Maciek’s review of The Exorcist > Likes and Comments

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message 1: by Becky (new)

Becky Wonderful review, Maciek. I loved this book... The only thing that I felt was lacking was Merrin's character... I wanted to know more about him and about his previous encounter with the demon, since it was mentioned that they had a history.

I agree with your review completely though- the horror here is the human aspect and how powerless we are.

message 2: by Maciek (new)

Maciek Thanks Becky. I'm pretty sure that this book will be studied in schools - it's a future classic.
To be honest, I liked the fact that Father Merrin's backstory was left in the shadows for reader to uncover on his own. He's an ambiguous character from the beginning, where the demon mocks his strenght to the very end. It's clear that he had an encouter with the demon before, but how it was solved is left for the reader to imagine.

I really enjoyed the film, but I think I like the novel even more because it allows us to see the internal struggle of Father Karras, and his change. It's very hard to convey in a visual medium, though Jason Miller gave a terrific performance.

Curiously, I first came upon a mention of this book in King's Danse Macabre. He completely dismisses it, and devotes a significant amount of space to the film adaptation. I found the exact quotation:
"... two novels of the Humorless, Thudding Tract School of horror writing are Damon, by C. Terry Cline, and The Exorcist, by William Peter Blatty - Cline has since improved as a writer, and Blatty has fallen silent... forever, if we are lucky."
What was he thinking?

message 3: by Becky (new)

Becky I can understand your points about Merrin - I just would have liked to know a bit more about him.

And that is very interesting regarding Stephen King's opinion of this book. I have to say that this is one of the few times I disagree with King. The Exorcist is great.

Oddly enough, I was in B&N the other day and I happened to see that Blatty does have a new book out, Crazy, but I was disappointed that it didn't seem to be anything like The Exorcist.

message 4: by Maciek (new)

Maciek I wonder why he said that. The Exorcist is excellent and thought provoking, and provides plenty of material for analysis that could have been conducted in Danse Macabre. Oh well, maybe he still was on drugs.

Legion is a sequel to The Exorcist, but from what I've read it doesn't have much in common with its predecessor. I checked and it seems that two movie prequels exist - Exorcist: The Beginning and Dominion: Prequel to the Exorcist. Both deal with Father Merrin's first encounter with the Demon - though both have received poor reviews, Dominion was highly praised by Blatty himself, so you might want to give it a try one day. :)

message 5: by Becky (new)

Becky Maybe... I've seen the sequels to The Exorcist, and thought they were crap. The Heretic was just... really bad. So I've tended to stay away from further attempts to capitalize on the first's success. ;)
Regarding Legion, that is on my wishlist... I've been looking to see if I can find it used, but not in any urgent way. It's one of those, "If I see it, I'll get it" things. I'm satisfied enough with The Exorcist itself to not feel deprived by not reading Legion. LOL

message 6: by Maicie (new)

Maicie Great review. Have you seen the unedited movie version? I can't remember all the details but the scene with the stairs was priceless.

message 7: by Maciek (new)

Maciek Thanks Maicie. I've seen the film several times, though I have no idea if it was the unedited version. I believe I have it on DVD somewhere - I plan to give it another go sometime soon.

message 8: by Trudi (last edited Dec 30, 2010 08:43PM) (new)

Trudi Great review and love the comments, though I'm of the school who feel the film is superior to the book -- as I do for Jaws, The Silence of the Lambs, and The Godfather. Sometimes, a story just flourishes under cinematic treatment, a caterpillar into a butterfly --but I digress :)

Becky you are spot on with the sequel Heretic - worst. movie. ever. What were they thinking??? But Maciek, it seems you are a fan of horror, so don't miss out on the film version of Legion - The Exorcist III with George C. Scott. The critics may have panned it, but "legions" of horror fans have embraced it. There are two scenes in particular that make this a classic. Let's talk more when you've seen it!

message 9: by Maciek (new)

Maciek Thanks Trudi. I agree with you that it's better to see the adaptation of Jaws than to read the book it was based on, but I disagree about The Silence of The Lambs and The Godfather - they're both excellent novels, as if THe Exorcist. There are some things that can be expressed only in words, and there are some things that can be expressed only on screen. I think that in case of The Exorcist a person familiar with the film will benefit greatly from reading the book, as it allows us to see much deeper into the characters and their motivations.

Thanks for the recommendation. I've seen The Exorcist several times, but I've never seen any sequels. I'll keep an eye out for it.

message 10: by Gary (new)

Gary Wow! What a review!!! Thanks Maciek!

We are doing this book for our bookclub selection in October. We always try to read something scary. Two of the Members are boycotting that particular bookclub meeting, which is good. That means the rest of us can relax,and have a great discussion.

I am going to share your review with the club as part of our discussion! I hope I have your permission, buddy!


message 11: by Maciek (new)

Maciek Thanks Gary. Sure, that's no problem at all. Glad I could help you - I find this book a neglected classic and it's good that you guys are reading it - it can certainly provoke a good discussion. Cheers.

message 12: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider What did you think of The Last Exorcism? I was pleasantly surprised by it. I didn't figure out the twist until they met the "rapist" at the cafe.

message 13: by Maciek (new)

Maciek I though it started out strong, but ended up totally ridiculous. Have you seen REC? It was shot in a similar, POV style, but delivered way more thrills with lesser effort.

message 14: by Jaice (new)

Jaice Cooperrider Maciek wrote: "I though it started out strong, but ended up totally ridiculous. Have you seen REC? It was shot in a similar, POV style, but delivered way more thrills with lesser effort."

Yes, I saw both REC and its American version, Quarantine. You can't really compare a "zombie" movie to a demon possession movie though. I had the opposite experience with TLE, finding it boring in the beginning, but enjoying it toward the end, starting with the motel scene. It reminded me somewhat of the Paranormal Activity movies, which you didn't care for, if I recall correctly.

message 15: by Maciek (new)

Maciek I mentioned it mostly because of the style. While REC captured me from the beginning to the end, TLE turned almost into a parody of such films, employing every possible cliche.
I didn't like Paranormal Activity. I though it was unintentionally funny - at least I think it wasn't supposed to be a parody.

message 16: by Nafisa (new)

Nafisa hmm...i might just read it now..

message 17: by Maciek (last edited Apr 24, 2011 04:33AM) (new)

Maciek Please do, it's well written and engaging.

message 18: by Nafisa (new)

Nafisa cool :)

message 19: by Perla (new)

Perla Hamilton Finally someone with the same passion I have for the exorcist... It's not about all the "scary parts" or "the devil" ... It's the way it gets down to your core and literally fucks with ur head (excuse my French) FAVORITE BOOK AND MOVIE FOR SURE! :))

message 20: by Maciek (new)

Maciek Thanks, Perla! A great book and movie duo, for sure.

message 21: by Monika (new)

Monika Too scary for me to watch the movie or remakes but maybe someday I will read the book.

message 22: by Maciek (new)

Maciek The book is very good! I think you'd enjoy it.

message 23: by Aya (new)

Aya Ramy it is really good book but i think when you see it turns into a movie you will like it more

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