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Legion (The Exorcist)

3.72  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,725 Ratings  ·  221 Reviews
One by one the bizarre murders frustrate and torment Lt. Kinderman , the homicide detective from "The Exorcist". — A boy, crucified;A priest, decapitated; another priest slain;a nurse,slaughtered — All bear the Zodiac mark of the Gemini Killer. — BUT ... the Gemini Killer has been dead for 12 years! — Lt. Kinderman stalks the brutal and elusive killer down the dark streets ...more
Hardcover, 269 pages
Published January 1st 1983 by Simon & Schuster
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Mandy It's a densely written novel, and it doesn't place all the answers out there on a plate. I found it interesting and compelling, but the word…moreIt's a densely written novel, and it doesn't place all the answers out there on a plate. I found it interesting and compelling, but the word 'entertainment' never sprang to mind. Some of the cultural references were new to me, and I found myself googling the odd word or two, many of them turning out to be Yiddish, and whilst they're not essential to understanding the story, it's all part of absorbing the book and the author's intent. It's a good book, I can say with pleasure after reading it all, and would fit in nicely if you like Thomas Harris, perhaps. Horror? I'm not so sure... it has horrific elements, and it craves a supernatural milieu, but it didn't really terrify or scare me in any way.

Edit: Sorry - 'Go for it'.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jul 11, 2010 Wyrmm added it
Parts of this book are incredible, parts rambling nonsense. In the first half of the book there is 1 page of story for every 5 pages of commentary on God, Evolution, Pain Therapy, "Modern Science", Metaphysics, Causality, Etc. all from the perspective of good old 1983.
It's written strongly and laced with undertones of an exhausted father who's children just refuse to see the light, despite all of the "facts" to the contrary. Many times the book makes a point of how "facts" confuse the truth whi
Tony Gleeson
Dec 04, 2008 Tony Gleeson rated it really liked it
"The Exorcist" scared the bejeebers out of me when I read it many years ago. "Legion" was Blatty's sequel (as opposed to the nonsensical theatrical sequel with Richard Burton) and it haunted me for slightly different reasons. The protagonist might well be going through some kind of brain malignancy, and Blatty describes some odd neural phenomena as well as introducing the necessary supernatural stuff. I actually think this was a much better structured and co mposed book than "Exorcist." Also, be ...more
Leslie Chivers
Apr 03, 2015 Leslie Chivers rated it it was amazing
This novel scared the beans out of me. It had me questioning myself, faith, society, everything. Not many books have had that type of impact on me.
Oct 21, 2014 Hester rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Here are some blurbs on the back of Legion.

"I devoured Legion in one terrified gulp. It even manages to out spook The Exorcist."- Los Angeles Times

"Heartbeat-skipping horror. Read Legion only on a sunny day."- Cosmopolitan

"Ten times better than The Exorcist ... The suspense is breathtaking, and the ideas dark, deadly, and fascinating." The Cleveland Plain Dealer

So what the fuck was I reading? These blurbs are full of lies lies lies! Lies I say.

This book is not scary, not terrifying and didn't
Jun 23, 2016 Sud666 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror
Well I must say this was underwhelming. Perhaps disappointing is a better word? The original book was excellent and deserves mention as one of the finest horror stories of all time. This? Well don't let the abnormally high score on GR fool you, it's not good. At all. The only reason I gave this 2 star instead of the more appropriate 1 is that I did finish the book (though I almost quit three times) and there were a few brief moments of "Wait it's getting better....aannndddd it's not".

Charlie Collins
May 29, 2016 Charlie Collins rated it liked it
Shelves: horror

I had high hopes because I liked The Exorcist so much but this one wasn't the same quality.
Andres Garzon
William P. Blatty lo tenía todo para hacer de esta LA secuela perfecta de ''El Exorcista'' pero no se que ocurrió.

De casi 300 páginas que tiene el libro las 175 primeras se hacen eternas...suceden cosas interesantes, sí, las descripciones de los asesinatos son brutales, sí, Kinderman es un muy buen personaje, sí, peroooo queremos acción, queremos saber mas, queremos demonios y no nos los dan hasta despues de las 175 primeras páginas...ocurrió algo bastante gracioso y era que me encontraba realiz
Oct 11, 2015 Alex rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Wait, this was seriously written by William Peter Blatty?! What a shame! That alone is a fright. I was SOOO disappointed with this book, and doubly so given The Exorcist is my all time favorite horror novel. By a long shot. The first 250 pages were nothing but pure flatline. The book starts with a murder but no real orientation or grounding. It's full of extreme confusion, odd dialogue, excessive and disjointed ramblings (many times in Yiddish) by Kinderman. A total waste of time to read. It's b ...more
Oct 13, 2014 brianna rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is more or less a follow up to The Exorcist, and it's actually a great deal better than The Exorcist. I do recommend reading the predecessor first, because a few fairly major plot points will have a lot more meaning and be much more interesting if you've first read The Exorcist.

I love the character of Satan/Lucifer/The Devil in almost any work of literature, and any rumination about the nature of human or 'divine' evil, and this book delivers it. There's almost a Rust Cohle-esque feel to Ki
May 18, 2008 Jorge rated it really liked it
"Legion" is a more successful work than the "The Exorcist III," the film adaptation of this book that author William Peter Blatty also directed.

Studio meddling had something to do with the sloppiness of the film, but reading this novel reveals some of the faults lie in the source material. This supernatural murder mystery starts strong, but Blatty seems to rush his way through the end. The last third of the novel struck me as disjointed and less than satisfying.

That said, Blatty expertly juggles
Thomas Strömquist
Repeated the success of The Exorcist this one did not. Far too complicated and long-winded. Does not keep the interest up.
Emily Petit
Sep 03, 2010 Emily Petit rated it liked it
This is a verbose and rambling novel, with characters that are clearly intended to be captivatingly real but aren't. It takes itself far too seriously, both in the prose and in the protagonists overwhelmingly boring contemplations about life, science, and God. But the religious theory broached near the end is such a magnificent and hilariously logical burst of creativity that the novel might have something worthy of serious consideration after all. It has its moments of excitement, creepiness, a ...more
Robert Grimminck
Jun 10, 2013 Robert Grimminck rated it did not like it
Blatty, the author of the Exorcist is wrote a serial killer thriller? Alright, I can get on board with that. It's a shame the book is terrible. Just awful.

The story follows Lieutenant Kinderman who is a detective investigating the murders that eerily resemble the Gemini Killer's MO. However, the Gemini Killer died years ago. The book moves along so slow it's painful. Kinderman is a very unlikable character. He does awkward things, doesn't really investigates the murders and instead goes on long
Aug 20, 2010 Kate rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 1997-to-1998
I found this in a used book store - I had seen the movies "The Exorcist" and "The Exorcist II: Heretic" but had not yet seen the third movie. It was clear reading this that it was meant to be a direct sequel to the book, and the second movie was something created by producers and not the author (which is probably why it sucked). I was confused and didn't really enjoy the story, which follows the police detective from the first book as he tries to figure out murders similar ones committed by a no ...more
Feb 27, 2010 Earl rated it it was ok
It's hard to tell that this is the same author who wrote the immensely popular Exorcist. I probably read it before, after I first read Exorcist, but I've forgotten. It's that disappointing. I wonder if the author wrote it while in a state of depression. I was heartily sick of his eccentric detective after about 15 pages. I never did get what the supernatural killer DID to Father Karras after he suicided. Didn't seem worth it to reread the novel to find out what I'd missed.
Jorge Soto
Sep 11, 2015 Jorge Soto rated it liked it
No es precisamente una novela de terror, yo mas bien diria de detectives, esto no quiero decir que sea mala, tuvo sus partes buenas, aunque las primeras 100 paginas se me hicieron aburridas, en comparacion con la novela de "El exorcista" (ya que este es la secuela) creo que se quedo corto! :/
Jim Dooley
Oct 27, 2015 Jim Dooley rated it liked it
A philosophical, moralistic debate framed within the confines of a paranormal murder mystery. Once more, the investigator from THE EXORCIST continues his mental struggle regarding the nature of Good and Evil…and why Evil is allowed to exist in the first place. Is it an argument worth having? Ah, therein lies the rub.

As the story opens, it has been years since the horrific events of THE EXORCIST have occurred, and years more since the established death of one of the most notorious serial killers
Jul 20, 2014 rachel rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011
I don't know what to make of this book. On one hand (and as I had some inkling it might be before reading), Legion is your typical horror/suspense novel. The victims are setpieces for elaborate, "chilling" sorts of violence; no one's simply strangled or shot. There's at least one murder that's gratuitous, barely investigated but thrown in towards the end to up the body count and rachet up the excitement. And of course we have the villain explaining his diabolical plot and, in this case, his diab ...more
Dec 03, 2011 Mary rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes horror
Recommended to Mary by: Bookmooch
When a young boy is found brutally murdered in a mock crucifixion, there are four totally unlikely suspects. Was it the elderly woman who witnessed the crime? A neurologist who can no longer bear the pain life inflicts on his patients? A psychiatrist with a macabre sense of humor and a guilty secret, or a mysterious mental patient, locked in silent isolation?

Detective Kinderman follows a bewildering trail in a case that grows more mysterious with each subsequent murder. Why are two murder victim
May 17, 2010 Bill rated it liked it
Shelves: horror
I bought this a long time ago and had put off reading it after reading
too many lukewarm reviews.

The Exorcist was a pretty tough act to follow, but I liked Legion.

Legion focuses on Lieutenant Kinderman, from The Exorcist, as he investigates a series of gruesome murders that follow the same M.O. as the Gemini Killer, who had died 12 years previously.
Throughout the investigation, Kinderman ponders the ways of God, and the nature of evil and instinct. There are some reviewers who seemed to feel the
Dec 12, 2011 Kathy rated it really liked it
Shelves: horror, read-in-2011
I loved Blatty's The Excorcist and was anxious to read this. When I started it, I must say I thought I had jumped into a simple murder mystery. But I was wrong, there isn't anything "simple" about what's going on here.

The main character of Det. Kinderman was very entertaining! Sure, a bit stereotypical, but very entertaining. He's a little bit Columbo from the old TV series and a Jewish Grandmother all mixed up into one. He is investigating a series of bizarre murders, where one is more bizarre
Seth Holler
Dec 20, 2011 Seth Holler rated it really liked it
According to the book jacket, "Few works of fiction have ever caught the imagination of so vast a public as did The Exorcist," but "now William Peter Blatty has written a novel that transcends The Exorcist in suspense, searing power and intensity." This is bosh, meant like most publishers' synopses to sell rather than adequately represent the book. Nothing in Legion can compare to the destruction wrought by the demon on young Regan MacNeil. But in other categories - prose style, characterization ...more
Dec 05, 2012 M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A breath-taking, and creepy, sequel to The Exorcist. The character of Kinderman is wonderfully developed in this book - he has to be one of the most three-dimensional characters in a book ever for me. His dialogue with Father Dyer sparkles and is just perfect.

It's taken me a long time to get around to this book (given that The Exorcist is one of my favourite books)but maybe I was only ready for it now. It tackles some of life's big questions: the nature of evil, why evil exists, why we suffer an
Vidura Barrios
Mar 14, 2015 Vidura Barrios rated it it was amazing
This book is more of a murder mystery rather than horror (although there are some characters in the book from The Exorcist) but it is hard to put down. I read half of the book in one night. I love when that happens while reading a book.
May 17, 2009 H.A. rated it liked it
Shelves: horror, philosophy
I must have bought this book when I was very young, because it has my name written on the inside cover in childish script. I started early in my love of horror. *G*

In later years, I know I saw the movie based on this book, and so I knew that it was a sort of sequel to Exorcist. I remember the movie being really scary, so I was surprised to find that the book is less scary (although it is a little creepy) and much more philosophical. The main character spends a lot of time considering good, evil,
Oct 29, 2014 Chuck rated it it was ok
2 stars
This wasn't really that great at all. It certainly wasn't in the same league as THE EXORCIST.
Scott Brook
Mar 16, 2012 Scott Brook rated it liked it
Having read The Exorcist and Legion back to back, I was a little surprised that I did not like Legion more than I did. I had previously seen the movie and was expecting a little more delving into the background of the Gemini Killer. I found the sections including him were way too brief and lacked the depth necessary to portray his evil nature. I was also expecting the book to take off much more than it did as it tended to follow the movie pretty closely.

I do recommend the book as a read, however
Apr 28, 2016 Donna rated it really liked it
This book was very hard to follow; between the detective's nonsense ramblings and the demons ramblings.
Lizzie Bates
Mar 05, 2016 Lizzie Bates rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Troy Blackford
Nov 30, 2015 Troy Blackford rated it it was ok
Atrocious. I see now why, despite having written one of the most famous novels of the latter half of the 20th century, Blatty is not more well known.

This 'novel' is actually a moralistic diatribe pretending to be a story. If Blatty had focused on the story, it would have been a huge improvement. But this is the worst example of 'trying to pass on views' since Anne Rice's 'Blood Canticle.' It might even be worse.

First off, his characters are all setting out to prove evolution isn't true. They do
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Jorge's review 3 21 Aug 13, 2014 09:14AM  
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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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The Exorcist (2 books)
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“Would you like to hear a nice definition of jealousy? It's the feeling that you get when someone you absolutely detest is having a wonderful time without you.” 11 likes
“Every man that ever lived craved perfect happiness, the detective poignantly reflected. But how can we have it when we know we’re going to die? Each joy was clouded by the knowledge it would end. And so nature had implanted in us a desire for something unattainable? No. It couldn’t be. It makes no sense. Every other striving implanted by nature had a corresponding object that wasn’t a phantom. Why this exception? the detective reasoned. It was nature making hunger when there wasn’t any food. We continue. We go on. Thus death proved life.” 6 likes
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