the never-ending battle between good and evil. Even though I expected it, I felt it was done in a very maladroit way. Many horror novels I’ve read, and many of the classics I’ve recently read, tend to focus more on the actual horror. The Exorcist, I felt was attempting to be more literary and highbrow than was necessarily called for as well as overly excessive in terms of time spent instructing the reader in religious knowledge. For me, an air of mystery will cause more fright versus being explained the reasoning behind things in minute detail.

The actual horror of this novel was a lot more subdued than I anticipated. While I knew random bits of pop culture trivia even though I hadn’t seen the movie beforehand, the supposedly horrific aspects of this story were far more gross than scary. Particularly the scene where she vomits green stuff or where she does… bad things with a crucifix. Sure, it’s meant to be horrifying that she’s doing these actions unwillingly, and that it’s terrible it’s happening to a girl so young but it didn’t evoke any terror for me. Still, this was a definite “must-read” on the list of horror-classics and I’ve successfully knocked it out. I should probably suck it up and watch the movie now. Knowing that her projectile green vomit was actually Andersen’s pea soup mixed with a little oatmeal will likely ease any potential terror. ( )
  bonniemarjorie | Dec 3, 2015 |
Much more educational than scary, en exercise (pun intended!) in mental rigor and moral argument. Long exposition with a contrived cutoff ending. ( )
  Victor_A_Davis | Sep 18, 2015 |
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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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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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