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Legion

(The Exorcist #2)

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  9,080 ratings  ·  431 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
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published February 1st 2011 by Tor Books (first published 1983)
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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 'entertai…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)
Steve Parcell Legion is more about the evils of the world than the personal horror of The Exorcist. It is spiritual but I guess dialogue driven drama is there. Its …moreLegion is more about the evils of the world than the personal horror of The Exorcist. It is spiritual but I guess dialogue driven drama is there. Its very good though and almost on a par with the original. I loved both books but The Exorcist for me is not going to be beaten in a book or the superb movie.(less)
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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 ·  9,080 ratings  ·  431 reviews


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Aileene
PRE-READ

When Ben asked me if I wanted to buddy read this scary as f*ck story, naturally, I said,

... I think I may have ran to the wrong direction...

Commencing on the 25th of August.
*looks at Ben and mouths*
If I lose night sleepS, you're in big trouble, Stahl



POST - READ

Yes. I have indeed ran to the wrong direction.
But not because the story spooked me.
No.
And that is why I was very disappointed and aggravated.


Background.
I was excited to read this. Very excited actually because I have read
...more
Supratim
May 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, mystery
This book falls in one of my favorite genres – combination of horror and mystery. I had started the novel with very high expectations. Why shouldn’t I? This is after all the sequel to The Exorcist!

Lt. Kinderman, the homicide cop whom we had met in The Exorcist, is investigating the brutal murders of a child, two priests and a nurse. The murders bear the mark of the Gemini Killer. But, adding to Kinderman’s bafflement is the fact that the Gemini Killer had died 12 years ago.

Are the murders random
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Johann (jobis89)
"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. 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."

A young boy is found murdered and crucified on
...more
Erin *Proud Book Hoarder*
“We have every indication that he died of fright.”

As a coincidence, I finally re-read The Exorcist after more than 15 years in December. I followed this up in January with a re-read (been more than 10 years) of Legion, the sequel that inspired the third flick. Strangely William Peter Blatty took his last breath three days later. RIP for the author, he dished out some chilling stories.

We all remember the bizarre and relentless Lieutenant Kinderman from the original story. He kept up his friends
...more
Paul Holstine
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 whose 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
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Paul
Apr 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A polished supernatural mystery with an easy reading style that keep the pages turning. I would have given this five stars except for segments of introspection and Jungian philosophy filler. This is concentrated at the start though, and can be easily avoided (unless it's your thing).

This was also the basis for the movie, The Exorcist III, starring George C Scott heading an all-star cast, with an especially memorable appearance by the always creepy Brad Dourif. It has some terrifying scenes, incl
...more
Leslie Chivers
Jun 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sud666
Jun 23, 2016 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 no...no it's not".

Stu
...more
Benjamin Stahl
After First Reading - (4 Stars)

William Peter Blatty is my favourite author, even though I've only read three of his books and liked merely two of them. He just has such a brilliant talent for evoking terrifying impulses whilst captivating you into believing every word of his writing. He writes like an established poet and he understands "scary" even more than Stephen King. The Exorcist is his masterpiece but Legion, the belated sequel, is still a very scary, very dark, very memorable story.

Afte
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Tony Gleeson
Dec 04, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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 composed book than "Exorcist." Also, bei ...more
Lauren Mann
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: book-club
I loved this book. The philosophical questions about good and evil and God's role in both was wonderfully laid out. Kinderman is such stellar character. Although I did not like it as much as The Exorcist, I was pleasantly surprised by how well it held up in comparison. It's a mixture between a supernatural/possession novel and a murder/crime novel. Worth the read!!
Fonch
Jan 30, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Ladies and gentlemen, I intend to make up for the lost time to write a second review today. Let's see if it's possible? Because"the spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak"and my flesh must be very anemic. In this case he tortures me with a sore throat, and for the moment Saint Blaise can't help me. I already mentioned that there were two novels that I was greatly saddened to have to suspend them. One of them was Dean R. Koontz's "Nightchills" https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2... and another ...more
Levi Walls
Mar 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 to 4.5 stars. I love Blatty's prose and his existential ponderings through the beloved Detective Lieutenant Kinderman. A sarcastic, yet deeply compassionate character that you can't help but love through all of his blustering, or schmaltz as he likes to call it. A fun, yet beautiful character who refers to one man that had passed on as "a poem," and another lady who went insane over lost love as, "A giant, in a world where love doesn't last, she was a giant." He says all this while constantly ...more
Charlie Collins
Dec 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror

I had high hopes because I liked The Exorcist so much but this one wasn't the same quality.
Fishface
This one was much, much better than I dared to hope. A perfect Halloween read about settling old scores while contemplating the meaning of evil and how to overcome it. This book is the basis of Jeff Dahmer's favorite movie, EXORCIST 3. See it and then read this novel. You won't be sorry.
Hester
Oct 13, 2014 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
...more
Peter
Jan 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
strange streams of consciousness, nevertheless a page turner, read that in 3 days...
Luciana
Aug 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this book was pretty neat, but even if it had sucked, it'd still have 5-star detective Kinderman. He reminds me of my dad, and that's the biggest compliment I could pay anyone.
Jorge
May 18, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"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
...more
brianna
Sep 12, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
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
...more
Alex Bledsoe
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A thoughtful meditation on the nature of good, evil, and God, disguised as a horror-tinged thriller. That's not a criticism; it's essentially what "The Exorcist" was as well. Some characters carry over, but this is pretty much a standalone, with its own points to make. If you enjoy dense, digressive prose done well, then you'll like this.
Donna
Apr 24, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was very hard to follow; between the detective's nonsense ramblings and the demons ramblings.
Heather (glitterandlashes)
Wow! Just wow! I was blown away by this book. It pulled me in from the first page and I ended up finishing it in one sitting.
The Face of Your Father
‘Legion’ by William Peter Blatty is more psychological thriller than horror. That being said, ‘Legion’ contains more frightening sequences in less than 300 pages than some books can in 1,000 pages.

Lieutenant Kinderman is investigated a series of grisly murders. These murders appear to be the same style of the Gemini Killer who has been declared dead for twelve years.

‘Legion’ is a slow burn in every way. Many pages are devoted to the philosophical monologue of the main character about the meani
...more
Katrina Garvey
I *loved* the Exorcist. This was a steaming turd. The book is 5% creepy mystery and 95% Kinderman rambling and musing about the existence of God, over and over and over and over.... It got more than the one star it deserved because there are some funny parts with a carp in the bathtub.
Alex
Sep 02, 2015 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
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
Thomas Strömquist
Repeated the success of The Exorcist this one did not. Far too complicated and long-winded. Does not keep the interest up.
Nicholas Kaufmann
In the twelve years that passed between THE EXORCIST and LEGION, its sequel, author William Peter Blatty honed his writing skills. For the most part, I found LEGION to be a much better written novel than THE EXORCIST, at least on the prose level. When it comes to focus, however, I found Blatty's writing here as frustrating as ever. Whole scenes and conversations amount to nothing and go nowhere. The entirety of the story is crammed into the first few chapters and the last few chapters, with the ...more
Peter Ruys
Sep 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Legion. William Peter Blatty. 1983.
.
In this book, the follow up to The Exorcist, we get a much more in-depth character study of Lt. Kinderman along side an intriguing crime mystery.
.
I felt Blatty was quite brave and respected the readers intelligence by diving straight into Kinderman’s philosophical, existential ponderings and masterfully weaving this into the detective work and crime narrative.
.
Kinderman is highly eccentric, witty and humorous and has become one of my favourite literary charact
...more
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Jorge's review 3 25 Aug 13, 2014 09:14AM  

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William Peter Blatty was an American writer and filmmaker. He wrote the novel The Exorcist (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

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The Exorcist (2 books)
  • The Exorcist

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“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.” 10 likes
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