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3.71 of 5 stars 3.71  ·  rating details  ·  4,795 ratings  ·  143 reviews
Just in time for the 40th anniversary of The Exorcist -- Legion, a classic tale of horror, is back in print!

A young boy is found horribly murdered in a mock crucifixion. Is the murderer the elderly woman who witnessed the crime? A neurologist who can no longer bear the pain life inflicts on its victims? A psychiatrist with a macabre sense of humor and a guilty secret? A my...more
Paperback, 333 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Tor Books (first published January 1st 1983)
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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...more
Tony Gleeson
"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
Emily Petit
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
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...more
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.
Jul 20, 2014 rachel rated it 2 of 5 stars
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 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
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...more
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...more
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...more
Seth Holler
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
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,...more
Scott Brook
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...more
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
I was initially drawn to this book due to reading that the author wrote The Exorcist. The ultimate Horror movie, to the point of it becoming cliche when hearing someone list their favourite Horror movies. I wouldn't usually read something like this, a cynical cop with a sharp wit tries to thwart a killer and catch him before anyone else gets hurt. There are a thousand shows like that on TV and they are all somewhat boring and formulaic.

For the first 200 odd pages it felt very Mystery Horror by...more
Definitely a good read - and some truly excellent writing by an author I should read more of - BUT... it's one of those situations were I'm so familiar with the movie, I had trouble being objective with the novel. In a way, this was one case where the film cutting out the fat was a good thing.

Then again, I've just always been a sucker for EXORCIST III...
Michele J
What the heck happened to Blatty? The Exorcist was such a terrifying book but Legion was a big let down. Nothing good even happened until the 2nd half of the book and even that wasn't too interesting. I found Kinderman to be really annoying and over-stereotypically Jewish. Too much philosophizing and not enough creepiness. Could have been a lot better.
This book is Blatty at his best. At his best he tells tales that are gripping at the surface, but are extended examinations of philosophical issues beneath. And when he's at his best you can go as deeply as you like in the tale. On the surface Legion involves many characters from his earlier bestseller, The Exorcist. Lt. Kinderman and Father Dyer are central to this horror cum police procedural. So in one sense it's a sequel to the earlier novel. It also fleshes out some ideas mentioned only in...more
Legion is the sequel to Blatty's The Exorcist. The protagonist is Lt. William Kinderman, the Columbo-like detective from The Exorcist. Blatty spends a significant portion of his word count on Judeo-Christian apologetics in the form of Kinderman's streams of consciousness. The novel derives much of its horror from bizarre events and behaviors. The object of Blatty's writing seems to be to keep the reader off balance. A dead body is just a dead body, but a dead body that's been cut in half, disemb...more
This is a fairly good horror-type mystery, though not with supernatural elements. The story by itself would have made a good book, but there is so much else here that constantly distracts from the plot and storyline. (And no, I don't think it adds to it.)

I try to read a book from the time period it was written in, if that makes sense. If I were alive at the time, I will remember the fashions, the political sense, etc. So I was quite young when this was written, but I remember the time well. Havi...more
Douglas P
Blatty's 'sequel' is a unique diversion from the original 'Exorcist' - in that it reads, at times, like a Marx brother's detective novel, before it sways into psychopathic horror (as in serial killer on the loose), suddenly taking an upward turn into cosmic theology, as well as faith, Blatty's most recurring theme in all his fiction. This may jolt some readers, especially ones who are expecting a full-on horror novel. Blatty keeps the action in DC, and returning is Detective Kinderman, who is ha...more
Blurb from goodreads

Jesus asked the man his name, and he answered, “Legion, for we are many.”--Mark 5:9

A young boy is found horribly murdered in a mock crucifixion. Is the murderer the elderly woman who witnessed the crime? A neurologist who can no longer bear the pain life inflicts on its victims? A psychiatrist with a macabre sense of humor and a guilty secret? A mysterious mental patient, locked in silent isolation?

Lieutenant Kinderman follows a bewildering trail that links all these people,...more
Benoit Lelievre
I enjoyed the crap out of that book, but it took me a lot of energy to finish. It's a slow, austere and hyperrational take on supernatural horror and the belief of men. Masquerading as a mystery to prevent any possible temptation of versing into straightforward horror, LEGION requires time, silence and your complete devotion. That also makes it awesomely original.

It's a unique spin on horror that finds its effectiveness in the subtle, bone chilling details. The scenes are often familiar (any cri...more
I read this because I saw the film adaptation ( Exorcist 3) and LOVED IT. Go see it, the performances are amazing.

But dear god. I had read the exorcist a long time ago and remembered being annoyed at the authors flowery nonsense wording and descriptions but it cut the crap and got to the point fast. NOT THIS ONE. I read it on a kindle and it gave me the percentage i had read..81% of this book was set up, character buildup and the main character waxing poetic and nonsensically rambling about the...more
I came across this book via recommendation. I have seen The Exorcist, the movie made from Blatty's first book. I almost did not read this because I saw the movie. It was great movie but 'Legion' was much more subtle and thoughtful. I skimmed reviews for this book and was almost deterred from reading this. I am glad I ignored them as I am a contrarian so why not?

The pacing of the book is not exactly linear. Blatty takes his time with developing the characters. His attention to detail with the pro...more
Octavio Villalpando
Jul 25, 2013 Octavio Villalpando rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans del horror
Como lector de horror estoy muy acostumbrado a leer bazofias (admitámoslo, no hay demasiado ejemplos de buena literatura terrorífica), en este caso, aún y cuando desde luego no estamos ante una joya literaria por derecho propio, si estamos ante un muy bien ejemplo de buena literatura de horror. En este libro, que sirve como una especie de secuela de "El Exorcista", seguimos los eventos en la vida del Detective Kinderman mientras investiga una serie de terribles asesinatos cometidos por una espec...more
Alessandro Balestra
Una serie di terribili omicidi a sfondo religioso sconvolge la cittadinanza di Georgetown, negli Stati Uniti. L'anziano tenente Kinderman, durante le indagini, scopre che tutti i delitti sono in qualche modo collegati alle imprese di Gemini, un serial killer morto da anni, e all'esorcismo della giovane Regan MacNeil. Il Male non è stato sconfitto, continua ad esistere più potente di prima...
Trascorsi una decina di anni dal drammatico epilogo de "L'esorcista" la storia continua con "Gemini killer...more
Jen O'leary
I was nervous to pick up this book because the movie "The Exorcist" scared the hell out of me and I'm afraid to read that book because I know it'll scare the hell out of me. I figured I could handle a book about some murders, so I started "Legion," not really piecing together that this book is a sequel to "The Exorcist"... I guessed I assumed it was just another book by Blatty.

At any rate, this book started out really odd and I wasn't sure I would be able to make it through. The majority of the...more
Writing a book that inspired one of the scariest and most controversial movies of all time is no mean feat. Writing a sequel is another issue entirely. William Peter Blatty sought to right the wrong of Exorcist II: The Heretic with Legion, the intended (and canonical) followup to his 1971 magnum opus.

True to Blatty's style, Legion is not the scare-a-minute marathon that devotees of the Exorcist movie were hoping for. The philosophical and theological ramblings of Lieutenant Kinderman are occasi...more
The Gemini killer (based on the infamous Zodiac murders)seems to somehow have returned from the dead after a series of murders matching his M.O start to appear, but how can that be possible when he was killed in a hail of bullets and what does a doctor obsessed with the concept of 'pain,' and a mysterious patient in a psych ward who hasn`t spoken for years be connected to these new and grisly murders and Could the answer be found in an exorcism peformed on a young girl twelve years earlier? For...more
Mauro Barea
Peter Blatty demuestra con este trabajo sus escasos dotes narrativos para una novela. No he leído el Exorcista, pero con esta lectura puedo darme cuenta que seguro es un excelente guionista (ganador del Oscar por el mismo Exorcista) pero novelísticamente hablando, es pobre, en general no se llega a nada, no hay un final al menos que nos pueda esclarecer por completo el misterio del asesino, se lo deja todo a las posesiones, a un demonio que nunca tuvo consistencia, y diálogos desastrosos, que se...more
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Jorge's review 1 13 Dec 01, 2013 06:40PM  
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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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“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.” 9 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.” 5 likes
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