Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Exorcist” as Want to Read:
The Exorcist
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Exorcist (The Exorcist)

4.12  ·  Rating Details  ·  110,804 Ratings  ·  2,295 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)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Exorcist, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Sabrina Why on earth would you read the exorcist to your 5 year old??? What is wrong with you??
The Shining by Stephen KingIt by Stephen King'Salem's Lot by Stephen KingDracula by Bram StokerPet Sematary by Stephen King
Best Horror Novels
7th out of 1,388 books — 4,263 voters
Forrest Gump by Winston GroomThe Devil Wears Prada by Lauren WeisbergerJurassic Park by Michael CrichtonJumanji by Chris Van AllsburgMary Poppins by P.L. Travers
I Only Watched the Movie!
121st out of 954 books — 5,537 voters


More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Stephen
Photobucket

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
Oct 16, 2015 Jeffrey Keeten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
”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
Delee

THE EXORCIST is on quite a few of my favorite lists.

I have read this book once before, and I own- and have watched the movie numerous times. This time I listened to the audio book.

It is my favorite movie poster.

 photo 461646bd-0f47-4831-860e-a2a5a6ec5b2c_zpsf5julgzo.jpg

It has one of my favorite "the making of" documentaries. It's in my top ten favorite movie list, and top five favorite horror movie list...and now that I have listened to the audio book. Favorite audio book...by far.

William Blatty's voice is like butter...slathered on the perfect horror f
...more
Alejandro
Mar 26, 2014 Alejandro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Lou
Oct 19, 2012 Lou rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads, feb-list
Photobucket
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
Paul Nelson
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty was released in 1971, we've all seen the subsequent film released in 1973, you might have read the book but an altogether different experience is guaranteed to scare the pants off you with the audiobook. Narrated by the author who won an Oscar for best writing/screenplay based on material from another medium for the Exorcist and I have to say this is easily the best production and performance from any audiobook that I've listened to.

Powerfully gripping, a sto
...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Satanic Panic in South Africa has its very own Wikipedia entry.

Why? Because South Africans are notorious for finding evil under every stone. Toys, energy drinks, fantasy books and TV, certain sweets, music, films…. all are tools of the devil. It’s a free for all.

Why is this relevant to this review?

Satanic Panic was at its peak in the 80s, when I was young, and the one Horror Film we were absolutely forbidden to watch was The Exorcist. Needless to say, it was one of the first we sought to get a h
...more
Denisse
Dec 22, 2015 Denisse rated it really liked it
A very addictive read, with some strong creepy scenes and dialogs. I swear, while reading this I was watching the movie in my head, the scariest parts are very similar in the book and some descriptions about the Black Mass where, simply put, disturbing. If that's what you're looking for, go ahead. Highly recommended, it is classic terror.

No tengo ni idea de como se me cruzo por la cabeza la idea de leer esto, pero aqui estoy. Lol

El libro El Exorcista, es justamente lo que la pelicula es; terror
...more
Edward Lorn
Jan 21, 2016 Edward Lorn rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who buy their sex toys from divine-interventions.com
Finally, the last book I read in 2015. All caught up now.

Pssst... You've read four books this year, so, like, you're, you know, still behind...

FUCK!

Anyballs, here we are, decades after this book was released and the movie adaptation gave baby boomers nightmares. I've never been a fan of books wherein faith beats the baddie. Seems the fallback method for lazy horror authors. I mean, why come up with your own means of annihilating the monster when you have all this religion laying around? Of cours
...more
Lyn
Sep 11, 2015 Lyn rated it really liked it
Boil it all down and The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty is about faith.

There is the demonic possession of Regan McNeil and the horrors that are described as a part of that invasion, the night and day distinction between a young girl and the maniacal, infernal force that changed her.

Also fascinating to read is the reactions of the family and friends of the girl and the forced dynamic of this group experiencing such an outrage. Then there is the psychological questions, the detective work piec
...more
Wayne Barrett

What a thrilling, frightening ride!

I first read the Exorcist in 1974 when I was only twelve years old. At that time the film had already hit the theaters and for those who lived during that era you will remember what a huge controversy the movie caused. My mother would not allow me to see the movie but she gave me the okay to read the book.

The Exorcist has always held a special place in my heart because it is what I consider to be the first adult novel I ever read. I remember reading at night w
...more
Karla Torres
Jan 07, 2016 Karla Torres rated it really liked it
Tuve 3 constantes pensamientos al leer este libro:
1.- Pinche libro me va a gritar en cualquier momento
2.- *Escucha ruidos* *Entra en pánico y se cubre bajo la sábana*. (No es verdad)
3.- La verdad no hay 3, no sé contar.

Es un libro que no pude soltar, a pesar de leerlo sólo en las madrugadas (mala idea, si me daba un poco de miedo escuchar ruidos a esa hora)

De verdad lo sentí como esas películas de suspenso en las que todo está en silencio y de repente KABUM FANTASMA/MONSTRUO/ASESINO/PSICÓPATA
...more
Mimi
Feb 23, 2015 Mimi rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2014
The movie isscarier, mostly because of the visuals, but also partly because it lets you assume that perhaps whatever possessed Regan MacNeill may not really bethe devil but an unknown entity. The book, however, makes no allowances for alternative interpretations. It is Satan without a doubt, and I think that actually lessens the chilling effect, that the culprit is so obvious.
Perhaps evil is the crucible of goodness... and perhaps even Satan--Satan, in spite of himself--somehow serves to work ou
...more
Aoibhínn
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
Councillor
“Yet I think the demon's target is not the possessed; it is us . . . the observers . . . every person in this house. And I think---I think the point is to make us despair; to reject our own humanity, Damien: to see ourselves as ultimately bestial; as ultimately vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy.”

Some years ago, I gave a school presentation on the subject of churchly handling with exorcism, divided into Catholic and Protestant aspects. Exorcism was an interesting topic to s
...more
Carla
Dec 10, 2015 Carla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“No final daquela tarde em que tudo parecia estar silenciosamente suspenso, um jovem estudante de Teologia que estava a preparar-se para o sacerdócio atravessou os campos do seminário de Woodstock, em Maryland. Procurava um velho jesuíta, magro e grisalho. Encontrou-o numa vereda, a passear no meio de um bosque. Entregou-lhe um telegrama. O ancião agradeceu-lhe, serenamente, com um olhar bondoso, e prosseguiu a sua contemplação, caminhando por entre a natureza que amava. Deteve-se algumas vezes, ...more
Nishat
ছবিটা দেখেছি দু বছর আগে। মূল লেখার পরায় পুরোটা পড়েছি ছয়-সাত মাস আগে। শিফটিং-র কারণে পরে বাকিটা পড়া গেল না। এই কষট অনেকদিন খেয়েছে। এরপরও গত রাতে একশ চার পাতার অনুবাদ পড়তে গিয়ে দুইশ আটবার খাটের নিচে নড়াচড়া টের পেয়েছি, অসাধারণ অসাধারণ অবয়ব চোখের কিনারায় দেখেছি! শেষে পুরোটা পড়িও নি, সকালের জনয রেখে দিয়েছি।

সাবলীল, অসাধারণ অনুবাদ! অরিজিনাল কাজের অনেকখানিই অশালীন কথাবারতায় ভরপুর, যেটা আবার উপনযাসের শকত গাঁথুনির জনয অনেক পরয়োজন ছিল। আমাদের বিচার, ধারণা, পাঠকের সাথে সব মিলাতে গিয়ে লেখক তার পরায় সবটুকুই ম
...more
Bonnie
“You don’t blame us for being here, do you? After all, we have no place to go. No home… Incidentally, what an excellent day for an exorcism…”

When Regan MacNeil, daughter of famous actress Chris MacNeil, becomes strangely ill, coming up with a reasonable explanation proves difficult. Chris’ original belief that this is caused by repressed anger over her divorce with Regan’s father because less likely as time progresses and Regan begins going through increasingly violent episodes and physical tr
...more
Coos Burton
May 21, 2015 Coos Burton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ansiaba muchísimo leer este libro ya que es un clásico, y como había salido en el club de lectura "Letras Macabras" como en libro del mes, aproveché y lo compré. Se trata de un libro batannnte fuerte, es de hecho más crudo de lo que lo imaginaba. Me gustó todo el proceso que se hace antes de descubrir que Regan esta poseída, para saber si lo que ella sufre es algún tipo de trastorno mental o quizá alguna enfermedad que esta afectando seriamente su conducta. El demonio logró caerme bastante simpá ...more
Kevin Cambronero
Nov 26, 2015 Kevin Cambronero rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror
La película la vi hace años, pero igual recordaba cómo terminaban algunas cosas. A pesar de eso, lo disfruté muchísimo. Es muy bueno. Lo deberían leer todos los que disfrutan del terror, porque vale totalmente la pena: tiene un argumento atractivo, entretenido y fundamentado; personajes excelentes y profundos, cada uno con su lugar a lo largo de la novela.

Se apeó del taxi un hombre alto, ya entrado en años.

Vestía impermeable y sombrero negro y llevaba en la mano una desvencijada maleta. Pagó al
...more
Apokripos
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 simplisti
...more
Sunday
Jan 25, 2012 Sunday rated it liked it
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
Troy Blackford
Nov 29, 2015 Troy Blackford rated it really liked it
This was a great book, and it was deeply troubling. One scene was so grotesque and... for lack of a better word, 'immoral,' that I can't believe it was ever published. It was of course SUPPOSED to make you feel terrible, and be awful, but it was one of the worst, most vile things I've ever read. And this was a deeply unsettling and frightening book. But I can't shake the sense that it commingled equal parts brilliant storytelling with horrible images and disgusting language to make you feel frea ...more
JaHy☝Hold the Fairy Dust
The book was 10x's creepier than the movie.....


Luis
May 16, 2015 Luis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
¡¡¡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 a fin de escribir algo decente y bien documentado.
"El exorcista" es uno de esos líbros, puede que este muy (sobre)valorado para muchos y más en esta era, puede que para los escépticos en el tema religioso, como en mi caso, sea inverosímil e imposible. Sin embargo,
...more
Andrew
Aug 10, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
Finally, I managed to read this book, many years after seeing the movie. It's much more complex and compelling than the latter. Usually the scene that everyone remembers most, is the exorcism itself, a small part of the book. Now, the story: the little Regan MacNeil, daughter of actress Chris MacNeil, suddenly begins to have strange behaviors that confuse doctors and torment the mother. After examinations and analysis without results, Chris sees as the only hope rely on an exorcism by Father Dam ...more
Jorge
May 18, 2008 Jorge rated it it was amazing
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
Joseph DiFrancesco
Dec 30, 2015 Joseph DiFrancesco rated it it was amazing
Took me a lifetime to finally get around to reading this, but now that I have, I can say it's probably one of the best novels in its genre I have ever read.

Blatty's research on the subject, the carefully etched characters and the dialogue were all superbly crafted. Having seen the movie over the years, Jason Miller's portrayal of Father Karras provided excellent visualization for me. I always felt he had owned the role.

For all the folks out there reading new horror stories - give this classic
...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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • The Amityville Horror
  • The Omen
  • Psycho
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • The Other
  • The Keep (Adversary Cycle, #1)
  • A Stir of Echoes
  • The Sentinel
  • Books of Blood: Volume Three (Books of Blood #3)
  • Let's Go Play At The Adams'
  • Naomi's Room
  • Audrey Rose
  • Halloween
  • Off Season (Dead River, #1)
  • The Bad Seed
  • The Wolfen
  • They Thirst
  • Suffer the Children
104728
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.
Sourced from Wikipedia
More about William Peter Blatty...

Other Books in the Series

The Exorcist (2 books)
  • Legion

Share This Book



“God never talks. But the devil keeps advertising, Father. The devil does a lot of commercials.” 62 likes
“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.” 56 likes
More quotes…