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The Exorcist by William P. Blatty

The Exorcist (original 1971; edition 2004)

by William P. Blatty

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3,091881,834 (3.87)151
Title:The Exorcist
Authors:William P. Blatty
Info:Buccaneer Books (2004), Edition: Harper & Row, Publisher. Book Club Edition. 1st Printing., Hardcover, 352 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (1971)

  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. 02
    The Case Against Satan by Ray Russell (SomeGuyInVirginia)

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English (82)  French (1)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (87)
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I enjoyed The Exorcist but I liked the movie more. The movie was so much more fun. ( )
  Foghorn-Leghorn | Jun 5, 2016 |
It was a great book and the movie does it fairly good justice. The story deviates slightly but overall the movie reflects the book. However i will say that this is a disturbing book and the author really knows how to ramp up tension. In my opinion the book was more about the deterioration of the mother rather than the corruption of Regan. ( )
  Carol420 | May 31, 2016 |
This was a curious read. It wasn't really scary, but it was unsettling. I can definitely see why it caused quite the stir back when it first came out: it was disturbing. That being said, I didn't care for the writing style. I also had difficulty with the sexist/misogynistic language scattered throughout the book. I know I need to consider the time this book was written, but I still found it frustrating. Overall, the Exorcist rates an 'okay' with me. ( )
  clear_tranquil | Mar 27, 2016 |
The movie opens with Father Lankester Merrin (Max von Sydow) on an archaeological dig near Nineveh. He is then brought to a nearby hole where a small stone head is found, resembling a grimacing, animal-like creature. After talking to one of his supervisors, he then travels to a spot where a strange statue stands, specifically Pazuzu, with a head similar to the one he found earlier. He sees both an ominous figure and two dogs fight loudly nearby, setting the tone for the rest of the film.

Meanwhile, Father Damien Karras (Jason Miller), a young priest at Georgetown University, begins to doubt his faith while dealing with his mother's terminal sickness.

In the central storyline, Chris MacNeil (Ellen Burstyn), an actress filming in Georgetown, notices dramatic and dangerous changes in the behavior and physical make-up of her twelve year-old daughter Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair). Regan first starts out by having seizure, but then exhibits strange, unnatural powers, including levitation and great strength, and often expresses vulgar language and blasphemy in a demonic male voice during these periods. At first, Chris believes that Regan's rapid mental and physical changes are products of the trauma of Chris's recent divorce. Regan is forced to endure a series of unpleasant medical tests as doctors try to find an explanation for her bizarre changes. When X-Rays show nothing out of the ordinary, doctors retire the belief that Regan has brain abnormalities causing her bizarre behavior. Chris is advised by a doctor that Regan should see a psychiatrist. After Regan assaults the psychiatrist, supernatural occurrences continue to surround her at the MacNeil's household, including violently shaking beds, strange noises and unexplained movement. The director of the film Mrs. MacNeil is starring in is found brutally murdered after being asked to babysit for Regan.

When all medical possibilities of explaining Regan's worsening condition are exhausted, a doctor recommends an exorcism, explaining that if Regan's symptoms are a psychosomatic result of a belief in demonic possession, then an exorcism would likewise have the psychosomatic effect of ending such symptoms. Chris consults Father Karras, since he is both a priest and a psychiatrist. Despite his doubts, Karras is eventually convinced that he should request permission from the Church to perform an exorcism.

Father Merrin, who in addition to being an archeologist is also an experienced exorcist, is summoned to Washington to help. In a climactic series of scenes, he and Father Karras try to drive the spirit from Regan.[2] Regan, or rather the spirit, claims she is not possessed by a simple demon, but by the Devil himself (in the novel, it is explained that Regan is possessed by the demon Pazuzu).

At the climax of the exorcism, Father Merrin dies of a heart attack that was possibly brought on by Regan. Father Karras tries to give him CPR, but to no avail, and notices Regan giggling as he tries to save him. Karras becomes infuriated and grabs her, and begins to strike her, and finally challenges the demon to leave Regan and enter him. The demon does enter Damien, but the priest immediately throws himself through Regan's bedroom window in order to stop the demon from murdering her. He falls down the steps outside where, at the bottom, a devastated Father Dyer, his best friend, administers the Last Rites as Father Karras dies. Regan is restored to her normal self, and according to Chris, does not remember any of the experience. The film ends as the MacNeil mother and daughter leave Georgetown to move on from their ordeal.

  bostonwendym | Mar 3, 2016 |
After seeing the movie the book was a total let down. Its language is dry and there is a lot of product placement . The author uses one adjective sentences to describe things which are supposed to be disgusting or horrifying and doesn't even let them sink in by moving on quickly. There are paragraphs unrelated to the story. The characters are flat and never come really to live. There are some contradiction in the plot development and at the end at least one of the characters shows unreasonable out of character behavior , just because the author decides so.
The plot itself was interesting and had the potential of being turned into a really terrifying story. ( )
  toofan23 | Feb 21, 2016 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
William Peter Blattyprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
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.
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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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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.

(summary from another edition)

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