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The Ninth Configuration

3.62  ·  Rating Details ·  627 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
The Ninth Configuration is set in a remote castle which the US government is using as a military asylum. A Marine Corps psychiatrist with a crisis of faith encourages his patients to enact their fantasies as part of their therapy. However, he proves himself to be more deeply disturbed than at first appears and finally sacrifices himself to save one of his patients.
Paperback, 170 pages
Published April 29th 1999 by ScreenPress Books (first published January 1st 1966)
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Richard Kelly
Twinkle Twinkle Killer Kane, later re-titled The Ninth Configuration tells the headache inducing story of a military psychologist who is sent to a military nut house to deal with some military psychos who were supposed to go into space, but suddenly became crazy.

This is a tough book to rate because it is riddled with good and bad. The overall story is painfully predictable with a couple unexpected twists. But, at the same time the author does a great job of explaining the thought process of the
Jorge Soto
Una novela muy al estilo el exorcista, donde existe una confrontación, la cual no puede ser solucionada simplemente por psicólogos o doctores.
Antes de iniciar la lectura, pensé que se trataría de una novela de terror, ya que la sinopsis del libro le da tintes bastante lúgubres, pero estaba equivocado.
En principio la lectura me resultó bastante entretenida e incluso divertida.

"cuando de pronto su copiloto reportó una falla hidráulica , después de lo cual Nammack se levantó en silencio, se quitó
Jan 25, 2017 Kate rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. Although sometimes the craziness just seemed too much to follow, stay with it. The themes explored in this book are overwhelming-it gives you so much to think about in so many ways. He took several concepts and examined them from all angles-things we all think and wonder about. I keep thinking about this book long after I put it down.
Stephen Feltner
Oct 23, 2015 Stephen Feltner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you are looking for a Blatty novel that rivals Exorcist or Legion, sorry folks, but you will have to keep looking. If you want a quick but engaging read with some odd twists and a thought provoking ending, well this is your book. Here lay the story, character, and concept seeds of the Exorcist. It's almost as if Blatty used this book as a testing ground for the ideas he would later explore in his best work. How can a just God and evil coexist? Can a person be good if they have committed bad d ...more
May 17, 2016 Brenda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thriller, drama
Clínica para oficiais que estão loucos? Ou eles estão fingindo? Ou alguma força sobrenatural??

Todos os diálogos dos internos são tão bem construídos e a forma como o "novo" psiquiatra lida com eles é tão compreensiva e nos começamos a nos perguntar o que está acontecendo pq o autor nos faz dar voltas e voltas até que BOOMM você ter uma noção que algo realmente está errado. O autor constrói uma introdução que nos deixa de boca aberta com o quanto o ser humano pode ser maquiavélico e sorrateiro.

Carly  Patrick
La novena configuración es un libro con demasiados matices; veamos, la historia y la trama son una genialidad así como los personajes, pero llega un punto en que el autor no sabe como desarrollarlos, cae en confusiones y sinsentidos. Los personajes son bastante interesantes pero no los explota de manera adecuada.

Profundiza en aspectos donde no era necesario y deja cabos sueltos en los más importantes. En la parte final del libro cambia la trama y muestra un desenlace bastante forzado que daba pa
Viji  (Bookish endeavors)
Sep 03, 2014 Viji (Bookish endeavors) rated it really liked it
My second reading of the author. His first book is something I still adore,so I had high expectations of this book. And it wasn't out of place. This book presents an interesting journey into the human mind,and so at places we get much confused. At times,I even felt irritated. But patience always present good results. And it did in this case too. The second twist was something that came out of blue. Never did I imagine that Kane would act in such a way. As a story,this looks better to me than 'th ...more
Apr 10, 2010 Tammy rated it it was amazing
I read this in the Fifth Grade -- obviously my parents didn't censor. It was my favorite book and has stayed with me all of these years. I'm afraid to re-read it as an adult. What if the magic is gone?
Oct 23, 2015 Nicole rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.75 stars. Not at all like what I imagined - I would hardly call it a horror story. I liked the premise, but thought it could have been fleshed out a lot more.
Mar 02, 2017 Tiffany rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An interesting read for a millenial like myself. There is talk about how we are going to be going to the moon, and how computers took up space in terms of rooms not square inches. The story itself is one that is rather hard to get into. It seems slapped together quickly and to be honest I had a bit of culture shock. This thing was written in 1966.

Kane is a psychiatrist trying to figure out which men under his care are really "crazy" or pretending to stay out of combat. Through the story Kane end
Mar 11, 2017 Sharon rated it it was amazing
I'm not sure that I have the words to describe this book. It starts a bit confusing at first...but by the time you reach the end of the story, the confusion works itself out. The theme of the story is what kept me interested...Where is God? My favorite book of all time is The Exorcist and over the years I've been trying to accumulate and read all of Blatty's work and this story was an interesting surprise. It is definitely worth a read...A bit confusing at first...but if you stick with it I thin ...more
Ralph Martins
Mar 12, 2017 Ralph Martins rated it it was amazing
Achingly beautiful.
Nov 12, 2014 Brian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
TTKK is a truly remarkable book, albeit one with very little intrinsic value. It's about Colonel Hudson Kane, who comes to the Bela Slovik mansion as a famous psychologist tasked with "curing" its nutty Air Force inmates, among whom is the astronaut who flaked out prior to America's first mission to the moon. Kane, however, doesn't much act like a psychologist and Cutshaw, the astronaut, doesn't appear to be entirely batty. Things aren't exactly what they seem.

Before he wrote The Exorcist, Willi
Matthew Baker
Jun 11, 2014 Matthew Baker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I am chagrinned to admit I have never read nor seen THE EXORCIST, which is the title most people know William Peter Blatty for. I consistently see it at the top of Best Horror lists, for both book and movie form, therefore I consider that reason enough to dub the man a horror icon. As such, when the fine folks at Tor reached out to see if I was interested in reviewing another of his books, THE NINTH CONFIGURATION, I jumped at the chance. After all, what horror fan wouldn’t? I’m so glad I did; th
Todd Sullivan
Nov 03, 2016 Todd Sullivan rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction, religion, comedy
William Blatty is the author of The Exorcist, a book that most people think is about a a little girl possessed by a demon but is actually about a priest struggling with his faith. I mention this because that sort of thing is a bit of a recurring theme in Blatty's work. Take this book, for example.

The Ninth Configuration appears to be about a group of marines held in a mental hospital who may or may not be crazy, and it's up to new arrival, Doctor Hudson Kane, to see through their madness and get
May 13, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it
It's such a wonderfully rare feeling to pick up a book and from the very first page you are instantly hooked. William Peter Blatty's "The Ninth Configuration" is one of these books for me where I just could not put it down and ended up finishing it in one sitting. I've always been a fan of brevity, and Blatty does not disappoint. He delivers a well-written and devastating story with such vividly memorable characters, focusing on mental illness wrapped around religious discourse and anti-war sent ...more
Printable Tire
I read this book in one sitting last night, which makes sense since it is written like the outline of a movie script, with just a little helpful description and all of the story told in dialogue.

I thought it was going to be a horror novel going by the cover of the copy I had, but instead it plays out sort of like a mix between Catch 22 and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, and I think one of those Animal House-style posters, with all the different crazy characters doing crazy hijinks (which is ap
Fiction State Of Mind
Blatty is best known for his 1971 novel The Exorcist. The ninth configuration was the basis of the classic film Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer, Kane. Blatty revisited the original work and it resulted in this novel. Despite the spectacularly dark cover this is not a Horror novel. From the opening pages the reader is drawn into the strange world of a military rest camp. This gothic mansion houses twenty-seven inmates who may or may not truly be crazy. They all form a cacophony of personalities and voic ...more
Feb 13, 2017 Erocchio rated it it was amazing
Crazy people are really made interesting in this book. I really liked the writing that made each character so different and memorable. Plus there is a twist in the story that is great.
Kenneth Starcher
Jan 24, 2015 Kenneth Starcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before he became famous with The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty was known, primarily, for comedy and farce. This is evident with Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane. In a classic horror actor's old house, the military has gathered some of its craziest individuals, turning the house into a strange sort of asylum, where the inmates are encouraged to act out their delusions by their new psychologist, Hudson Kane. As the story unfolds, though, we, the reader, are not necessarily supposed to believe anyt ...more
Oct 19, 2009 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: adventurous readers
The first couple of chapters had my head spinning- Childish Generals; Priggish Senators; Paranoid Computers... to say the least. And then I under stood: Everyone in this book, a book about a military airmen's sanatorium, is crazy!

Blatty's writing is engaging, once this initial challenge become clear, and as the reader, you choose to enter the madness and accept the reality that Colonel Kane enters. Chosen to get the airmen back into active service, the question Kane has to answer is who is craz
Apr 11, 2008 Bill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This was a very quick read from the man who gave us The Exorcist.
It was pretty good, although I feel it could have been more fleshed out
as far as characterization was concerned.
There were several characters that flitted in an out of the story that
I would have liked to have known better. Psychologically damaged
characters are invariably the best on paper.

One page in particular very much moved me, and this is why I'm rating
this book 4 stars instead of 3. It is where Kane explains his belief of an a
Hugo Damián
Realmente muy pobre. La premisa inicial es interesante, pero ni bien entrados los primeros capítulos uno ya tiene la clara percepción de exáctamente que es lo que está sucediendo, así que el giro argumental termina siendo mas bien un desvío lento hacia algo que ya veíamos venir desde un principio. Así y todo, el libro se las arregla para tener momentos muy interesantes, casi todos proporcionados por Cutshaw y su análisis metafísico del universo, Dios y la existencia misma. Pero fuera de eso, la ...more
Jon Weidler
It may be nonsense, but at least it's well-written nonsense. But nonsense is nonsense, and 238 pages of nonsense can get tedious, no matter the talents of William Peter Blatty. In "The Ninth Configuration," a later novel that repurposes the characters and scenario found here, the author even issues a disclaimer that essentially conveys that "Twinkle, Twinkle, "Killer" Kane" was written for the money, and really isn't very good. least Blatty had the humility to admit it. "Configuration" ...more
Feb 13, 2013 Aaron rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A short and vital examination of fragility. By keeping the narrative short we aren’t repeatedly bludgeoned with the same thesis as will often be found in other philosophical novels. The brevity causes you to concentrate on the discussion of the mechanism of faith and the need for redemption that lies at the book’s core. It is immediately understood that if you don’t pay attention you will miss out on some golden ideas that will not be repeated. There is a lot of meat for such a short read and it ...more
Jun 22, 2013 Mikecarp rated it it was amazing
This is a great read. It's a reworking of Blatty's earlier novel, "Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane." Both novels are a discussion the horrors of war, how we protect our fragile minds and the existence of God. This one is a little less slapstick as Killer Kane, but just as effective. The Ninth Configuration was made into the movie with Stacy Keach and much of the dialogue comes right from the book. So those reviews that say it reads like a script are right. Good book and a great, thought-provoking ...more
El Cazador
En esta ocasión mi autor favorito no me ha convencido con esta novela, es una historia que te va mantener pegado al libro con tal de llegar a la respuesta del misterio que abunda en una mansión, en mi opinión el libro no tiene nada relevante, es cierto que llega un momento en donde William P. Blatty da un giro a la novela, pero mas haya de eso no hizo gran cosa con la historia, lamentablemente le doy 2 estrellas ya que no me gusto mucho como ingresa Blatty a este tipo de novelas y me queda claro ...more
Owen Spencer
May 16, 2009 Owen Spencer rated it really liked it
The Ninth Configuration is a compelling book about the nature of psychopathology and malingering. It is a very surreal and intelligent story about a psychiatrist's unorthodox method of curing the severe mental health problems of soldiers who suddenly became psychotic (or pretended to be). It's part Heart of Darkness, part One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, part Stephen King, and part Dostoevsky. It's only 130 (or so) pages long and definitely worth reading. [Note to sensitive readers: this book co ...more
Sally Bisbee
Sep 02, 2010 Sally Bisbee rated it it was amazing
This is an absolutely amazing book and the movie that was made from the book is pretty amazing as well! The movie was Twinkle, Twinkle, Killer Kane with Stacy Keach. It was actually one of the few movies that wasn't a complete abomination when it came to sticking fairly close to the theme of the book. Alas, I still preferred the book, but I usually do.

I think you should get both and draw your own conclusions. :)
Aug 12, 2012 Daniel rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Based on his own novel, Twinkle, Twinkle Killer Kane, Peter Blatty wrote The Ninth Configuration screenplay - directed the film and even took a minor role in it. This screenplay is the blueprint to one of the weirdest, most original, funniest and most harrowing films ever. Great performances, far out, in fact, great dialogue, wonderful monologues - quite a unique tale from beginning to end - read it, watch it!
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William Peter Blatty was an American writer and filmmaker. He wrote the novel The Exorcist (1971) and the subsequent screenplay version for which he won an Academy Award. Born and raised in New York City, Blatty received his bachelor's degree in English from the Georgetown University in 1950, and his master's degree in English literature from the George Washington University in 1954. He also wrote ...more
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