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The Exorcist Mass Market Paperback – May 28, 2013
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When originally published in 1971, The Exorcist became not only a bestselling literary phenomenon, but one of the most frightening and controversial novels ever written. (When the author adapted his book to the screen two years later, it then became one of the most terrifying movies ever made.) The deceptively simple story focuses on Regan, the 11-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C.; the child apparently is possessed by an ancient demon. It's up to a small group of overwhelmed yet determined humans to somehow rescue Regan from this unspeakable fate. Purposefully raw and profane, this novel still has the extraordinary ability to literally shock us into forgetting that it is "just a story." The Exorcist remains a truly unforgettable reading experience. Blatty published a sequel, Legion, in 1983. --Stanley Wiater
""The Exorcist" is as superior to most books of its kind as an Einstein equation is to an accountant's column of figures.""--New York Times Book Review""Wonderfully exciting.""--Newsweek""Read the book! It's an experience you will never forget.""--St. Louis Post-Dispatch"
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At its core, though, it's such a Catholic book. Part is about poor Regan's fight with a demon styling himself as "Captain Howdy," but it's mostly the dark night of Father Karras's soul. After the death of his mother (whom he feels he let down), his faith is shot. Compounded with his training as a psychiatrist, he is in a hell of a dilemma with Regan's case -- he so badly wants to believe she is possessed and the Devil is real and so is God, but he so badly wants to believe he's not nuts and this is a girl undergoing an extreme case of psychic breakdown. Every single sign that this is a genuine devil comes with just enough doubt that I even started wondering, "...could she just be crazy?"
I'm quibbling a little with the rating, though. The last chapter was...eh. I despise when authors feel the need to beat you over the head with "See? This could mean one of two things:..." But, for its faults, it succeeds in troubling the soul (just as Blatty and Captain Howdy want): if Regan is possessed, how could God do this to her and her family? If she isn't...there is something really dark at the bottom of even a young child's soul. It spooked me a bit. It wins.
Minor tangent I'd like to touch on: the most odd object in this book is Detective Kinderman. His mannerisms, modest demeanor belying a sharp cunning, and self-deprecating humor is so startlingly like my favorite TV character, Columbo -- in fact, so alike that Blatty accuses the show's creators of lifting his character -- that it struck me to find him in the midst of a quite unsettling book.
The talk of black magic and rituals were mildly brought up in the movie but here there is much discussion. Very powerful-I could not put down.The movie is in my top five horror movies of all time and the book is now in my top five horror books.
The book flowed fast and did not slow down. If you love the movie and have not read the book. ORDER IT NOW! I was reading it at night and did not want to leave my room because there was no light out there...who knows what could be lurching out there...
Terrifying, compelling and most importantly entertaining.
Enjoy....just keep the lights in your house on if you read at night!