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text 2017-01-13 21:43
Blatty, Kinderman, Merrin, Karras, and Regan
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty
Legion - William Peter Blatty

William Peter Blatty, one of the few authors to create a before and after in the American cultural psyche, died yesterday at the age of 89. The Exorcist and its companion novel, Legion, are not given enough credit for being not just horror novels, then movies, but also mirrors held up to human nature--as seen in this passage from The Exorcist.



The very best horror serves this or similar purposes: grotesqueries or terrors as mirrors. The Exorcist and Legion made us face our fears of bad things happening to good people, of the looks of innocence masking evil, and of our inner sanctums, our homes, not being safe after we lock the doors at night.


Thanks, Mr. Blatty. Rest.

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review 2017-01-13 04:03
Review: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty

As part of the TBR Canine Jar Challenge, The Exorcist was chosen by Enya. This was her first ever pick and she chose a 5 star!

Not much I can say about this one that hasn't already been said. It is, after all, a well-known and well-read horror novel, and also a great movie that I'm sure most have seen at some point or another.


If you haven't picked this one up before now, what the heck are you waiting for!?


PS - Am I the only one who kept picturing Columbo whenever Lieutenant Kinderman made an appearance?






Reviews also posted to my blog: Scarlet's Web
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review 2016-12-28 21:32
Good stuff!
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty

Not nearly as scary as when I read it as a teen but I didn't expect it to be. Still a great, great read. The author's voice was nearly perfect for the narration. If you like horror books - and this one is quite graphic - you'll probably like this.

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review 2016-10-04 23:16
The Exorcist
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty

The Exorcist is advertised as the scariest book of all time. I didn’t think I could call myself a true horror junkie until I had read it.


The story follows two main characters: Chris McNeal, an actress and mother; and Damien Karras, a priest who’s reconsidering his decision to become a priest. One day, Chris’s daughter, Regan, gets sick and starts acting strangely. Doctors can’t figure out what’s wrong with her. The mystery disease becomes so bad that Regan has to be strapped to a bed to keep from hurting herself or anybody else. Suspecting that Regan is possessed by a demon, Chris goes to Karras for help.


I love horror because it’s not really about monsters (or demons). Those things are just representations of society’s worries. Deep down, The Exorcist is about the fear of losing control. The demon takes over Regan’s body and uses it to humiliate her and to hurt people. Regan has no control of the creature inside her. The story is also about the fear of powerlessness. Chris tries everything to save her daughter. She becomes increasingly frantic as she runs out of options. Chris can only watch as the demon slowly kills Regan. That’s every parent’s worst nightmare. The Exorcist is probably considered one of the scariest books of all time because it taps into many of our most primal fears.  


“The demon's target is not the possessed; it is us the observers . . . everyone in this house. I think the point is to make us despair . . . to reject our humanity: to see ourselves as ultimately bestial, vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy.” – The Exorcist


If you’re squeamish or easily offended, then you need to stay far away from this book. It’s disgusting. There’s green vomit, diarrhea, and many inappropriate sexy times. Lots of cussing too. You’ll need a strong stomach for this one. The gross stuff is even grosser because a lot of it comes from a twelve-year-old child. I know that twelve-year-olds can be interested in sex (especially when they’re possessed by demons, I guess), but still, yuck.


“[Regan] advised me to keep my fingers away from her goddamned cunt.” – The Exorcist


What surprised me about The Exorcist is that most of it doesn’t focus on the exorcism itself. The exorcism is only a small part of the story and happens in the last few chapters. Most of the book is about the process of getting permission to do an exorcism. Since I’m fascinated by religion, I love this aspect of the story. It’s interesting to see all the steps that Chris and Karras have to go through to prove that Regan is possessed. It’s not easy to get permission for an exorcism. If permission is granted, the exorcism may not even work. The suspense in this story comes from wondering if Regan will be saved or not. The author keeps us guessing until the very end.


Karras is my favorite character because he’s complex, but I wasn’t a fan of most of the other characters. They range from one-dimensional to completely insufferable. I especially dislike detective Kinderman. His stuttering, repetitive dialogue massively grated on my nerves. I was tempted to start skimming every time he showed up on the page. His murder investigation did add extra drama to the plot, though, so I guess I can forgive the author (a little).


So, is The Exorcist the scariest book of all time? I’m not sure. It’s gross and cringe-inducing. Some parts of it are suspenseful. I was creeped out by the demon taking control of Regan’s body and contorting it in painful ways. But, I can’t say I ever felt scared while reading.


Now I need to watch the movie. I’ve never seen it, so it will be interesting to see how it compares to the book. 

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review 2016-09-04 22:43
The Exorcist
The Exorcist - William Peter Blatty

Fun fact: I used to have "The power of Christ compels you!" as my ringtone for whenever my devoutly Catholic grandparents called me. I thought it was hilarious.


For those who haven't seen the movie, The Exorcist is about a twelve year old girl, Regan McNeil, who begins to display signs of demonic possession. The plot revolves around her mother, an actress, as she tries to help her daughter and a priest who is seriously questioning his faith as they both converge with a battle with the supernatural.


I wasn't too sure I'd like the book since I'm fairly lukewarm to the movie. It never really scared me and I found it kind of boring the first time I watched it. As you might expect, the book was definitely better than the movie. I loved it. It was so hard to stop reading it because I was dying to know what happened next. It's a compelling and intricate mystery. Is Regan mentally ill or is she really possessed? Can Karras save her when doctor after doctor has failed? It's great and cringeworthy and intense. 


The biggest drawback to the book is it gets off to a very slow start. The first two chapters are so slow to get through that I almost gave up on the book entirely. Once you push through those chapters though the pace really picks up. There are a few other points where the plot slows down, nothing much really happening. If it weren't for these slower parts, I'd probably give the book 5 stars. 


Another drawback is the demon. That's the one area where the movie is superior. In the book, I didn't find the demon that scary. He was just crude and spoke too much. Frequently I was like, okay, why are you giving this speech? It has no point and it's not even scary. I liked how the movie kept it simple. The character was more effective that way.


Overall though this is a terrific book. If you liked the movie, you will definitely love this book. 


Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars. Check it out if you'd like a good paranormal mystery. 

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