Caris's Reviews > The Exorcist

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
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's review
Apr 18, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: 2009
Read in April, 2009

When I was a kid (I can’t remember exactly how old I was, but I was younger than 10), I had my first glimpse of The Exorcist. My parents were watching it in the living room and I sat down to join them. Now, I was no stranger to horror movies. I had grown up with The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Friday the 13th. Freddy Krueger, arguably, babysat me more than anyone else. But The Exorcist scared the shit out of me.

When I went to sleep that night, I saw Regan in my closet and I was too petrified to flee my room. And I didn’t even make it through the whole movie.

As far as plot is concerned, the movie was very faithful to the book. The book, however, offered some stuff that the movie lacked. Some of the possession scenes were far more graphic in the book. Which makes sense, as filming them would probably have led to a “X” rating. But, more importantly, Father Karras was given much more attention.

Father Karras is one of my favorite literary characters, and not just because we share a pronunciation. He was a strong, fiercely intelligent character who was plagued by doubt and sacrificed more than anyone I have ever heard of, living, dead, or created in someone’s imagination. To face the devil (not to mention all of your sins from the past), while not having an unwavering belief in God, is quite the undertaking.

I also liked Father Merrin very much. He kind of came in at the last minute, like a spiritual cowboy. He and the demon were old chums from way back.

My only issue with the book was the horrible dialogue, mostly coming from Chris. Her character was prone to saying “gee” far too often. Blatty even made an attempt at some sort of regional (I think) dialect that came across atrociously. In my opinion, a writer must be careful when trying to emphasize how a character’s speech sounds.

Much, much better than expected.
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04/16 marked as: read

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