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The Exorcist Audio, Cassette – Unabridged, Audiobook
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This full-length performance of THE EXORCIST will chill you to your bones and rivet you to your cassette player. Chris MacNeil, busy movie star and single mother, slowly realizes that her 12-year-old daughter, Regen, is behaving strangely, then out of the norm, then like the demon who is possessing her. Blatty not only reads his classic tale of horror, but becomes every uncomfortable, disturbing, graphic, verbally and emotionally shocking word of the book. His deep voice and flawless performance resonate with evil and the good it is trying to overcome, carrying the listener to the horrifying, inexorable conclusion. The movie only touches the tip of this iceberg of good and evil. The images evoked by text and dramatization will stay with you for a long time. M.B.K.Winner of 2000 Audie Award Solo Narration by the Author; Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award. © AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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If you have seen the movie, then the book is not too much of a surprise The novel, after the first several chapters, paces well, and if not always drawing the reader into the scene, keeps the reader's attention. The dialog at first posed difficulty for me in reading, not because it is unintelligible, but because it is almost too casual, slangy, I thought better suited for a movie script than a novel. Yet, after adjusting my reading, it no longer was an issue.
I enjoyed reading The Exorcist, and although a long book, it only took me a weekend to read. The theme of psychiatric disorder versus genuine possession, prominent in the book, raises many questions, one of which is, what role do religious practices have for modern, scientific people today? As in the case of the recent movie, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, the book The Exorcist ultimately suggests that there is personal evil, and that apparent manifestations of psychosis may in fact have origins beyond the strictly material plane. The book does not seek to convert skeptics of the possibility of demonic possession, and yet it tends more in that direction than not, especially in consideration of the final chapters where Fr. Damian overcomes his skepticism and sees the girl as possessed by an intelligent evil being.
Just a few areas where I would wish improvement:
1) Superfluous profanity. On a book of demonic possession, profanity is expected. The Devil doesn't speak Victorian English after all. However, if an author overuses or misuses profanity, it results in a cheapening literary effect. I HAVE read good novels (e.g. Black Robe) where profanity plays a major part, but in these novels it is well-calculated to aid in illustrating personality, and rarely becomes pottymouth.
2) Does not focus on the ritual of Exorcism as much as I had hoped. It is only in the last 20% of the book that the exorcism ritual takes place, and its length is quite brief.
3) Not scary enough. The demon(s) that possess the girl is crude, spiteful, provocative, but not frightening. The demon remains in the book. He is neither poised behind me nor secretly glaring at me through darkish panes.
Overall, a fun read.