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The ninth configuration Hardcover – January 1, 1978


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 135 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060103590
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060103590
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.8 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,761 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Spectacular!"
The San Antonio Express

"Unforgettable. One of the funniest, most hauntingly serious and best novels of the year."
The Fort Wayne News-Sentinel

"Chilling."
The Kansas City Star

"Riotous... Nobody can write funnier lines than William Peter Blatty." 
The New York Times

"Hilarious and devastating."
Peoria Journal-Star

"Tender and touching."
The Fresno Bee

"Suspenseful... An ending that will haunt you."
The Oklahoma City Oklahoman 


"Nobody can write funnier lines than William Peter Blatty."
Martin Levin in The New York Times

"A work of extraordinary imagination."
Springfield News and Leader

"Chilling."
The Kansas City Star

"Tender and touching."
The Fresno Bee

"Suspenseful... An ending that will haunt you."
The Oklahoma City Oklahoman 


“It’s a metaphysical murder mystery and a cosmic love story. You have never read anything quite like it.” —Santa Monica Evening Outlook

“Fasten your seat belt before opening this book!” —Associated Press
 
“A work of extraordinary imagination.” —San Antonio Express
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

William Peter Blatty is most wel-known for his novel The Exorcist, and his Academy-award winning screenplay for the movie. He also wrote a sequel to The Exorcist, Legion, and directed Exorcist III as well as the film version of The Ninth Configuration. Mark Kermode is a well-known film scholar and expert on William Peter Blatty's fiction and films.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

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I was spellbound by this book from the onset.
Matthew Scott Baker
It will make readers laugh out loud, and sit back and contemplate the points the author raises.
RCM
While simulataneously causing deep moral reflection, this book proves to be a gem.
JMack

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Lawyeraau HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 5, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a well written and tightly crafted novel. The dialogue, while often full of angst, is witty and clever. The premise of the book is certainly unusual. A secret facility houses militairy officers, all brave men, who have, for reasons unknown, become mentally disturbed. Housed without hope, a militairy psychiatrist enters their lives in a most unexpected way. Yet, it appears that he has his own issues with which to contend, issues that lie at the heart of his seeming understanding of their problems. Things are not always what they seem. Be prepare for a shocking surprise. This book is definitely a thriller in every sense of the word.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 3, 2001
Format: Paperback
I read this book after reading The Exorcist and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Despite The Exorcist's beautiful language (though disturbing context) the Ninth Configuration is eloquently written and thought-provoking. The underlying messages of faith and spiritual satisfaction loom everywhere in this great novel. It is witty and suspenseful, and never dragging or boring. Based on the first publication, Twinkle,Twinkle Killer Kane, the Ninth Configuration is "short and sweet" and a definte keeper. I really enjoyed reading it and I'm sure any fan of Blatty's would too.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By RCM VINE VOICE on November 19, 2006
Format: Hardcover
The experience of war has taken its toll on members of the military. They are offered a means of escape and therapy at a secret treatment center in the Pacific Northwest. All of these intelligent men have mental disorders that are inexplicable - are they real or are they faking in order to elude further combat? That is the question at the heart of "The Ninth Configuration" by William Peter Blatty, a short but overwhelmingly powerful book.

When the psychaitrist Hudson Kane arrives on the scene, the inmates, especially the leader Billy Cutshaw, immediately put him to the test. And through means of a radical new therapy, the men respond to Kane in promising ways and a cure seems within reach. Cutshaw is especially drawn to Kane, as both men search to prove that God exists in a world that constantly tries to destroy itself.

While short, "The Ninth Configuration" packs a powerful and profound punch. From the author of "The Exorcist", this novel also deals with spiritual principles that take center stage towards the novel's end. It will make readers laugh out loud, and sit back and contemplate the points the author raises.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on August 13, 2004
Format: Hardcover
While "The Exorcist" put Blatty on the map, it is the "Ninth Configuration" that established him as a "literary" writer. We are dealing with military misfits and instead of the deeply troubled priest, we have the deeply troubled psychologist. The story is not as action-filled as one may like but the way in which the various layers are laid bare is a wonder to behold.

One slowly grasps "the twist" made all the more poignant by those involved (no revelations from this reviewer). The ability of the mind to withstand the evil that men do has never been so tested, nor have the reactions to that evil been so effectively dramatized. There is a longing at the end, a sadness and yet a confirmation of all that is good. The rendering of the various personalities was a tour de force of imagination - they still resonate at time.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 27, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is based on a book from the early career of Mr. Blatty, which is titled TWINKLE TWINKLE KILLER KANE, that original being broader in comedy and, by the author's admission, pretty sketchy. THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, however, is tightly crafted, thought provoking and can evoke great laughter as well as suspense. If you could mix the zany sensibility of the Marx brothers with the incisive speculation of R.D. Laing, you might have some idea of this fair. A unique and lasting piece of entertainment.
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Robert L. Brockett on December 10, 2002
Format: Paperback
Recently, I came across an old, sorely beaten paperback copy of William Peter Blatty's THE NINTH CONFIGURATION that I read as a young man and, liking it so much, passed around for all my friends to enjoy. Wondering if the story and the writing would hold up after all this time, I made a grab for my reading glasses and shoved off. Yes, the prose is dated somewhat and certainly overwrought, and again we find ourselves burdened with another shellshocked, soul-shredded Vietnam warrior-hero type. Yes, the antiquated reasoning behind Blatty's metaphysics seems nearly as laughable now as any of the outrageous dialogue, and the Hollywood ending is just too cute. Yet, none of this spells death sentence here. This is a small book with a big heart, and, in the end, this story works because it is funny. Blatty has us laughing out loud in the face of stark madness and tragedy by page two and never lets up. NINTH CONFIGURATION is fun and interesting and for me that's enough.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Long Island, East, member on August 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
A team of misfits from military are collected for a special
project, study of what drove them into insanity. This story is
terrific look at human pysche, belief system, and will. This
is also the novel from which the movie with Stacey Keech, arrived. EXCELLENT action, plot, characters. Thought-provoking
and maybe even life-changing.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Bill Slocum VINE VOICE on April 4, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This script by author-director William Peter Blatty won the 1981 Golden Globe Award and was completely ignored by Oscar. Who got it right? True, the Golden Globes have named their share of embarrassing winners over the years, but a careful reading of the screenplay, now available here in book form, reveals this was a deserving recipient.

The story goes like this: During the Vietnam War, a secret base is set up on the grounds of a gloomy castle to deal with some of the U.S. military's hardest headcases. When a man named Kane arrives to take charge of the institution, he brings with him a message of hope and a belief in man's innermost goodness that is sharply challenged both by those he must care for and, as he comes to realize, by the creature inside Kane himself.

There are three different versions of this story in book form. One, "Twinkle, Twinkle Killer Kane," came out in the mid-1960s and was more of a zany farce that established some central story elements. Then around the same time he put it on screen as "The Ninth Configuration," Blatty reworked the story and published a second novel with the same name as the film.

Then in 1999 came this, the text of the script Blatty brought to his shooting location in Budapest. Here can be found many changes and cuts that serial viewers of "Ninth Configuration" will not need pointed out. A running sidebar narrative offered by film critic and "Ninth Configuration" champion Mark Kermode points out several changes. Kermode also penned an introduction for this book.

You can't really top the effect of seeing "The Ninth Configuration" on screen, with its eerie music and lighting and its sensational, inspired cast. More even than being a great movie, it's a one-of-a-kind cinematic experience, immersive and uplifting.
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