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The Exorcist

4.08 of 5 stars 4.08  ·  rating details  ·  82,094 ratings  ·  1,636 reviews
Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty's thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.
Mass Market Paperback, 385 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by HarperTorch (first published 1971)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Stephen
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A masterpiece...unqualified, unadulterated and unequaled.

How better to describe the definitive, 40th Anniversary edition of one of THE classic horror novels of the 20th century...rendered in audio format and narrated with passion, verve and pitch-perfect delivery by William P. Blatty himself.

I’ve seen both the original and extended, remastered versions of The Exorcist several times and believe it ranks among the finest horror films ever made. Until this week, I had never read the source novel....more
Jeffrey Keeten
”In our sleep, pain, which cannot forget, falls
drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own
despair, against our will, come wisdom
through the awful grace of God.
--Aeschylus


I get a wild hair every so often and recently I decided that I needed to go on a 1970s blockbuster horror novel extravaganza tour. It all started with shifted some books around and finding this ratty well loved copy of The Exorcist that inexplicably found its way into my book collection. I’d swear it was stolen from one of K...more
Alejandro
It was kinda hard to decide the rating on this novel. If I'd think only on the raw reading experience, I would say that it was a 3-star material. However, I had to ponder about the additional info and further development of characters compared with my experience with the film adaptation. So, I think that the fairest rating is a 4-star.

I am not surprised if almost any reader has watched the film before of reading the novel. And my case wasn't any different.

I have watched the three film versions:...more
Lou
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This is a really chilling and frightening story.
There is nothing more powerful and engrossing than a story about a persons battle with their state of mind and Demons. In this frightening story you have a mother and her 12 year old daughters bond shaken, faced with a state of mayhem immersed in a struggle for survival and triumph over adversity, you just feel for them immensely and love for their solitude to prevail. The Jesuit priest also had a love for his deceased mother and guilt of not put...more
Maciek
Having recently seen a film called The Last Exorcism, I decided it was finally time to read the first exorcism, the one which made masses of people interested in demonic posessions, scared the beejesus out of readers and was made into one of the best films ever.

I've seen the film several times, though I've never read the book. I always assumed that it was a cheap potboiler, heavy on shock value (who can forget the green vomit?) and thin on everything else. I was totally wrong. The Exorcist is a...more
Ellie
I'm not going to waste time summarising this novel as I'm sure everyone has seen the movie at least once in their lives.

The Exorcist is an engrossing, gripping, disturbing and well-written supernatural tale. I really enjoyed this novel. I thought the author's writing style was excellent. I found it very hard to put this book down for long. I just had to know what happened next even though I've seen the movie half a dozen times! It didn't frighten me to death but it did scare me a good bit! Even...more
jzhunagev
In the Grip of Evil
(A Book Review of William Peter Blatty's The Exorcist



Inspired by a reported case of exorcism of a child in 1949, The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty, published in 1971, is a novel about demonic terror, a modern-day spiritual warfare that pits good against evil for possession of a soul and examines the question of evil.

Being the book that paved the way for the popularity of this horror sub genre, The Exorcist tells the now-famous plotline of demonic possession of a simplistic...more
JaHy♕ Bitchy  Goddess ♥'s  everything CrAzY  ☿
The book was 10x's creepier than the movie.....


Sunday
It's been sort of a "Satan" themed book week for me. I just feel like we really ought to be taking some time to examine the Prince of Darkness while we are bedfellows. He's down here, Jesus is up there. It makes sense. Let's pretend Satan is like Jacob and Edward is like Jesus. When Jesus goes away and temporarily dumps us, game on Satan.

That made VERY LITTLE SENSE.

The Exorcist, as a book, is completely overshadowed by the horror and genius of the film. I respect it as the creative genius behind...more
Jorge
The film adaptation of this novel is one of my all-time favorite movies.

I hesitate to say the book is even better, but this is a fantastic book. Fans of the "The Exorcist" onscreen will find deeper explorations of the characters and the story's theological underpinnings.

While the movie "The Exorcist" doesn't delve as deeply into philosophy, I consider it the equal of this novel in quality. Director William Friedkin and co. tweak every minute element of sight and sound to deliver maximum suspens...more
Leigh
I'm sorry, but talk about a stylistic mismatch: William Peter Blatty is not particularly "literary," and I don't know why he felt he needed to be for THIS book. This is one of those rare cases where I actually do prefer the film. You don't have to read the film.

(Side note of interest: Blatty's sons attended the same Catholic school as my younger brother, and I ate dinner with a teacher who swore he had firsthand evidence that this book was true. I'm an atheistic-leaning agnostic/apatheist. It wa...more
Rachel
when i was younger my mum wouldnt let me watch the movie as she said it would give me nightmares so i cunningly got my older brother to get this from the library so i could read it. i read it in one night mainly as i was too scared to go to sleep so i just kept reading! this was the first horror book ive ever read and it started a whole love of horror books for me. subsequently i watched the movie a few years later and i must say the book is much better, whilst the movie can illistrate the seque...more
Luis
¡¡¡Bonito día para un exorcismo!!!

Fascinante y atrapante de inicio a fin, escrita de forma muy inteligente, fluida como pocas, y clara como el agua.
Se nota a leguas cuando un escritor dedica gran parte de sus estudios o incluso su vida para escribir algo decente y bien documentado.
El exorcista es uno de esos líbros, puede que este muy sobrevalorado para muchos y mas en esta era, puede que para los escépticos en el tema religioso, como en mi caso, sea inverosímil e imposible. Sin embargo, William...more
Shandra {The Happy New Mrs}
Buddy read with Jenny and Athena.

Exorcist photo: The Exorcist 5b68d51d.gif

Exorcist photo: Exorcist 01878fd7.gif

We've all seen the movie, or at least know about it. For me, the book was better. It was more terrifying to me than the movie was, and that's saying something because the movie still scares the crap outta me after all this time. The writing style was really well done. I was afraid this was going to be one of those books that got famous simply for the story and the movie, and had terrible writing. I'm so happy that didn't turn out to be the case. I'm thinking I...more
Scott Brook
It's funny how revisiting a book later in life can be so rewarding. My main reason for choosing to read this again was to refresh myself with the back story of Lieutenant Kinderman as I am about to read Legion for the first time. Having read the Exorcist in my teens, i vividly remember the focus of this book to be on the actual exorcism when, in fact, the exorcism almost plays as a menial event in the story. How did I forget the struggles of Father Karras in attempting to play the events of Rega...more
Bill
Jan 21, 2008 Bill rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: horror
In several of my reviews at my website I tend to whine about being a relatively slow reader. I'd like to retract that statement once and for all. Like the adrenaline rush triggering superhuman agility when a bull charges you (yes this happened to me once), there is nothing like the
uneasiness of a story like this to flood the words into your mind. No horror review page would be complete with out a review of this classic, and a good friend of mine loaned me his old, jacket-less first edition copy....more
Suvi
I currently have 225 horror films under my belt. The Exorcist (1973) is not the best I've seen. It's not the worst either, but it's still only mildly entertaining, if even that. The vomiting scene makes me want to eat pea soup. Pea soup, mustard, and crisp bread with cheese on top are the best combination ever - but I digress. If the film was meant to be funny, fine, but since the tone is serious throughout I highly doubt it was made as anything else than a good ol' creep show. Ravenous (1999)...more
Athena (Shardbearer)
Buddy read with Jenny & Shandra

description

This is me after reading this book.

That's all I have to say.

You want a mindfuck of a book, read The Exorcist.
Christine
Sep 22, 2011 Christine rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of classic horror, anyone who liked the movie.
I loved this. The surprise here for me was how great the dialog was. There were lots of little moments of unexpected humor. Blatty's writing is quirky and engaging, and I raced through this book at lightning speed. I wish there were more books like this now. Definitely going to check out more of Blatty's work.
Laura
From BBC Radio 4:
In this modern classic, a priest is called in to help a 12-year-old girl who appears to be possessed by an overwhelming demonic force. Karras is increasingly convinced that the girl needs an exorcist.
Michael
Ein weiterer Meilenstein auf meiner Retro-Reise in eine ferne Vergangenheit, als Willy Brandt noch Kanzler war und ich auf dem Mofa durch die Gegend juckelte.
THE EXORCIST hat mich auch beim Wiederlesen (bzw. -hören) stark beeindruckt. Das Buch ist kein typischer Genre-Horror und ragt in der Qualität weit über die Masse hinaus. Blattys Dialoge sind je nach Situation witzig, geistreich oder emotional, die Protagonisten glaubwürdig und vielschichtig und insbesondere der Ermittler William F. Kinderm...more
Courtney
I read the 40th anniversary edition - this was not the cover, so this may not link to the right edition.
~~~~~~~~~~

The Exorcist definitely stands up well, despite its age. It's an interesting look at life in the 70s, from the few glimpses we're shown. (Some of which are rather funny today, like Chris' lime-green 'hostess costume', a pant-suit with bell-bottoms and bell-sleeves. Ah, fashion.)

The shock at the 'black mass desecrations' feels a little bit put-on as well, which I definitely think is a...more
Debra
Aug 30, 2011 Debra rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: horror fans
Stephen King said in Danse Macabre (1981): "... two novels of the Humorless, Thudding Tract School of horror writing are Damon, by C. Terry Cline, and The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty – Cline has since improved as a writer, and Blatty has fallen silent... forever, if we are lucky."

However, S.T. Joshi stated in his The Modern Weird Tale : A Critique of Horror Fiction that Stephen King went up to Blatty and said: "You know, in a way, you're my father."

Not sure whether to add this book to my...more
Bekah Ervin
Absolutely, positively THE scariest book EVER! I saw the movie before I read the book when I was 16 in the basement of the old creaky house where I grew up, and I couldn't sleep for 3 days. I read the book 5 years later, and it scared the pants off me even worse. I think one of the reasons it's so scary is because it's of such high quality that it gets into your head and, at least to me, becomes completely believable. I have a thing about possession, though, in that it almost guarantees a scare...more
Hunter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Stephan van der Linde
The Exorcist is one of my favorite movies all time. I've seen it about 10 times and therefore I start to read the book last week. I was curious if the book was more detailed. Even though most of the times it is.

And yes it is.

The various times Karras and the demon speak to each other, and the tricks the demon plays to him were superb. The transformation of Regan and even the staff of the housekeeping with their odds, were interesting. Something the movie not really displayed.

This book is a lot b...more
Kathy
I am pleasantly surprised to even hear myself say that this book is even better than the movie.....which was amazing! Definitely worth the read, even if you've seen the movie! The movie is very faithful, but this really adds so much more! I highly recommend this book!
Janelle Dazzlepants
Not gonna lie, I absolutely hated this book. Possibly the only thing I did like was how utterly repulsive some of the events and descriptions were - like Regan's masturbation episodes, and the tales of goings-on at Black Mass. Other than that I despised this book, and it frustrated me to no end.

First of all, there are a ludicrous amount of spelling and grammatical errors. Granted, that's not the fault of the author, but it really impeded my ability to enjoy this book. It was SO annoying to have...more
Katherine
Due to unlikely circumstances, I found myself reading this book. I have never seen the movie and I have a history of scaring easily, so that's important to note.

Reading the book was a truly unique experience. I was more than impressed by the literary devices used, the tone and language - there are sentences in this book that are so fluidly written with a delicate sensitivity to language that this reader believes to be extremely hard to find so it was a real treat to read a book written by a per...more
Becky
Oct 11, 2008 Becky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Horror buffs, people interested in the occult
I had been meaning to read The Exorcist for a long time, but kept putting it off, until I found a used copy at the thrift store for $0.25. I couldn't pass that up, so I bought it, and the put it on my shelf and put off reading it some more.

So now, in honor of Halloween this month, I have decided to read horror the entire month (with little exception, anyway), and this gave me the perfect opportunity to freak myself out with a little demonic possession!

Again, as with the last book I read (Stephe...more
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William Peter Blatty is an American writer and filmmaker. He wrote the novel The Exorcist (1971) and the subsequent screenplay version for which he won an Academy Award.
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“Perhaps evil is the crucible of goodness... and perhaps even Satan - Satan, in spite of himself - somehow serves to work out the will of God.” 49 likes
“God never talks. But the devil keeps advertising, Father. The devil does a lot of commercials.” 40 likes
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