The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

 

 

[Click on the cover below to check it out! If you don’t see a book cover below it’s probably ad-blocker settings]

[I guess this is the regular standard cover for it these days. I’m usually not a fan of forcing movie covers on the book versions – I still kinda wish the amazon preview was the spooky picture of The Exorcist standing in the fog.]

 

“Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.”
[Vague-est plot synopsis. Ever. And this was the more detailed of the ones I found, too]

 


 

I will admit, despite really wanting to read this [and it even being a present off of my amazon wishlist] I was a bit hesitant going in because of the timeframe it was written in. I have read a lot of 60’s and 70’s-era novels, and not many of them were all that great. So, a bit ‘eh’ about starting it because I would have been disappointed if that style of writing made me hate it.

However, l was slapped in the face instead by how goddamned well this book is written. The writing style even is kinda weird but… also just really good?  Even just the first few pages blew me away. The evening I started it,  I had just wanted to dip my toe into the book and see how I liked the first pages. This turned into me accidentally reading the first few chapters or so before looking over at the time and realizing what I had done. Mr. Blatty is pretty amazing, I must say. To the extent that I’ve hunted down his over books to add to my wishlist [including that I didn’t realize that he wrote ‘Legion’ –  a technical sequel – gonna read the shit out if it once I get through my current book queue]

So if you can’t tell already, I really liked this book. Also the movie is actually one of the closest book-to-move adaptations I think I’ve ever seen after reading the book. Not all that much was changed, and what was pretty minor I’d say. It does give some good information for filling in some of the questions you may have had between scenes, and also obviously was allowed to get much more graphic with the possession of Reagan than the movie could allow for those times [and probably even today since she’s a child.] 

That being said, I think that having seen the movie [many times], sort of dulled out the ‘spooky’ aspect of the book for me. I imagine that if someone hadn’t seen the movie yet though this movie would be pretty intense. But instead I just sort of played the parts of the movie in my head as I head them. Sure the scenes that I hadn’t seen in the movie were different, and definitely more graphic.

My only gripes are that some of the sections in between main events stretched on for awhile. Both fortunately and unfortunately one of those being when Karras [the younger priest] and Reagan’s many doctors are torn on if this is an actual case of possession, or mental illness. Now granted, this is a huge theme of the book because as mental illness was more researched over time, many people that were killed or unfairly tortured through exorcism thousands of years ago may not have been possessed at all. These moments in the book are all very tense, but sometimes dragged for quite awhile.

Ultimately, if you’re a fan of horror, or a fan of at least the movie, you should read this book. Or maybe if you haven’t seen the movie and want to get freaked out, read it too.

 


 

I give The Exorcist 5/5 Pea Soup Vomits

Rating:

 [I couldn’t pick between two different quotes. So have both]

“He stared unseeing as smoke from his cigarette rose like whispered curls of memory.”

“And man. The bones of man. The brittle remnants of cosmic torment that once made him wonder if matter was Lucifer upward-groping back to his God.”

 

 

 

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