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 #1)

4.17  ·  Rating details ·  164,154 ratings  ·  4,352 reviews
Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist is now a major television series on FOX. It remains one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a childs demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 385 pages
Published February 1st 1994 by HarperTorch (first published June 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
1,699 books — 5,068 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!
1,111 books — 6,050 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.17  · 
Rating details
 ·  164,154 ratings  ·  4,352 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Exorcist
Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, book-to-film
<b>In our sleep, pain, which cannot forget, falls<br>drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own <br>despair, against our will, come wisdom<br>through the awful grace of God.<br> --Aeschylus</b><br><br>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 <s>ratty</s> well loved copy of <i>The Exorcist</i> that inexplicably found its way into my book collection. Id swear it was stolen from one of <a href="" rel="nofollow">Kemper</a> ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin
<b>I think I'm ready. . . Help!</b><br><br><img src="" alt=" " class="gr-hostedUserImg"><br><br>Well, maybe I'm weird but I found the movie scarier than the book. Don't get me wrong, there are a few parts that gave me the heebie jeebies, but overall it didn't get me like the movie. Just getting the gifs for this freaking review had me all creeped out!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This book is very disturbing though. Reading the stuff about people in the Black Mass and what they were doing. Uggg, no. <br><br><img src="" alt=" " class="gr-hostedUserImg"><br><br><img src="" alt=" " class="gr-hostedUserImg"><br><br>I thought about getting a copy of the movie to watch again since I ...more
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
<b> <u>Curiosity compels you to read this!</u></b><br /><br /><br /><b> <u>THE DEVIL IS IN THE DETAILS</u></b><br /><br />It was kinda hard to decide the rating on this novel. <br /><br />If I'd think only on the raw reading experience, I would say that it was a 3-star material.<br /><br /><b>However</b>, I had to ponder about the whole additional info and further development of characters compared with my experience with the film adaptation (which certainly is one of my favorite horror films). So, I think that the fairest rating is giving a solid 4-star rating.<br /><br />Certainly due all those ...more
<a href=";current=Exorcist5-1-1.jpg" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"> <img src="" alt="Photobucket" class="gr-hostedUserImg"></a><br><br>A <b>masterpiece</b>...unqualified, unadulterated and unequaled. <br><br>How better to describe the definitive, <b>40th Anniversary</b> edition of one of <b>THE</b> classic horror novels of the <b>20th century</b>...rendered in audio format and narrated with passion, verve and pitch-perfect delivery by <b>William P. Blatty</b> himself.<br><br>Ive seen both the original and extended, remastered versions of <i>The Exorcist</i> several times and believe it ranks among the finest horror films ever made. Until this week, I had never read the source novel. ...more
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scared the heck out of me !!
Amalia Gavea
Strange as it may seem, I hadn't watched the film version of <i>''The Exorcist''</i> until last summer. I know, shame on me, but you see, I thought I wouldn't be able to take it seriously. I don't believe in possessions or devils or any of these things, although I love to read about them. Of course, I knew of Blatty's novel and I was aware of the cutie little green Pazuzu-face of young Regan, but since I don't believe in the main theme of the story, I knew I wouldn't be able to appreciate the film, right? ...more
Nov 02, 2019 rated it liked it
My mother took me to see The Exorcist at a drive-in theater as part of a double feature with Texas Chainsaw Massacre when I was nine years old. <br /><br />NINE YEARS OLD I say. <br /><br />AT THE DRIVE-IN!<br /><br />And we LIVED IN TEXAS!<br /><br />Scared the living shit out of me. The Exorcist permanently scarred my little girl psyche and undoubtedly contributed to my love of dark and morbid stories. <br /><br />To this day it is still the scariest movie I have ever seen. <br /><br />The book? Not so much.
THE EXORCIST is on quite a few of my favorite lists.<br><br>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.<br><br>It is my favorite movie poster.<br><br><img src="" alt=" photo 461646bd-0f47-4831-860e-a2a5a6ec5b2c_zpsf5julgzo.jpg" class="gr-hostedUserImg"><br><br>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 far.<br><br>William Blatty's voice is like butter...slathered on the perfect horror filled ...more
Sep 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audiobook
WIlliam Peter Blattys groundbreaking novel caused many waves at the time of its publication, though it is thought that the accompanying movie might have been even more controversial. I chose to embark on this journey, more out of curiosity than anything else. Knowing the premise, I thought I would indulge before the season of ghouls and other spine-tingling things is fully upon us. Chris MacNeil is a screen actress and lives in Georgetown with her daughter, Regan. Quite the typical twelve, Regan ...more
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You gotta be impressed with a book that inspires a movie that managed to turn entire generations off of pea soup.<br /><br />Chris MacNeil is an actress who is filming a movie in Georgetown when her young daughter Regan starts to exhibit bizarre behavior, and since medical science fails to provide any answers she turns to Father Damien Karras for blah, blah, blah, blah. Theres no point in a plot summary because we all know the set up on this one. Its also one of those books where the film version has become ...more
Dean J. Hill
Oct 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: five-star-reads
I like to think I have a high tolerance for anything remotely creepy. I recently survived an encounter with Pennywise, after all. So I tucked myself in bed, dimmed the light and opened the cover to William Peter Blattys 1971 supernatural horror novel, <i>The Exorcist</i>. And so my mind was like: Yeah, lets do this . . . give me your demonic possession, Pete, and lets have some exorcism right about NOW . . . Halloween, here I come . . . E-X-O-R-C-I-S-T, baby!<br><br>About halfway through the book and from the ...more
Leo .
Oct 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
What a fantastic and scary but fascinating book. The film with Linda Blair and Max Von Sydow was so far ahead of its time. I was just a young boy when the film was released and remember that there was heaps of controversy at the time. Ambulances and police were rushing to theatres because people were fainting and screaming with hysteria. In some extreme cases priests were called. I know that the film was back in theatres a while ago and my partner and I went to see it again with our nephew and niece. ...more
Sadie Hartmann Mother Horror
Its no surprise to me that this book was a very spiritual read for me. I knew, considering the topic, that this was going to come down to a showdown between light and dark, good and evil, God and Satan.<br />In which case, there could only really be one clear outcome. But more on that later. Im going to try to be as spoiler free as I can considering some people may not have read this *or* haven't seen the movie, in fact, it would help you to know that I only saw the movie when I was very young and I kept ...more
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: horror
This is a book that, in my opinion, sets the standard for modern horror. Not only is the story disturbing and brilliantly written, but it stays with you for long after you've finished the book. Why? Because it all seems so normal to begin with. All the unnerving things seem to have simple explanations. So, for the longest time, the characters move unaware of the horror to come. For the reader, this soon becomes a experience where it takes little to start extrapolating this semblance of normalcy ...more
Johann (jobis89)
Jan 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
"We mourn the blossoms of May because they are to whither; but we know that May is one day to have its revenge upon November, by the revolution of that solemn circle which never stops - which teaches us in our height of hope, ever to be sober, and in our depth of desolation, never to despair."<br /><br />The unusual occurrences in the MacNeil house could easily be explained away - rats in the attic, misplaced furniture - but the disturbing changes in Regan MacNeil's behaviour could not. Doctors are unable to ...more
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Im not going to go too much into a review of this book. Im sure most of you have seen the movie.<br /><br />If you found the movie scary, the book is more horrifying in some ways. I think it's because your imagination is in overdrive. There were scenes in the book that had me cringing, gasping and I was totally creeped out. Also, the description of Black Mass was disturbing and I was on Wiki to look up more information. Holy Catholic hell?!<br /><br />High point of the book for me: All conversations with the demon and ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
Boil it all down and The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty is about faith. <br><br>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. <br><br>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 piecing ...more
Having recently seen a film called <i>The Last Exorcism</i>, I decided it was finally time to read the <i>first</i> 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.<br /><br />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. <i>The Exorcist</i> is a ...more
Aug 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror-dark
The Exorcist, a horror/paranormal book, was a solid 5 stars. Im not going to bother with a formal review since there are so many wonderful reviews out there and written way better than I could ever articulate. <br />Horror is my favorite genre, but with that being said- only one book has truly disturbed me (that being House of Leaves), until now that is. The Exorcist wasnt a scary book for me, it didnt frighten me but it sure as heck disturbed me. I found the stuff that Regan did to be shocking and disturbing- ...more
Anish Kohli
Nov 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
<b> <blockquote>I think belief in God is not a matter of reason at all; I think it finally is a matter of love: of accepting the possibility that God could ever love us.</blockquote></b> An unexpected and unplanned BR with <a href="" rel="nofollow">The newly minted Kaz and Inej lover</a>, <a href="" rel="nofollow">The closeted lady reviewer</a> and <a href="" rel="nofollow">The guy with <b>STILL</b> no profile picture</a>. Thank you guys, for <s>leaving me in the dust</s> such a nice time!<br><br>Phew! What a crazy and scary read!<br><img src="" class="gr-hostedUserImg"><br><br>What can I say about the book thats not been said a million times over? I mean its been out there for decades ...more
Nov 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, horror
I am giving the book a rating of 4.5! <br /><br />Like most people I had watched the movie before reading the book. But, I had watched the movie so long back that I had forgotten most of it only remembered a few scenes.<br /><br />The novel has exceeded my expectations. It is not just a horror story it has elements of mystery and psychological thriller as well.<br /><br />We all, or rather many of us know that the story revolves around the possession of a little girl by an evil entity. <br /><br />The story opens with a scene in an archaeological ...more
Aug 25, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: best-reads, feb-list
This is a really chilling and frightening story.<br />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 putting ...more
Science (Fiction) Comedy Horror and Fantasy Geek/Nerd a.k.a Mario
Its a well-written novel, but what interests me more is the development of the horror genre and especially what meanwhile has become possible.<br /><br />The book was revolutionary for its time, cause it deals with religion, ordinary talking young women and some horror elements. May have been shocking and controversial for its time when the philistines were still a strong force, but nowadays it seems benign, nearly cute, compared to computer games dealing with war crimes and genres like extreme horror that ...more
Cameron Chaney
Such a classic. The writing is like popcorn, dialogue is realistic, the characters are likable while having unlikable characteristics, and there's plenty of moments that will either get under your skin or turn your stomach altogether (yes... <i>that</i> scene). Highly recommended!
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.<br /><br />Powerfully gripping, a story ...more
The book started out slow and for the first half of the book there was no real "scare" factor. Most of the book was no one believing that the daughter Ragan was possessed, but instead that she just had some psychological problems which were causing her transformation of an innocent girl to a stark raving lunatic. Most of the book was about the psycharists that were treating her and their thoughts about what was causing her mental illness. <br /><br />The book finally started picking up pace with more things ...more
Dirk Grobbelaar
Satanic Panic in South Africa has its very own Wikipedia entry.<br /><br />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. Its a free for all.<br /><br />Why is this relevant to this review?<br /><br />Satanic Panic was at its peak in the 80s, when I was young, and the one Horror Film we were absolutely <b>forbidden</b> to watch was <i>The Exorcist</i>. Needless to say, it was one of the first we sought to get a hold ...more
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
<i>This is my Book Of the Month- February 2017, with GR group- Horror Aficionados.</i><br /><br />I love watching horror movies and enjoy reading horror books even more. In horror genre, 'Ghost Stories' are my favorite genre and this book just <i>'Fit to a T'</i>.<br /><br />Exorcist is one of the few horror movies that actually shocked and horrified me. And I was really excited to read the original book on which this cult classic was based. <br /><br /><b>If you found the movie scary, the book is grosser and more horrifying in some ways.</b><br />Maybe it's ...more
Edward Lorn
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Those who buy their sex toys from
Finally, the last book I read in 2015. All caught up now.<br /><br /><i>Pssst... You've read four books this year, so, like, you're, you know, still behind...</i><br /><br />FUCK!<br /><br />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 course, ...more
Horace Derwent
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
on oct 26th 1987, an english professor bought this book in shanghai foreign book store at the price of rmb 6, as much as nearly rmb 200 this day i guess<br><br>last week i paid him rmb 100 for this book. the jacket is long gone, the bounding parched and cracked, but the paper is well preserved, better than i imagine, should be a nice bargain<br><br>now i'm the ultimate owner of it, no jacket, sorry, no pix <br><br>but there's the first taiwanese edition, sept. 1974<br><br><img src="" class="gr-hostedUserImg"><br><br><img src="" class="gr-hostedUserImg"><br><br><img src="" class="gr-hostedUserImg"> :D
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Amityville Horror
  • The Omen
  • Jaws (Jaws #1)
  • The Shining (The Shining, #1)
  • Rosemary's Baby (Rosemary's Baby, #1)
  • It
  • Carrie
  • The Silence of the Lambs  (Hannibal Lecter, #2)
  • Misery
  • Cujo
  • Interview with the Vampire (The Vampire Chronicles, #1)
  • Christine
  • Let the Right One In
  • Pet Sematary
  • Night Shift
  • Thinner
  • Psycho (Psycho #1)
  • Dracula
See similar books…
William Peter Blatty was an American writer and filmmaker. He wrote the novel <i>The Exorcist</i> (1971) and the subsequent screenplay version for which he won an Academy Award. Born and raised in New York City, Blatty received his bachelor's degree in English from the Georgetown University in 1950, and his master's degree in English literature from the George Washington University in 1954. He also wrote ...more

Other books in the series

The Exorcist (2 books)
  • Legion
“God never talks. But the devil keeps advertising, Father. The devil does a lot of commercials.” 106 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.” 78 likes
More quotes…