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)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  132,347 Ratings  ·  2,915 Reviews
The terror began unobtrusively. Noises in Regan's room, an odd smell, misplaced furniture, and icy chill. Small annoyances for which Chris MacNeil, Regan's actress mother, easily found explanations. The changes in eleven-year-old Regan were so gradual, too, that Chris did not recognise for some time how much her daughter's behaviour had altered. Even when she did, the medi ...more
Paperback, 403 pages
Published July 1972 by Bantam Books (first published 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??

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Jeffrey Keeten
Feb 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, book-to-film
”In our sleep, pain, which cannot forget, falls
drop by drop upon the heart until, in our own
despair, against our will, come wisdom
through the awful grace of God.

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 ratty well loved copy of The Exorcist that inexplicably found its way into my book collection. I’d swear it was stolen from one of K
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Curiosity compels you to read this!


It was kinda hard to decide the rating on this novel.

If I'd think only on the raw reading experience, I would say that it was a 3-star material.

However, 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.

Certainly due all t
Melissa ♥ Dog Lover ♥ Martin
I think I'm ready. . . Help!

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.

I thought about getting a copy of the movie to watch again since I

A masterpiece...unqualified, unadulterated and unequaled.

How better to describe the definitive, 40th Anniversary edition of one of THE classic horror novels of the 20th century...rendered in audio format and narrated with passion, verve and pitch-perfect delivery by William P. Blatty himself.

I’ve seen both the original and extended, remastered versions of The Exorcist several times and believe it ranks among the finest horror films ever made. Until this week, I had never read the source novel.

THE EXORCIST is on quite a few of my favorite lists.

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.

It is my favorite movie poster.

[image error] photo 461646bd-0f47-4831-860e-a2a5a6ec5b2c_zpsf5julgzo.jpg

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.

William Blatty's voice is like butter...slathered on the per
Jun 09, 2009 rated it really liked it
You gotta be impressed with a book that inspires a movie that managed to turn entire generations off of pea soup.

Chris MacNeil is an actress who is filming a movie in Georgetown when her young daughter Regan starts to exhibit bizarre behavior, and when medical science fails to provide any answers she turns to Father Damien Karras for blah, blah, blah, blah. There’s no point in a plot summary because we all know the set up on this one. It’s also one of those books where the film version has becom
Rinda Elwakil
Apr 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
لما نزل يسوع إلي الشاطئ قابله رجل من المدينة استحوذت شياطين عليه.. لطالما أذته وتخطفته، وكثيرًا ما كان يكبل بالقيود والسلاسل.. لكنه كان يكسر القيود، ولم يكن يقوي أحد علي كبحِه، سأل يسوع الشيطان قائلًا: "ما اسمك؟"، فقال: "اِسمنَا ليچون، لأننا كَثير .


"وليصل إليك صراخي"..


رواية كهذه، تلزمك فترة نقاهة بعد إتمامها لتعود مجددا وتقرأ، وحتي تري الأمور بالشكل الجديد
هل تظن أنك ستقرأ رواية رعب كلاسيكية؟

غير صحيح

هذه رواية نفسية من الطراز الأول، عندما شا
Amalia Gavea
Strange as it may seem, I hadn't watched the film version of ''The Exorcist'' 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, rig ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Boil it all down and The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty is about faith.

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.

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 piec
Apr 01, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Scared the heck out of me !!
Having recently seen a film called The Last Exorcism, I decided it was finally time to read the first 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.

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. The Exorcist is a
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.
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 put
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.
Powerfully gripping, a st
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is my Book Of the Month- February 2017, with GR group- Horror Aficionados.

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 'Fit to a T'.

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.

If you found the movie scary, the book is grosser and more horrifying in some ways.
Maybe it'
Dirk Grobbelaar
Satanic Panic in South Africa has its very own Wikipedia entry.

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. It’s a free for all.

Why is this relevant to this review?

Satanic Panic was at its peak in the 80s, when I was young, and the one Horror Film we were absolutely forbidden to watch was The Exorcist. Needless to say, it was one of the first we sought to get a h
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... that scene). Highly recommended!
Oct 29, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very addictive read, with some strong creepy scenes and dialogs. I swear, while reading this I was watching the movie in my head, the scariest parts are very similar in the book and some descriptions about the Black Mass where, simply put, disturbing. If that's what you're looking for, go ahead. Highly recommended, it is classic terror.

No tengo ni idea de como se me cruzo por la cabeza la idea de leer esto, pero aqui estoy. Lol

El libro El Exorcista, es justamente lo que la pelicula es; terror
Wayne Barrett

What a thrilling, frightening ride!

I first read the Exorcist in 1974 when I was only twelve years old. At that time the film had already hit the theaters and for those who lived during that era you will remember what a huge controversy the movie caused. My mother would not allow me to see the movie but she gave me the okay to read the book.

The Exorcist has always held a special place in my heart because it is what I consider to be the first adult novel I ever read. I remember reading at night w
Edward Lorn
Dec 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who buy their sex toys from
Finally, the last book I read in 2015. All caught up now.

Pssst... You've read four books this year, so, like, you're, you know, still behind...


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 cours
Fred Shaw
Jan 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's been 40 + years since the release of the book and movie, and I never read the book. I thought now would be a good time to take it on. I must admit to having second thoughts as I began reading "The Exorcist" and at one point I thought I would put it away. I was terrified. But the story was so well written and having seen where some of the movie was filmed, I kept reading. I am so glad I did. This is a powerful story inspired by an actual exorcism that took place in the 1940's. The real demon ...more
Erin ☕ *Proud Book Hoarder*
"But the devil keeps advertising, Father. The devil does a lot of commercials.”

When I think of 'The Exorcist', I think of a funny story involving my mother. She's never been a horror fan, although amusingly she likes Stephen King quite a bit, as well as psychological horror stories (which she argues aren't horror at all). She never was a reader either, so when I was a wee kid wanting to watch the latest slasher flick I saw advertised on the tube, she would vehemently say no. She claimed I was to
Martin Rondina
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Chris McNeill es una célebre actriz de cine que vine en la ciudad de Georgetown junto a su amiga Sharon, dos criados y su pequeña hija Regan, con quien lleva una relación muy afectiva, ella lo es todo para su madre. Su hija es una jovencita muy inocente, apegada a Chris como nadie, de esas personas que son "amor puro", sin ningún tipo de maldad, una niña ejemplar. Un día, mientras su madre hacía algunas tareas en su hogar, descubre en el sótano un tablero Ouija. Regan le menciona que ella ha est ...more
Karla Torres
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tuve 3 constantes pensamientos al leer este libro:
1.- Pinche libro me va a gritar en cualquier momento
2.- *Escucha ruidos* *Entra en pánico y se cubre bajo la sábana*. (No es verdad)
3.- La verdad no hay 3, no sé contar.

Es un libro que no pude soltar, a pesar de leerlo sólo en las madrugadas (mala idea, si me daba un poco de miedo escuchar ruidos a esa hora)

De verdad lo sentí como esas películas de suspenso en las que todo está en silencio y de repente KABUM FANTASMA/MONSTRUO/ASESINO/PSICÓPATA
Jul 04, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: horror, 2014
The movie is scarier, mostly because of the visuals, but also partly because it lets you assume that perhaps whatever possessed Regan MacNeill may not really be the devil but an unknown entity. The book, however, makes no allowances for alternative interpretations. It is Satan without a doubt, and I think that actually lessens the chilling effect, that the culprit is so obvious.
Perhaps evil is the crucible of goodness... and perhaps even Satan--Satan, in spite of himself--somehow serves to work
“Yet I think the demon's target is not the possessed; it is us . . . the observers . . . every person in this house. And I think---I think the point is to make us despair; to reject our own humanity, Damien: to see ourselves as ultimately bestial; as ultimately vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy.”

Some years ago, I gave a school presentation on the subject of churchly handling with exorcism, divided into Catholic and Protestant aspects. Exorcism was an interesting topic to s
I'm not going to waste time summarising this novel as I'm sure everyone has seen the movie at least once in their lives.

The Exorcist is an engrossing, gripping, disturbing and well-written supernatural tale. I really enjoyed this novel. I thought the author's writing style was excellent. I found it very hard to put this book down for long. I just had to know what happened next even though I've seen the movie half a dozen times! It didn't frighten me to death but it did scare me a good bit! Even
Mar 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not going to go too much into a review of this book. I’m sure most of you have seen the movie.

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 was creeped out. Also, the description of Black Mass was disturbing and I was on Wiki to look up more information. Holy Catholic hell?!

High point of the book for me: All conversations with the demon and the slow
Coos Burton
Jun 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ansiaba muchísimo leer este libro ya que es un clásico, y como había salido en el club de lectura "Letras Macabras" como en libro del mes, aproveché y lo compré. Se trata de un libro batannnte fuerte, es de hecho más crudo de lo que lo imaginaba. Me gustó todo el proceso que se hace antes de descubrir que Regan esta poseída, para saber si lo que ella sufre es algún tipo de trastorno mental o quizá alguna enfermedad que esta afectando seriamente su conducta. El demonio logró caerme bastante simpá ...more
Kevin Cambronero
May 14, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: terror
La película la vi hace años, pero igual recordaba cómo terminaban algunas cosas. A pesar de eso, lo disfruté muchísimo. Es muy bueno. Lo deberían leer todos los que disfrutan del terror, porque vale totalmente la pena: tiene un argumento atractivo, entretenido y fundamentado; personajes excelentes y profundos, cada uno con su lugar a lo largo de la novela.

Se apeó del taxi un hombre alto, ya entrado en años.

Vestía impermeable y sombrero negro y llevaba en la mano una desvencijada maleta. Pagó al
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • The Omen
  • Books of Blood: Volume One (Books of Blood #1)
  • Jaws
  • The Other
  • The Amityville Horror
  • The Sentinel
  • The Wolfen
  • A Stir of Echoes
  • Rosemary's Baby
  • Burnt Offerings
  • The House Next Door
  • The Girl Next Door
  • Psycho
  • Let's Go Play At The Adams'
  • Ring (Ring, #1)
  • Damien: Omen II
  • The Bad Seed
  • Falling Angel
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
More about William Peter Blatty...

Other Books in the Series

The Exorcist (2 books)
  • Legion

Share This Book

“God never talks. But the devil keeps advertising, Father. The devil does a lot of commercials.” 88 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.” 70 likes
More quotes…