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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely frightening (much more so than the film)
Most people will know the story of The Exorcist from the much pulicised film of the early 1970's. Some consider it the most disturbing film ever whilst others seem to find it almost comedic in it's special effects and portrayal of demonic possession.

I would suggest that those who failed to be moved by the film will feel completely different if they read the...
Published on 1 Sept. 2009 by Mr. Robert P. Harrison

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars Good but not great
Well as it is Halloween what better spooky book to read than the exorcist (I have the other 2 to read next). I loved the movie but have never read the book. I have mixed reviews about it to be honest. It started fairly slow and had I not seen the movie I may have gotten bored and been tempted to just pass over it I'm glad I didn't. Once things start happening it is...
Published on 22 Oct. 2011 by Lainy


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genuinely frightening (much more so than the film), 1 Sept. 2009
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This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
Most people will know the story of The Exorcist from the much pulicised film of the early 1970's. Some consider it the most disturbing film ever whilst others seem to find it almost comedic in it's special effects and portrayal of demonic possession.

I would suggest that those who failed to be moved by the film will feel completely different if they read the book.

Somehow the innocence of the child and the pure evil and malevolance of the demon are so much more affecting in written rather than spoken word. At times it is difficult to make yourself turn another page for fear of what the next passage will bring and sleep doesn't always come easy afterwards.

For those with an interest in horror novels i cannot recommend this too highly. I would express a note of caution to some as it is genuinely frightening, but if that is what you look for in a horror story then this will not disappoint.

Just one gripe - there were an awful lot of spelling mistakes in the book; i don't know why that should be but it was not sufficient to down-mark the book in any way.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars THE PENCHANT FOR EVIL WITHIN ALL OF US, 10 July 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: The Exorcist (Audio Cassette)
THE EXORCIST, is more than just a "good, scary read." The superficial reader will only react to the physical effects of Reagan's possession. The reader who is more aware of his/her spiritual side will realize just how terrifying this story is. I have read THE EXORCIST several times, and I find myself discovering deeper levels of the theme in each reading. The most obvious level, of course, is the basic plot for which Reagan becomes possessed by an ancient demon, who will eventually physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually torture everyone involved in the quest to rescue her. A more deeper theme to the story is Father Karras' struggle with faith. As a reader, I clearly see Karras slipping away from the grace which is faith, yet what is even more terrifying is that I can understand and relate to the same distancing of my belief in something greater than myself. William Peter Blattey ingeniously uses a terrifying backdrop such as the demonic possession of an innocent young girl to convey the importance of keeping one's faith in God and the goodness for which God stands for. Simply put, Blattey, through his raw and terrifying portrayal of Reagan's possession and consequent exorcism, forces us to choose between carnality and spirituality, disbelief and belief, good and evil--for most of us, the choice is evident. Perhaps the most profound theme in THE EXORCIST is the evidence of evil in the world even without demonic possession. At one point in the novel, Pazzuzu talks to Karras about how easy it is for evil to thrive in the world. Apart from demonic possession, murder, rape, and other violent crimes, evil exists in more subtle forms such as passing someone homeless on the street or simply not treating another human being as you yourself would be treated. Basically, a young girl's demonic possession is just another form of evidence to prove the existence of evil. What people should be most terrified of, however, are the forms of evil that they can do something about, but are unwilling to amend. Read this novel. You'll be a better person for it.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Scared to Death Again!!, 6 Sept. 2006
By 
M. Hill "KingKong" (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
If you want a book, that will scare the living daylights out of you, read this book.....it should come with a health warning!

I read this book (against my mothers wishes) when I was a teenager. Now, after re reading it, It still scares me!!!

Based on, some would say, a true story/event.....It portrays a demonic possession of Regan, from the beginning, to the end of the possession. It is one of those books, that make the hairs on your neck stand to attention! Buy it now, read it, and then I dare you to get a good nights sleep.....! Best Horror book ever!!!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautifully written, hauntingly eerie novel, 5 Jun. 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
Although I think that the film The Exorcist is brilliant, the book supersedes it in many ways. Firstly, the plot is longer and goes into far more character depth than the film The language style is almost poetic at times and the tone aptly suits a story of such delicate nature. Yet the book is not crude or vulgar beyond reasonable taste, Blatty choosing his words carefully. Very few books keep me interested till the end but I must have something of a bloodlust since the last interesting book I read was Brett Easton Ellis's American Psycho. Nevertheless, The Exorcist is, in my opinion, far better and far more interesting and I recommend anyone who is interested in thrillers as well as the subject of the Occult to read this.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deeply unsettling, 2 Aug. 2008
This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
This is one of the best horror books I have ever read and I think deserves to be called a classic. I'm not an expert on literary form but found it well enough written, even quite poetic in places.

I liked the slow build and then the full on horror. But as is pointed out in other reviews there is plenty more in this than just horror.

None of the reviews that I can see mention the detective, Kinderman. I really liked him. He reminded me of the TV detective, Columbo, in the way he keeps coming back with a vague, sometimes witty question.
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23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An unforgettable read with profound implications, 9 Aug. 2003
By 
Daniel Jolley "darkgenius" (Shelby, North Carolina USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
William Peter Blatty's seminal novel of demonic possession took the nation and much of the world by storm when it was published in 1971, and the movie adaptation of The Exorcist ranks as one of the most famous horror movies of all time. Many, many readers over the years have described it as a quite unsettling if not frightening read; I envy these people because I didn't find the book at all shocking or scary. I was actually more affected by the inner turmoil of Father Karras than anything else. His doubts over his own faith, the horrible guilt he feels for having left his aged mother alone when he became a Jesuit priest, and some of his scattered sad childhood memories make of him a philosophical, sentimental character who serves as the main liaison between the reader and the events of the novel. What we see through Father Karras' eyes is a complex, troubling vision of life and death, a conduit of our own philosophical and religious struggles.
The plot of the The Exorcist is well-known to just about everyone. Chris MacNeil and her daughter are living in Georgetown while Chris is filming a new movie. The energetic and happy child, Regan, suddenly begins to change. Strange things begin to happen in the house – rustling noises are heard at night, objects seem to disappear and reappear in strange places, and Regan begins to complain about her bed shaking at night. When Regan's state of mind begins to deteriorate, Chris seeks medical help for her daughter, but the doctors, after a series of complete, agonizing tests, can find no evidence to support their theories of a condition brought about by a lesion in the temporal lobe of the brain. Regan continues to worsen, making wild animal noises, struggling with her caretakers with superhuman strength, cursing like a drunk pirate, speaking with several different voices, projectile vomiting a nasty green substance, claiming to be the devil himself, and – in what is probably the most shocking image of all – hideously violating herself with a religious icon. She eventually has to be strapped into bed for the protection of her as well as those around her. Desperately, the nonreligious Chris turns to the Jesuit priesthood for help, asking for an exorcism to be performed on her daughter. Father Karras studies the case, attempting to find a medical explanation for Regan's behavior even after he witnesses some extraordinary things in Regan's room and converses with the demon claiming to reside within her. In the end, Father Merrin, whom we met in a highly symbolic scene at the beginning of the book, comes to perform an exorcism, engaging once again in battle a demon he had defeated years earlier. The book concludes in a particularly strong, dramatic, and satisfying way.
The descriptions of Regan's behavior and increasingly disturbing actions are laid out in quite open and impacting ways here, but I think this aspect of the story is expressed much more effectively in the movie. It's one thing to read about projectile vomiting, a head spinning completely around, and the other physical manifestations of Regan's condition, but it's something else to actually watch it presented visually onscreen. The book's main strength, in my opinion, comes in the form of the character of Father Karras. The novel provides much deeper access into the mind and soul of this tragically troubled character, and herein is to be found the true heart of the book. The exorcism itself does not take center stage the way it does in the film. Despite all of its religious and demonic attributes, I believe Peter William Blatty's novel is a deep look inside the heart of man as he attempts to make sense and keep the faith in the face of the sometimes revolting human condition.
Those who have seen the movie will benefit greatly from a reading of Blatty's novel. There are a number of sub-plots covered only in these pages, and much of the symbolic and quite subtle aspects of the harrowing drama are not captured in the film at all (or are awkwardly included in the form of symbology that the casual viewer may not notice or recognize). It is interesting for me to ponder why so many find The Exorcist a truly frightening reading experience while I really do not. Perhaps those who are not religious have never really examined pure evil as straightforwardly as they are forced to in the form of this possessed child. In any event, I believe the horror many feel at this undeniably gripping and disturbing story comes not from a vision of the events so vividly described herein, but rather from a consciousness of the changes and perhaps fears wrought upon their own heart and soul by the implications of the experience.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not really about mushy peas, 5 April 2009
This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
Everybody knows this story, and many will have tales to tell of lights left on all night and sudden needs to move in to a friend's bedroom for a while. Funny how some parents of kids with routine stomach upsets tell their friends that their kids have been 'projectile vomiting' too. 'The Exorcist', you see, has become part of public subconsciousness, even for those who haven't read the story, and has stirred up stuff from the bottom of our psyches, like the debris that floats to the surface when you swirl a stick in the bed of an ancient pond.

But the power of Blatty's book does not lie in the admittedly horrifying descriptions of Regan's ghastly decline into sub-humanity, nor in the failed exorcism attempt that claims the life of the saintly Merrin (that's one powerful demon they're messing with). It lies in the psychological and spiritual turmoil going on inside Karras as he struggles to hold on to his own crumbling faith and with the very real possibility that what he has seen and heard will drive him insane. Desperately, he tries to rationalise and intellectualise what's going on (Blatty does a superb job of making Karras almost over-qualified in this department), but he fails. In the end, it is not education and intelligence, not even knowledge, that brings about Regan's release from evil; it is one man's outrage and fury at the filthy and disgusting personification that taunts and ridicules all goodness. I am not conventionally religious but Jesus's words about 'Greater love hath no man than this; that he lay down his life for his friends' came clearly into my mind as I realised with skipping heartbeats what Karras was going to have to do - with barely any pages left before the end of the story!

The demon indeed loses, as we realise that his target was Karras all along. Not Karras's body, but his soul. Regan was just the innocent medium through which the demon could draw Karras into the confrontation, and earlier Merrin makes it clear that whatever horrors are ravaging Regan's body, HER soul is inviolate.

The book is ultimately not about green vomit, projectile or otherwise, though symbols of sickness, corruption and decay certainly disturb us out of any complacency as we read on. It is about the suffering, cost and sacrifice of being a decent human being who refuses to let the evil win.

As Karras and Merrin prepare for the exorcism there is a hugely important discussion between the two protagonists about the point of the possession (perhaps the point of all evil?) if Regan's soul is beyond corruption. I recommend that you read carefully what Merrin says. It goes way, way beyond what you will get in most horror tales.

One of the most important 'horror' stories of the last fifty years, and deserving of wide recognition.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly gripping read!, 30 Aug. 2011
This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
This book is a lot better than the film, (and as this film is EPIC the book is even better!) I would reccomend watching the movie FIRST rather than second (so you can be haunted by the vision of linda blair possesed as you read! and so you can visualise it better)... The book gives more of a back story to how regan comes to be possesed, leaving the reader with greater understanding of the story as a whole.I ordered this copy simply for the cover as it was the movie cover edition (sad I know!) However, this book is fantastic! William Peter Blatty is a really really good author, and really brings the characters to life. For example, the housekeepers and the (annoying) police officer. It didnt frighten me to death, but it did scare me a good bit! The amazing authoring skills in the book took my mind off the scary sections as it was so well written!.. It is one of those books that you cannot wait to finish and have to know what happens next... perfect for sitting in the garden on a sunny day... or for full effect,under the quilts with a torch at night ;) I have just discovered there is a sequel (legion) I shall definitely be checking that out! :)
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Your mother sucks cakes in Hull.....actually!, 5 Oct. 2005
This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
This is an absolutely legendary book. Apparently it's loosely based on a true story of demonic possession - which makes it all the more sinister. I first read the Exorcist when I was a 14 year old schoolgirl, subsequently failing to get any shut-eye for about two weeks. Yes I was scared! and possibly scarred? I was prompted to its pages of pea green puke after having heard so many 'horror' stories. My parents used to talk about how the film was banned in the '70s and caused utter outrage. So read it now! you won't be afraid......much.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Exorcist - Look behind the superfical gore to find a novel that will affect you like no other., 6 Dec. 2014
This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
I will state from the onset that The Exorcist is my favourite film and I read the novel after I saw the movie.

The Exorcist is one of those rare cases where the book is as good as the film, and the film is as good as the book.

One of the reason's I love the book is because it's just a extended version of the film. The Exorcist is not about spinning heads, green projectile vomit and profanity. The theme underneath all of that is far, far deeper and more frightening then the superficial elements to this book. Underneath that, there is a battle between good and evil. But, who wins? Well, I won't reveal that in case people reading this review may not of either read the book or viewed the film, but the battle is exciting.

The book is well written and it's just a shame that William Peter Blatty does not have the recognition he deserves, and indeed, a bigger library of books on the shelves. The characters are fantastic. You can sense (pre possession) Regan's fun filled, but ultimately troubled character. Burke Dennings, one of my all time favourite characters is funny and though a master of mischief, is likeable. Chris McNeil, Regan's mother, is pained at the changes in her daughter. But for me, the best character is Father Karras. Blatty has written him as a sad, lonely, confused priest, wracked with guilt over family matters and the seemingly loss of his faith. He is someone I almost yearn to comfort, such is the power of Blatty's writing.

There is no doubt that this is a horrific story. From the mundane, everyday family troubles that both Chris McNeil and her staff members suffer from, to the horrific possession and subsequent exorcism, Blatty writes so simply but effectively. And although there are graphic scenes and bad language throughout the book, they are not there to simply shock, (though they do), but they are all included as part of the story. They play their part which, in my mind, makes them acceptable.

The Exorcist is one of those "unputdownable" books, and, having read this after a car accident, I finished it in a day.

This is a story that will have you hooked and will chill you to the core. If you care to look beyond the superficial, look at the story underneath it all you WILL come away thinking more deeply about the world that surrounds us, and the things in our environment that we may not see.

I first saw the film and read the book at aged 16 (under aged I will admit) but it made such a impression and one that has never left me. Nearly twenty years on this book affects me as much as it did when I first read it. It is a novel that will stay with you.

To quote Shakespeare, "there are more things in heaven and earth .." and he was right. And there is no more a perfect novel then The Exorcist to prove that by reading a simple novel you can come away with a whole lot of questions that you may never of thought you'd ask.
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The Exorcist
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (Paperback - 1 Oct. 1999)
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