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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A nasty story.
I am not pretending that this is Great Literature but it is certainly a cultural benchmark. The film did for Horror what 'Jaws' did for Thrillers in the mid 1970's: provided the story for a new sort of mass, mass entertainment. In each case, no surprise about this, the book was more nuanced than the film. The tale is tautly plotted, well told and plain scary. It...
Published 3 months ago by Mr. G. Morgan

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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cast out those adverbs
It's difficult to be objective about the `The Exorcist'. It's one of those cultural phenomenons that crop up from time to time and grab hold of the public imagination.
Often, the quality of the content is of no relevance ('50 Shades of Grey', anyone?). And Blatty's Washington-set novel about a twelve-year-old middle class American girl's possession by a demon is a...
Published 20 months ago by annwiddecombe


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5.0 out of 5 stars Classic, 11 Feb 2013
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This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
This book is of course a classic, and for those who only know the film,
I highly recommend you read the book.
If you have read it, it's worth a second read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, 1 Feb 2013
This review is from: The Exorcist (Kindle Edition)
One of the most well written books I've ever read. It wasn't terrifying but completely unnerving, and hard to put down also a great use of metaphors and similes. Perfect writing
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4.0 out of 5 stars Better than I expected, 3 Jan 2013
This review is from: The Exorcist (Kindle Edition)
Having seen the film more times than I can remember (I think it's the greatest movie ever made) I don`t know why it has take me years to get around to reading the novel,thought it was a great read,particularly the passages which dwelt on the interaction between father Karras & the demon,superb.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Extremely scary, 29 Dec 2012
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This review is from: The Exorcist (Kindle Edition)
I first watched the movie about 25 years ago. To this day I have never seen anything more scary. I have always wanted to read the book. Since getting a Kindle Fire I have been doing alot more reading & came across The Exorcist. The book obviously goes into more detail. Since the movie scared me so much there were many parts where I wouldn't even look at the screen so after reading the book, watching the movie again would probable scare me even more. This was a fascinating read, but it's not the type of book you finish & don't think about it, as it played on my mind. This was probably more to do with the fact I knew what was coming. I only read this during the day, as I was too scared to read in bed, but yet I couldn't put it down. This is a classic which will thrill horror fans for generations to come.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a horror classic, 27 Dec 2012
This review is from: The Exorcist (Kindle Edition)
Much scarier than the film and I loved that too! This book has many layers and I will be reading it again. My only criticism would be that the dialogue involving the mother felt very awkward and false to me...she was the only character who never came to life for me. But I would recommend it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Tale of Good vs. Evil, 14 July 2012
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Mr. Trevor K. Killen "teekay" (Belfast, N Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Exorcist (Kindle Edition)
Forget all you have ever read at second-hand; put to one side your distant memory of the movie; utterly destroy all the puerile pastiches since.
This is truly a great novel.
It is not, at heart, a horror novel; rather it is a morality novel, a tale of the triumph of good over evil, the struggle for the soul of Regan MacNeil.
And it is so well written. The characters of Father Karras, Chris MacNeil and, above all, Lieutenant Kinderman are well developed and very empathetic.
The relationship between Karras and Kinderman on its own deserves a novel and, at times, one even forgets that this is a book about the supernatural.
I first encountered "The Exorcist" as a movie, as one of twenty people huddled together in the centre of the Odeon, Leicester Square, London, for a midnight showing. I was immediately prompted to read the book and was electrified.
I then had the opportunity to live in Washington and to live in and know Georgetown pretty well.
And, as a setting, it works. It really works.
Which is only to be expected, with a master hand at work. And William Peter Blatty IS a master hand.
So, for any of you who have ducked this novel because you think it is too lowbrow, think again; for those who have declined in that they felt it may be a work of evil, also think again. It is a novel - expressly or mythically - describing evil, but also recording the triumph of God.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Exorcist is, and always will be, a horror classic, 11 Dec 2011
This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
I'd forgotten how beautifully written The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty was. The last time I read it I was a teenager.

Chris McNeill has rented a `brooding', `tight' brick colonial house for herself and her eleven-year-old daughter, Regan (nicknamed Rags) to stay in while she is working on her latest movie. Regan's dad, Howard is not around and Chris relies on the housekeepers Willie and Carl to help her look after Regan.

Rags is 'a shy, diffident child' who is not prone to playing tricks. The affectionate warmth between mother and child is firmly established when Chris returns home from work one day to hear that Rags has been sculpting a bird for her in the playroom. The conversation that follows is sweet and gentle, emphasizing Rags' childish innocence.

The first clues that something is wrong come in the form of strange noises, missing items, large items of furniture that are out of place, and the gradual awareness that Rags' new invisible friend may not be all that he seems.

Meanwhile a Priest, Damian Karras, is struggling to find meaning in his faith and is constantly praying to God for a sign, he is possessed by this yearning.

It is after Rags' birthday celebrations, when her father fails to call, that her health begins to seriously deteriorate. Rags' sweet innocent nature is replaced by something that has her shouting out vile expletives.

At first doctors diagnose Rags' condition as depression, then as she gets sicker they become so possessed by the idea that there has to be a medical explanation for what's happening to her that they become blinkered, as blinkered as the Priest Damien Karras has become to signs of evidence that there may be a God.

The novel switches between the horror of Rags' physical and mental condition while in the grip of this unknown illness, to the Priest's struggle to find meaning. Eventually, the Priest comes face to face with what he has been searching for when he is called in to help with the exorcism of the thing that possesses Rags.

The Exorcist explores the nature of faith. It examines the frailty and strength of the human condition when referring to God, and how `signs' may not always appear in the idealised form. When the time comes for good to conquer evil in this novel, it happens in an equally thought-provoking way. There is not one example of possession in this novel but many, and that is what makes it such an astonishing and worthwhile read.

The Exorcist is, and will always be, a horror classic.
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5.0 out of 5 stars better than the film, 9 Nov 2014
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This review is from: The Exorcist (Kindle Edition)
With such art of writing and the way the books spread, it is definitely worth a good read, the film was good, but this is better.
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4 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cast out those adverbs, 22 April 2013
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This review is from: The Exorcist (Paperback)
It's difficult to be objective about the `The Exorcist'. It's one of those cultural phenomenons that crop up from time to time and grab hold of the public imagination.
Often, the quality of the content is of no relevance ('50 Shades of Grey', anyone?). And Blatty's Washington-set novel about a twelve-year-old middle class American girl's possession by a demon is a long way from a masterpiece. Ira Levin's `Rosemary's Baby', for example, is far better written and more provoking (and was the forerunner of `The Exorcist' in setting a demonic novel in homely, familiar territory).
Obviously, the central idea is hugely compelling, tying into timeless parental fears about their children (girls in particular) and their potential corruption, and, more generally, conservative America's concerns about both out-of-control youth and foreign invasion (the demon is 'released' in Iraq). But `The Exorcist' fails on many other levels. The clunky style, the opaque meaning of many sentences and the lack of characterization considerably reduce the book's effectiveness. The prose needs to be vivid and pin-sharp (like Friedkin's images and editing in the film) to make us feel the horror, but descriptions are congested with needless nouns, adjectives, adverbs and abstract generalizations; `Reining in his revulsion, he closed the door and then his eyes locked, stunned, on the thing that was Regan, on the creature that was lying on its back on the bed, head propped against a pillow while eyes bulging wide in their hollow sockets shone with mad cunning and burning intelligence, with interest and with spite, as they fixed upon his; as they watched him intently, seething in a face shaped into a skeletal mask of unthinkable malevolence.' (How eye sockets can be `hollow' but also have eyes in them, I don't know.) Batty consistently tells rather than shows: 'he reacted to the cold and the stench and Regan's condition with bewilderment, horror and compassion.' Descriptions of gestures are hopelessly limited, often nothing but versions of `he lowered his head'. Opaque and muddle-headed similes are like something out of a thirteen-year-old wannabe poet's notebook: `Points of light...stretched into dark like guides to hopelessness'; `He opened the door as if it were a tender wound'; `He was pawing at truth like a weary bachelor pinching vegetables and fruit at a market.' A table is `the colour of sadness' - what colour is that? Brown? Grey? Off-white? `Staring blankly, both Karras's body and soul seemed to sag' - incomprehensible. And if you can make sense of this, you're cleverer than me; `Up ahead, on a hillock, the lime-white dome of the astronomical observatory pulsed with the beat of his stride while behind him the medical school fell away with churned up shards of earth and care.'
Blatty also refuses to `inhabit` Regan's actress mother, Chris MacNeil, giving us very little of her interior feelings. It's difficult to relate to her. The result is we don't care that much about what she's going through with her daughter. And we should, surely? Her language bears the hallmark of a spineless publisher: she uses `flipping' and `freaking' and `Boy!' like a kid.
Yet there are excellent things in the novel. The constant doubt - is it simply teenage hysteria? - over what is actually going on is well-handled. Jesuit priest Damien Karras is a complex character and his need to believe in Regan's possession in order to shore up his faith is a fascinating theme. Regan's dialogue when in the grip of the demon is plausibly twisted. Blatty does not hold back from the perverse nature of Satanic worship and the images of desecration in the local church and the description of other famous cases of possession are gruesome and impactful. They feel otherworldly and truly unsettling in a way Regan's situation often does not.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The film is great, the book is excellent, 29 Oct 2014
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This review is from: The Exorcist (Kindle Edition)
The film is great,the book is excellent.
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The Exorcist
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (Paperback - 13 Oct 2011)
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