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Profile Image for Jeffrey Keeten.
Author 3 books248k followers
November 7, 2019
”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 Kemper’s now famous Rubbermaid container boxes of nostalgic paperbacks, but I gave my midget ninjas specific instructions NOT to take anything from Kemper’s abode, but simply take a look around, so the presence of this book on my shelves is still a mystery.

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The Mysterious copy of The Exorcist.

When I was in middle school I rode the bus to school and every day this teenager with rumpled hair and scuffed motorcycle boots would catch a ride with us. He had been clocked for speeding by the cops and had led them on a merry chase around the countryside until he turned a corner too quickly, hit gravel, and rolled his car. He was a LEGEND. Needless to say he lost his driving privileges for a long, long time. He would always sit in the front and there was always this sweet scent coming off his clothes that later when I went to college and attended my first party I had that ah ha moment. He’d lean back against the window and hoist those boots out in the aisle where we could all admire them. He always had a paperback novel with him, usually of the horror genre, and he would studiously ignore us and read his book. We of course were boring holes through him with fevered eyes because he was the most fascinating thing we’d ever seen.

One day he looked back down the bus at us and said, “You want me to read you some of this?” as he flopped the latest paperback in the air. It was called The Exorcist. I don’t know if he understood or even understands today how cool a gesture that was, but it was pretty damn cool. So he started reading to us. We never got the whole story just bits here and there. Sometimes he would disappear for a while usually because he was jammed up in a little more trouble than normal. He’d show up with different paperbacks, The Omen, Psycho, Rosemary’s Baby, The Other, and The Amityville Horror to name a few.

We were enraptured.

He scared the crap out of us.

The ghastly images those books inspired in my mind kept my eyes wide open late into the late which might have something to do with why my mom wouldn’t let me read such books.

Those moments on the bus with him reading to us and scaring us are some of my most fond childhood memories. Boy, did we feel like we were getting away with something.

So I started reading my ratty, not Kemper’s copy, of The Exorcist and could not believe how much I was struggling with the writing. The dialogue was horrible. How could this guy sell millions of copies of this book? I did some research. It seems that William Peter Blatty finished writing the rough draft of this book and was offered a lucrative screenwriting job and never polished the book. An editor, obviously not someone in the same category as Maxwell Perkins, allowed the book to go to print as basically a rough draft. Decades later Blatty is asked to read the book for the audio version. He kept having to stop to ask “who wrote this crap?” This story does have a happy ending. Blatty went back through and polished and rewrote and even added a critical scene to the book. It was released in time for the fortieth anniversary edition.

 photo WilliamPeterBlatty_zpsb74c0e3f.jpg
William Peter Blatty looking like he is ready for his casting call for a spaghetti western.

The Dodge City Public library, they never has anything I absolutely need immediately, had a copy of the fortieth anniversary edition. Hallelujah! Praise the book gods!

The difference between the books is a two star rating which I was already worried about how I was going to explain that rating to the legions of fans out there, and a four star rating which is much easier and much more fun to write a review for. So if you have thoughts of reading this book make sure you read the fortieth anniversary edition because as Blatty stated. ”This is the version I would like to be remembered for.”

This is a novel about a demon possession of a twelve year old girl, but Blatty also spends a good amount of time explaining the other psychological aspects that could be causing the symptoms other than a demonic possession. The priest Damien Karras, who also happens to be a psychologist, finds himself confronting not only an evil entity beyond his wildest imaginations, but also his personal struggles with his own faith. He is damaged, dark, and brooding...a magnet for women if he were interested.

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Jason Miller is Damien Karras in the movie.

”As he lifted the Host in consecration, it trembled in his fingers with a hope that he dared not hope, that he fought with every particle and fiber of his will. “‘For this--is--My body.’” he intoned with a whispered intensity.
No, it’s bread! It’s nothing but bread!
He dared not love again and lose. That loss was too great, that pain too keen. The cause of his skepticism and his doubts, his attempts to eliminate natural causes in the case of Regan’s seeming possession, was the fiery intensity of his yearning to be able to believe. He bowed his head and placed the consecrated Host in his mouth, where in a moment it would stick in the dryness of his throat. And of his faith.”

The thought that kept going through my head as I read this book is if you find proof of the devil or a demon or even true evil doesn't that mean you’ve found proof of God?

Glory be to God for dappled things,
For skies of couple-color as a brindled cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-fire-coal chestnut falls; finches’ wings...
He fathers forth whose beauty is past change.
Praise him.

Regan or Rags as her mother likes to call her starts exhibiting strange behavior, talking in tongues, and levitating. It is never really explained how or why she becomes possessed. Unless I somehow missed that part. Changing editions midstream has me a little worried about that as I did not go back and read the hundred or so pages that I’d read before the switch. She goes from being a creative, likable, normal twelve year old girl into something that is not only horrifying, but barely recognizable as human.

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Linda Blair played Regan in the famous movie version.

”Reining in his revulsion, he closed the door and then his eyes locked, stunned, on the thing that was Regan, on the creature that was lying on its back on the bed, head propped against a pillow while eyes bulged wide in their hollow sockets shone with mad cunning and burning intelligence, with interest and with spite, as they fixed upon his; as they watched him intently, seething in a face shaped into a skeletal mask of unthinkable malevolence. Karras shifted his gaze to the tangled and thickly matted hair; to the wasted arms and legs and distended stomach jutting up so grotesquely; then back to the eyes: they were watching him...pinning him...”

 photo DemonPossessed_zps818e3865.jpg

Terrifying stuff!

”Requested and performed exorcisms had begun to decline in the Western world by the 18th century due to advancements in medical understanding, and occurred rarely until the latter half of the 20th century when the public saw a sharp rise due to the media attention exorcisms were getting. There was “a 50% increase in the number of exorcisms performed between the early 1960s and the mid-1970s”.

Media suggested hysteria.

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Iconic shot from the movie.

The church has a priest who had performed the last exorcism in 1949. He is an elderly Jesuit priest named Lankester Merrin. The two priests know they are over their heads, but in a true act of courage and faith take on the demon. No need for more details as I’m sure most of you have seen the movie and if you have not I would encourage you to read the book before watching the movie. The movie was nominated for ten academy awards and grossed over $441 million worldwide. No wonder the demand for priests and their knowledge of exorcisms went up exponentially. The tour of 1970s horror will continue with Jaws. Stay tuned.


My friend, Gary Wyatt, supplied me with a picture of the house where the famous exorcism case happened in 1949. This was the case that inspired William Peter Blatty to write this book. Instead of a girl this case involved a thirteen year old boy named Roland Doe. Walter Halloran a Catholic priest of the Society of Jesus performed the exorcism. The setting: St. Louis, Missouri.

 photo ExcorcismHouseStLouis_zps1971a674.jpg
Exorcism House in St. Louis

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Profile Image for Mario the lone bookwolf.
805 reviews3,851 followers
February 27, 2022
Who doesn´t know those nasty, itchy childhood diseases that can cause potential long-term complications when one gets them as an adult such as chickenpox, scarlet fever, demonic obsessive compulsive disorder, ...

It´s a well-written novel, but what interests me more is the development of the horror genre, how it changed over time, and especially what has meanwhile become possible.

The book was revolutionary for its time, cause it deals with religion, vulgarly 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 go to the, haha extreme.

I just heard about that, it´s not as if I would be reading such sick genres or even have an own shelf dedicated to it or something. But if, let´s say, in a parallel universe, I would be reading such nasty things, I would argue with the fact that I don´t watch (horror) movies anymore and simply need a surrogate. Yea, that sounds logical and credible and absolutely not hypocritical...

That there are less and less taboo topics is great for the openness of society, but bad for authors who need more and fresh ideas to still shock the audience that is already pretty apathetic and badass.

In general, authors who follow a new path in the form of previously unprecedented ideas, instead of copying and modifying the mantra of better good copying than horribly self-made, should be praised for their creativity. However, if a subgenre is launched with such an impact that, in a certain way, up to the xth paranormal activity cucumber today, there is an almost imperceptible echo, the artist has ennobled himself by creating something fully justified called "cult".

The story of the actress' daughter, who is gradually becoming more and more special in her behavior, shines with facts from occultism, psychology, neurology, and religion that have been meticulously researched, which helps to create an entertaining reading experience and increases the horror significantly through this apparent reference to reality.

One of the most remarkable features of the book is the disassembly of stereotypes in the form of a science and reason-oriented priest and the contrast of an actress who is uninterested in any rational approach and tends to literally “paint the devil on the wall”. The difference between and the path to the respective perspectives of the two make up an essential part of the narrative structure and, in parallel to the ever-worsening obsession-related symptoms of the not just mental disease, the explanatory or repression patterns also increase to unimagined heights and complexities.

How to play on the keyboard of the nerve-wracking arc without striking violence and with a virtuoso, slow increase of suspense, while contradicting explanatory approaches collide and effectively resolve everything in a finally redeeming culmination, deserves a paranoid look over your shoulder when you stay alone in the dark at home after finishing this outstanding novel.

Tropes show how literature is conceptualized and created and which mixture of elements makes works and genres unique:
Profile Image for Rebecca.
265 reviews276 followers
April 14, 2023
“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.”

The Exorcist tells the story of Chris MacNeil, a successful actress at the height of her career. Chris is beautiful, rich, famous, and about to transition from leading lady to film director. She lives with her twelve year old daughter Regan in a rented accommodation. Regan begins to display strange and unusual behavior. Gradually, the peculiar turns to the bizarre, and within a brief span of time, Regan is displaying all the signs of demonic possession.

The Exorcist is without a doubt, one of the best horror novels ever written. The story is incredibly complex, and the representation of it’s characters as flawed human beings, each with their own doubts, guilt and struggles makes the character work in this novel superb. The novel is also as graphic as it is complex. An early scene in the book describes the desecration of a church that is certainly not for the squeamish. The Exorcist has a plethora of scenes that range from creepy to bone chilling to outright shocking! Spin a wheel and pick your favourite!

“Gliding spiderlike, rapidly, close behind Sharon, her body arched backward in a bow with her head almost touching her feet, was Regan, her tongue flicking quickly in and out of her mouth while she sibilantly hissed and moved her head very slightly back and forth like a serpent. Sharon stopped then screamed as she felt Regan's tongue sneaking out at her ankle. That day, everywhere Sharon went, Regan followed...”

“Do you know what she did? Your c*nting daughter?”

The connection that the author creates between the reader and Father Karas while he is questioning his God and the involvement it has with Regan and her situation was so beautifully done. He created one of the most believable and tragic characters and this was my favourite part of the novel. The relationship between Chris and Regan is also very key. Chris loves Regan and cares for her deeply but it almost starts to feel like the character of Regan doesn’t exist anymore. One of my favourite quotes is when Merrin says to Karras that the demons deeds are not aimed purely at Regan, but in fact at the others in the house.

“The demon's target is not the possessed; it is us the observers.. everyone in this house. I think the point is to make us reject our humanity: to see ourselves as ultimately bestial, vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy.”

This is a breathtaking novel, certainly not for the easily scared or faint of heart and no novel or movie/tv work has come close to the sheer terror, creepiness and gripping nature of this tremendous story. While I love the film adaptation and have watched it more times than I care to mention, the book has an intense depth and details that the film only hinted at.

William Peter Blatty deserves, just for this book alone to be recognised as an important and prolific author.

My Highest Recommendation.

“You don't blame us for being here, do you? After all, we have no place to go. No home... Incidentally, what an excellent day for an exorcism...”
Profile Image for Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin.
3,535 reviews9,951 followers
October 26, 2020
UPDATE: $1.99 Kindle US today 10/26/20

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 have read the book but hell no. Just NO! The only reason I wanted to watch it again is because I wanted to see if they had some of the really disturbing things in the movie that were in the book. I wanted to see if they talked about all of the Black Mass stuff and different things that were in-depth in the book because I can't remember any of that stuff it was so long ago.

I remember when I was younger I had a nightmare that she was coming after me on a bicycle! Lol, and it was scary as hell and seemed real. A bicycle though, heh!

There is a part in the prologue that I didn't even realize was in another part of the movie until I read the book. It was about the demon when Father Merrin was overseas.

The man in khaki prowled the ruins. The Temple of Nabu. The Temple of Ishtar. He sifted vibrations. At the palace of Ashurbanipal he stopped and looked up at the limestone statue hulking in situ. Ragged wings and taloned feet. A bulbous, jutting, stubby penis and a mouth stretched taunt in feral grin. The demon Pazuzu.

Abruptly the man in khaki sagged.
He bowed his head.
It was coming.

He stared at the dust and the quickening shadows. The orb of the sun was beginning to slip beneath the rim of the world and he could hear the dim yappings of savage dog packs prowling the fringes of the city. He rolled his shirtsleeves down and buttoned them as a shivering breeze sprang up. Its source was southwest.

He hastened toward Mosul and his train, his heart encased in the icy conviction that soon he would be hunted by an ancient enemy whose face he had never seen.

But he knew his name.

This all started when Regan started playing with the ouiji board. People, just don't do it.

Regan's mom Chris who is a movie star let her do it because she didn't think there was any harm in it. Although, she did have some trepidation when Regan started talking about a "Captain Howdy."

Then things started to happen. Chris had Regan taken to all kinds of doctors and psych's until they finally said they need a priest. Ya think?

Chris was able to get in touch with Father Karras through some peeps but he had to spend time with Regan to prove to the Bishop an exorcism was needed. The kind of proof he had to look for in the book was ridiculous. With all of the stuff going on with Regan they must have been out of their damn mind! That should have happened with no problems.

And then we finally get Father Merrin =) I loved him and Karras.

As the stranger reached up to remove his hat, Chris was nodding her head, and then suddenly she was looking into eyes that overwhelmed her: tht shone with intelligence and kindly understanding, with serenity that poured from them into her being like the waters of a warm and healing river whose source was both in him and yet somehow beyond him; whose flow was contained and yet headlong and endless.

"I'm Father Lankester Merrin," he said.


At any rate, the movie and the book were disturbing. Both in their own ways. The movie was scarier but the book had more detailed, disturbing stuff. Now I can only read normal horror for awhile!!


MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List
Profile Image for Peter.
2,779 reviews500 followers
January 13, 2015
Absolute classic, good atmosphere, compelling story... if you want to met William F. Kindermann again, read Legion, the follow up; clear recommendation, both books!
Profile Image for Alejandro.
1,141 reviews3,566 followers
February 10, 2017
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 those deeper details in the original book, I think that novel & movie make an irresistible combo to do.

You watched the film, and then you'll appreciate even more the extended information that you'll find in the original novel, but in matters of frightening, well the movie has a clear advantage, but don't dismiss the novel so quickly.

Since, may be not the best horror novel that I've ever read,...

...but certainly the book has...

...something to compel you to read it, and have it a huge respect to it.


I am not surprised if almost any reader has watched the film before reading the novel..

...And my case wasn't any different.

I have watched the three film versions: Original theatrical, "The Never-Before-Seen" version and the "Extended Director's Cut". Any comment that I'd make in this review about the film adaptation it will be based on the latest mentioned version, the "Extended Director's Cut", due it's the most complete and also it's the one that I have on Blu-ray so it's the one that I have more fresh on my mind.

It's interesting how the film is generally accepted as the most terrifying movie of all time, while the novel doesn't keep that distinction. Actually the debate about which novel is the most terrifying of all, it's an endless dispute that I'm sure the general reading community never would be able to agree in a specific novel.

While the imagination is the best special effects generator, I have to admit that it wasn't so shocking to read scenes than in the visual presentation where they are truly scary.

Even, I don't know if there was the choice of words used in the narrative of the book, since I think that I'd some "technical" difficulties to visualize some of those scenes, if I wouldn't have previous notion of how they supposed to look like, thanks to the film.


So, I am still glad of having read the original novel, since not matter the film adaptation covered the most important elements of the general storyline;...

...the novel indeed gives you enlighting info about the background of the characters, even "new" characters that didn't appear on the movie version, and deeper development of many of the scenes.

On the film, you never have doubt that there is a demon inside of Regan,...

...but in the novel, there are plausible scenarios causing suspicions on other characters, with the chance of a more rational explanation.

So, not so ironically, in the same way that you have faith to believe in God, well, the story requires of you to have "faith" to believe in the existence of The Devil.

That, it's something so curious about many priests in Catholic Church, that I understand that there must be an investigation to discard a simpler explanation to some situations, but it seems that if you say that you're possessed by The Devil or to the contrary, you were witness of the word of God, in any case, the priests will see you as a perfect nut job to send to some psychiatric asylum.

So, while the priests are supposed to believe in God, it's like they don't want to believe in the existence of The Devil, that's it's quite odd, since they are both sides of the same religious coin.

Also, some elements in the novel, that you may perceive as "random" in the film version, even not clarify enough for really understanding why they are in the story, those elements are well developed on the novel and even making ties to the demon inside Regan that you may didn't think about before.

Moreover, some reactions and conducts of the characters, knowing key info about their pasts, you can rationalize better why they are reacting in such ways.

Even some conversations, they are the same in terms of dialogue, but the mood of them are perceived in a different way in the book, giving some new angles to the dynamics between characters.


That's exactly what I expect when I decide to read a book (original novel or novelization) when I already watched the film adaptation.

Since while I invest only two hours to watch the movie, I can invest like a week (or more) to read a novel. So, if I read just the exact story on the book, I think that it would kinda pointless, but if I got enough additional info,...

...certainly then, it was well invested time.

I think that the most effective element on the construction of the story is that you get a lot of arguments and plausible explanations of what it's going on, so in some reverse psychology gimmick, you get to believe more and more that Regan is indeed possessed by a demon.

While in some other novels where they approach the paranormal angle directly, the reader tends to accept it without a doubt.

Maybe you don't believe in The Devil or in God even, but don't worry,...

...since you also can say that you don't believe in Jupiter (the planet, not the Roman god) and that doesn't make that that planet isn't out there.

Many people are atheists until they have to face a demon by themselves.

And it's not like that I am saying that you have to believe in the Christian God, since while I am Catholic, my wish is only that all people believe in some higher power, that you may name whatever you prefer, but believe, in something higher than us.

Since some others may call as unrealistic, to believe in gods or higher powers,...

...for me, not believing in some higher power, I'd call it as sad.

Believe in God. Beware of The Devil. Both are real, not matter if you believe in them or not.

Getting back to the book, I recommend the novel for any fan of the film and wishing to get a deeper developement on the story.

P.S. (Updated Jan, 13th, 2017)

I just knew that William Peter Blatty passed away. I'm glad that I was able to read his most iconic work way before he would die.

Profile Image for Anne.
4,060 reviews69.5k followers
March 1, 2023
Oh. My. God.
What even was this? There was a level of crazy that I just WAS NOT expecting here. I thought this priest was going to try and cast out a demon and a little girl was going to cough chunks of puke on him. I had no idea what sort of layers of insanity I was dealing with here.


Ok, ok, ok.
Did anyone else think it was fucknuts that all these psychiatrists just assume all tween & teen kids are like the X-men and might possibly develop psychic and telekinetic powers?
What the hell?!
Was this an ACTUAL thing in the 70s?
Like, oh it's all normal that she can read my mind and toss shit across the room, which is apparently COMPLETELY DIFFERENT from demon possession.
She is literally levitating the bed across the room like a magic carpet while spewing vomit and speaking in an entirely different voice, and Father Karrass is over there with his finger on her pulse talking about how her heartbeat is steady so it must just be NORMAL PSYCHIC PHENOMENA.
No, sir. What you have there is 100% some freaky demon shit.


I also thought Father Karrass was boring. I was so tired of hearing about his inner struggle with his faith. I'm not religious and I understand why someone may struggle with it, so I sympathized to an extent. But either you jump on that train or you don't. And by the end of it, I was practically screaming at him to shit or get off the pot because I couldn't get behind his glee every time he thought for a second that the Regan was really demon-possessed.
I guess in his mind if there was a devil, there had to be a God.
Dude! There has to be a better time to work out your crisis of faith!


And oh god. This was gross.
Some of the shit the demon made the little girl do was horribly disturbing. I was quite literally cringing while listening to it.

There were quite a few icky masturbation scenes and incredibly nasty adult things that it said that got the point across that the demon was horrendous without that level of nastiness.
Fuck! Just awful.


I don't know. I was bored with the religious stuff, sickened by all the gross descriptions, and yet still rooted to the spot like a gawker watching a train wreck.
I'm glad I read this one and I doubt I'll ever forget it.
It. Is. Something. Good? Bad? Like I said, I don't know!

The audio version I listened to was published by HarperAudio and was read by the author, William Peter Blatty. Dude had one of those menacing voices that you wouldn't want to hear in a dark alley.
Profile Image for Brett C.
805 reviews181 followers
May 2, 2021
I really enjoyed this one. It has all the elements of eerie paranormal horror with some mystery. The plot involves a little girl who's life goes from normal to complete terror. The little girl, Regan, starts playing with a ouija board and an unknown presence begins communicating with her. The unwanted entity, who goes by the name of Mr. Howdy, slowly becomes problematic. As with all paranormal activity, the plot tracks the demonic activity commonly seen in the four stages: infestation, oppression, obsession, and eventual possession of the little girl. The plot is riddled with psychiatric, religious, and occult-witchcraft fervor that adds to the atmospheric heaviness leading to the exorcism.

'Could you help an old altar boy, Father?'
- The Demon

'And Jesus asked him, "What is your name?"
And he answered, "Legion, for we are many."'
- Mark 5:9

The book is well-written and flows very nicely. All the characters are well-developed and life-like. All the characters have their personal demons and struggle with them in the story. The overall tone throughout the book is eerie and solemn. For me this is tied with Stephen King's Salem's Lot for creepiness. I would highly recommend this to anyone. Thanks!
Profile Image for Stephen.
1,516 reviews11.2k followers
November 21, 2011

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. Now that I have, let me add to the film’s list of accolades that it's also one of the best film adaptations of a classic novel that I have experienced (along with The Princess Bride and No Country for Old Men).

I’m going to test the limb and walk out onto it by assuming that most people, even if for some inexplicable or metaphysical reason have not either read the book or seen the movie, are familiar enough with the basic plot that I can dispense with any fear of spoilers. A sweet, pre-teen girl gets soul-jacked by a demon and proceeds to expel various manner of noxious excreta from her various orifices while hurling more barbs and insults than a Don Rickles standup routine. Throw in a grizzled exorcist, a dogged detective and a Jesuit priest with serious mommy issues whose suffering a crisis of faith and you’ve got the playbill for this diabolical dance of dread.

Thus, wifhout worrying about spoilage, I am going to mention briefly what struck me most about the book and then finish with a quick “compare and contrast” describing where I thought the film and the novel, respectively, were the superior product.

First and foremost, the single most impressive aspect of the book for me was the dense, lushtastically, beautiful prose employed by Blatty while converting this story from mind to paper. Given that Blatty did not become a prolific author (to my knowledge at least), I always assumed that the novel was standard fair that had just received a fabulous hollywood makeover into a successful film. Not only was I all the way wrong, but the film actually loses the rich psychologically melodramatic flavor of Blatty’s verse. In the novel, everything is hyper real and a casual look or a fleeting feeling might be imbued with vast significance. A little like an updated version of Lovecraft meets Tolstoy meets Kafka. I thought it was wonderful and attained the rank of esteemed literature in my opinion. A heart-felt BOO-YAH to Mr. Blatty for his slick, stylish sentencing.

Okay, let’s compare a contrast shall we....

Movie was Better than the Book:
(***Warning: shots from the film below may be shocking to some***)

The visual effects employed in the movie were so megascream scary at a gut level that they had my twig and berries crawling up my tummy to nuzzle against my liver. Thus, most of the following are moments in which the written word of Blatty just couldn’t compete on the terror scale with the film. Beginning with:

1. The Face of Evil: The transformation of nice, innocent Linda Blair into one of the foulest, fugliest freak shows in film history is something that the book could not adequately convey.


The mismatched, demonic eyes...the pasty, cracked and scrobiculated skin, the raspy “Barry White with a head cold”’s enough to cause temporary motor ataxia. The book, as good as it was, could not match this kind of visual perfection for visceral terror.

2. The “Crucifix” Scene: We all know the scene I’m talking about so let’s not belabor the point and allow this to slide into something we might all regret.

Let’s all just back away and proceed without further comment, except maybe a cringing "ouch baby, very ouch."

3. The “Owl Head” scene : Up next after “the #1 thing never to do with a Crucifix” is the immediately following scene in which little Regan does the full 360 degree, spine-defying glance around. I almost dropped my digesting dinner when I first saw it:

If you are ever feeling irregular, this scene works better than a bran muffin and cup of coffee.

4. The “Crab Walk” scene: Only in the “extended” version, this bit of demonic gymnastics really shivered my timbers:

5. Three words: Max Van Sydow:

Nuff said.

The Book was Better than the Movie:

In general, in almost every particular beyond the items mentioned above, the book was superior to the film and in some cases vastly so. Here are just the top reasons that come to mind.

1. Again, the Writing: I know, I know...I mentioned this above but dammit it really is that good. Blatty’s prose sucks you in with his vivid, impassioned prose that employs “over the top” nuance to make every step in the story feel like a necessary, critical piece of the puzzle. I can understand some feeling smothered by the narrative, but I found it enthralling.

2 The Demon: This was one of several key pieces of information that did not translate well on the screen. The film leads the audience to believe that the demon possessing Regan is Satan himself. This is based in the quote: “I’m Father Karras” and the response “and I’m the Devil.” However, the book goes on to make clear that the demon is actually just that...a demon named Pazuzu. This ties into the beginning of the film.

3. Is it Real?: The movie leaves no doubt that Regan was possessed and that she is saved when the demon jumps ship into Father Karras before the "now possessed" priest does a Greg Louganis out of the window. While mostly free from doubt, the novel does a superb job of leaving just enough of a crack open so that the question is never completely answered. I thought this added a substrate of eeriness to the story.

4. Father Dyer and Detective Kinderman: I may be one of the few people that loved Exorcist III (not to be confused with the visual turd known as Exorcist II). One of my favorite aspects of E3 was the witty banter and close friendship between Father Dyer and Bill Kinderman (played by George C. Scott). Turns out a chunk of their dialogue came from this book and their relationship is developed to a significant extent in these pages. Major bonus for me.

5. The Smell and Sound of Evil: Just as the book could not compete with the visual perfection of the film, the film could not (for obvious reasons) come close to imbuing its telling with the stench described in the novel. The number of times Regan befouls her bed and deposits her insides as an act of belligerence towards Regan’s mom or the priests is an aspect of the novel that adds to the vileness of the demon inhabiting this sweet little girl. Also, the dialogue is far more severe in the book than the movie could likely have gotten away with at the time.

6. Satanic Worship: One fascinating aspect of the novel that was completely cut from the film is the in depth and detailed depiction of Satanic worship and some of the disgusting, sacrilegious practices performed at black masses. This was almost wholly absent in the film but made for compelling reading.

Overall, I loved the movie but think the novel far surpasses it in its artistic merit. It is a true classic and one that I can not give a stronger recommendation for fans of horror.

This was a special and very memorable experience. Thank you, Mr. Blatty.

Profile Image for Felicia.
254 reviews942 followers
November 2, 2019
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.




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.

To this day it is still the scariest movie I have ever seen.

The book? Not so much.
Profile Image for Matt.
3,818 reviews12.8k followers
October 26, 2021
A great re-read for this time of year. Here is my original review for your perusal.

WIlliam Peter Blatty’s 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 enjoys some independence, but is happy to engage with her mother on a regular basis. When Regan begins to exhibit strange behaviours, Chris cannot help but seek out some medical advice, none of which yields firm answers. When the oddities begin to manifest themselves into verbal and physical attacks on others, Chris is left to grasp at straws and is pushed in the direction of a psychiatrist. The name she is given, interestingly enough, is Father Damien Karras. A Jesuit, Karras works in the parish just on the other side of the MacNeil home. When Karras agrees to come visit Regan, he is fearful, yet baffled as well, though will not jump to the idea of possession, even as Chris pushes for an exorcism. With no religious ties, the MacNeils seem highly unlikely to have a demon in their lives, but nothing else seems plausible. Karras takes an academic approach to the situation and, after numerous encounters with Regan and her alternate personality, he wonders if there might be something to this talk of demonic possession. Regan appears to have all the signs and exhibits numerous tendencies that Karras has found in scholarly articles over the centuries. With a desecration in the local parish church and the gruesome death of Chris’ friend, a local homicide detective is poking around, engaging with Karras at every turn, though no one freely shares the goings-on in the MacNeil home, which might explain at least part of these occurrences. After making his argument to the Church about the needs for some form of Catholic intervention, Karras proceeds to arm himself to enter Regan’s domain, ready to do battle with whatever is inside her. It is then that things take a turn for the worse and Karras’ entire being is tested. Blatty penned this sensational piece that, even close to a half-century later, will still send chills chills up the reader’s spine. Highly recommended for those who love a great thrill ride and can stomach some graphic descriptions and language.

In one of my previous reading challenges, I pushed members to compare a book to its screen adaptation, hoping to see the parallels and great differences. Having recently indulged in the cinematic production of this book, it is difficult for me to divorce the two, as they complement one another so well. I thoroughly enjoy watching this movie and have done so on multiple occasions. While it was produced in 1973 and some of the technology is understandably outdated, it packs a punch and was surely quite thrilling at the time. Damien Karras is a central character in the book and his presence is felt throughout, both through his personal struggles with his faith and the dedication he had when thrust into the middle of the demonic possession of a young girl. Karras begins as a distant figure, who struggles to come to terms with his mother’s illness and, upon her death, seeks to leave the umbrella of the Catholic Church. However, his character grows as he becomes a well-grounded scholar and seeks to understand what is going on with Regan MacNeil and her obvious struggles with mental stability. Chris MacNeil is also a key member of the story and her struggle to understand her daughter proves to be an ongoing theme the reader will discover. The angst and utter helplessness is something that any parent would struggle to accept, forcing Chris to turn to the experts, none of whom have the answers she wants. One cannot review this book effectively without mentioning Regan and the demon that appears to be embedded within her, as it is this that proves to offer the ultimate spine tingling. The struggles the young girl has and the demon displays push the book out of the realm of simple defiance and into an area not seen by many books of the time. The raw and unedited language proves useful—needed, even—to fulfil that complete sentiment of possession. Many readers may not like it, as I am sure scores found it problematic when the book was published, but it serves to take the book to a level that makes it all the more believed. A handful of other characters and a few interesting sub-plots keep the reader engaged and ready to see where Blatty is taking things. The story itself is quite well done and has been able to stand the test of time. While exorcisms are no longer commonplace, their allure has not diminished, be it in the published work or cinematic presentation. Blatty slowly develops the demonic aspect in such a way that the reader can see it creeping up and spiking at just the right moment. Layering the narrative with some key research, revealed by Father Karras, proves to substantiate the larger theme and keeps things from getting too fanciful. Those with a strong constitution and who can handle some strong language will surely find something in this book to keep them up late at night. I know I’ll likely put this on a list of books to read when I want a real chill, though will have to make sure the audio is not streaming when Neo’s around!

Kudos, Mr. Blatty, for keeping me enthralled throughout. I may have to check out some more of your work in the coming months, as you sure know how to tell a story!

Love/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at:

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge:
Profile Image for Ginger.
788 reviews374 followers
October 4, 2021
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 lots of different ways that I was unprepared for. I think it's because your imagination is in overdrive.

There's scenes in the book that had me cringing, gasping, and I was creeped the f!¢k out.
Also, the description of Black Mass was disturbing and I was on Wiki to look up more information. Holy Catholic hell?!

High points of the book for me:
All conversations with the demon and the slow, devastating change of Regan.

Low points of the book for me:
Lieutenant Kinderman (just couldn't get into the character) and too much information on Father Karras’s background.
I'm not sure why I didn't want his background. I guess I just wanted him to finally get to the action of saving Regan. I'm sure I'm in the minority on this one because the backstory was crucial to his faith.

The movie at the end scared the bejesus out of me and the book's ending is also scary but I was still able to sleep last night. Ha!
I think the Hollywood special effects at the end of the movie must have really scared the shit out of me when I was a kid.

Overall, The Exorcist is a creepy and chilling classic.
I really enjoyed this book and this is a must read for horror lovers!
Profile Image for Delee.
243 reviews1,133 followers
October 12, 2017
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.

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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 perfect horror filled bagel with cream cheese.

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Georgetown, Washington:

Chris MacNeil- an actress, and her young daughter- Regan- are living in Georgetown, while Chris is filming a movie. And everything is going along hunky dory until Regan starts playing around with the Ouija board from the attic.

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Regan starts receiving messages from Captain Howdy- who at first, Chris sees as a harmless invisible playmate..until frightening things start happening in Regan's room.

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After a party at the Georgetown home- Chris cannot ignore the fact that something horrible is going on in her house, and with her once so innocent daughter.

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..and when a person close to her is killed- she knows she must do something drastic- and seek help from people she never would have dreamed of asking before.

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THE EXORCIST- I can't recommend it enough. The movie...the book, and now the audio book. Go!! Now!! Watch! Read! Listen! I beg of you.
Profile Image for Mia Nauca.
124 reviews3,828 followers
October 16, 2017
El exorcista es, sin lugar a dudas, el libro más terrorífico que he leído. Recordemos que el miedo es subjetivo, y mi debilidad siempre han sido las posesiones satánicas.

No me esperaba el análisis psiquiátrico ni las explicaciones psicológicas para enfrentarnos a las posibles explicaciones de las "posesiones", pensé, que habría mucha religión involucrada y actos de fe, pero me encontré con razonamientos lógicos que la verdad nos dejan a todos una sensación de: ¿ok entonces, todo está en la cabeza o de verdad existe el diablo?
Es un libro completamente engatusador y repugnante que me dejó realmente perturbada pero ¿en el buen sentido? Una obra maestra
Profile Image for Kemper.
1,390 reviews6,969 followers
October 17, 2018
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 since 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 become so well known that it’s nigh on impossible to separate the two versions. In fact, I don’t see how anybody could read this without hearing Tubular Bells in their head.

So just to get this out of the way: The movie is better. That’s not to say that the book is bad. Blatty does a very good job of putting us in a normal early ‘70s setting, and then he slowly turns the dials up from what seem to be mild annoyances to the point where Regan has been turned into a head-spinning puppet of the devil. I particularly liked how there’s a systematic investigation of all the non-supernatural explanations for Regan’s behavior, and that when the subject of an exorcism is first brought up it’s presented as a kind of psychological shock treatment rather than a needed religious ritual.

The book has more of an underlying theme of questioning whether Regan is possessed that the movie lacks in part because once you see that kid’s demonic features and her head spin all the way around on screen, you know it’s supernatural in origin. Whereas the book can spend more time on the whole question of whether she is or isn’t while making the answer more a bit more ambiguous.

Father Karras, a Jesuit psychiatrist suffering from his own crisis of faith, is also a great character to eventually put in the middle of this, and the way he swings from doubt to belief is well done. It’s also a nice twist that he’s kind of secretly hoping that Regan does have a demon in her because it would validate his beliefs. That doesn’t prevent him from questioning everything and seeking hard evidence to prove it. However, I did get a laugh that at this point in the ‘70s Blatty thought there was enough evidence for the existence of ESP to have Karras consider things like telepathy and telekinesis possible without being demonic in nature.

So it’s a solid horror story that plays more with the suspense of making you question what’s happening to Regan rather than just making you ascared of the Devil like the movie does.

One personal note: I had been meaning for a while to reread the old paperback I’ve had for years as part of my Rubbermaid Treasure reviews, but I just never seemed to get around to it. Then Audible had this on sale shortly before Halloween so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to finally get it done. It was only after downloading it that I learned that this version is actually the 40th anniversary edition in which the author rewrote parts of it, and since I last read The Exorcist something like 25 years ago I have no idea how much it differs from the original. So already this thing has turned from a simple gimmick review to what felt like a pain in the ass.

Since I don’t have the time and/or patience to figure out all the differences I won’t dig into that, but I’m not calling it a Rubbermaid Treasure either since it’s technically a different book. I know that nobody but me cares about the stupid internal logic I use, but it nags at me if I don’t explain what I’m doing and why.

I’ll also note that Blatty himself is the narrator for most of it, and it confirms my belief that most authors just shouldn’t read their own works aloud. Blatty isn’t the worst I’ve heard, and he seems to delight in evil laughter and doing the demon voice, but this really could have used a professional actor/narrator. It’s even weirder that he reads the Regan parts early on, but then a woman is brought in to do a child’s voice later to speak and sing as Regan’s ‘actual’ voice once she is possessed. It’s just jarring.
Profile Image for Murray.
Author 151 books546 followers
May 21, 2023
♠️💀 ♠️ I know there’s all kinds of well-written horror post-Blatty but this is classic, like Frankenstein, Dracula and Jekyll-Hyde.

♠️I don’t care for the detective much, but for the rest? Every time I run upstairs to that room I wonder what the hell I’m going to see next. In the textbooks this is placed in the category called dissociative psychology. The paranormal is more freaky to me than most other horror concepts.

♠️💀It’s interesting, thinking shrink a moment, that M. Scott Peck the psychiatrist (The Road Less Traveled) believed in this phenomenon and was in on a few exorcisms himself. It’s also interesting that like many other aspects of the horror genre (vampires, ghosts, ripper-style-killers, haunted houses) this one never goes away despite all the bad press it gets real life.

♠️ At Easter, Russel Crowe’s new movie, The Pope’s Exorcist, came out, and it’s based on the case files of the (late) chief exorcist of Roma, Gabriel Amorth. I’ve read the case files (there are two books published). I’m interested to see how they film this, if the scare factor will be there as it was in the long ago film version of Blatty’s classic, and what the response of critics and viewers will be like. [It wasn’t well done and they had to throw in the Hollywood Spin - a Vatican conspiracy, Amorth telling the demon to enter him, Amorth trying to hang himself. Rubbish. None of that happened. They just couldn’t stick to the books. They rarely can.]

♠️💀In any case it’s very much a creepy read. It’s not just about the horror of the darkness. It’s also about the horror of the human.

♠️There were two spins, made for TV movies, called simply The Exorcist. I thought the first season was particularly striking.

♠️💀An immortal line from one of the priests (Fr Marcus): “We stand in the doorway and we push back the darkness. Remember?”

♠️Ten dark stars ♠️
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Emily Coffee and Commentary.
470 reviews157 followers
September 8, 2022
An absolutely riveting tale of horror and faith. Compelling, shocking, and unflinching, this story will inspire thought provoking discussions (as well as nightmares)! Fantastically executed drama and mystery, with an air of creeping dread, and later hope.
Profile Image for Sadie Hartmann.
Author 21 books4,820 followers
March 13, 2018
It’s 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.
In which case, there could only really be one clear outcome. But more on that later. I’m 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 my eyes closed most of the time, so even though this book is old, there are those who have intentions of reading it and don’t want the story spoiled.
That being said, if you want to go into this book totally blind, maybe skip the rest of this review and just know this: I recommend this book for fans of horror. It was well written, it scared me pretty damn good and it had great, memorable characters. It’s classic, legendary horror that must be read if you consider yourself a big fan of the genre.

“for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down, who accuses them day and night before our God.” Rev. 12:10

At the beginning of this story, I was a little bored. I grew restless with the mother, Chris and all the scenes around her acting career. I felt like her parenting left much to be desired and found myself already blaming her for what I knew was coming, who lets their 11 year old child play with Ouija boards?? Especially considering that child already has a made up friend that talks to them through the Ouija Board and the child is becoming increasingly afraid of it??
Um, anyways. Now that I finished the book, I think it is the intention of the author to cast doubt and blame at all the adults in the story, for us to stand as accusers of one another when really, our battle isn’t with each other, but with something much, much worse. Something that wants us to be wrapped up in our hate and anger and displaced blame so that we are found weak and distracted.

“But the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I recognize, but who are you?”
And the man in whom was the evil spirit leaped on them, mastered all of them and overpowered them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” Acts 15:15-16

I think this is one of the scariest verses from scripture. The demon possessed man says to some people trying to perform an exorcism and cast out demons, hey look: I know the name of Jesus and I know the name of Paul, but I have no clue who you guys are and I’m going to kick your ass.
There were so many times this scripture came to mind while I read this book. People just don’t know what the hell to do when they are dealing with demonic activity and truth be told: If you don’t know what you’re doing, DON’T EFFING CALL UPON IT! You know what I mean?? That’s my ultimate warning and what I learned from this story, maybe you don’t believe in demons, that’s fine—whatever, then you don’t care either way about them, you’re indifferent, so BE indifferent, I wouldn’t run around and tempt it or dare it, like people who say they aren’t allergic to poison oak so they rub it all over themselves?? NOT SMART.
And maybe you do believe in demons, like me so you just make wide circles around that stuff okay? Don’t touch it! Don’t think you’re so faithful and pious you’d know what to do in a situation like this.
That’s why this book was so terrifying.
It scared the hell out of me.
But I loved the different way the characters approached it—The detective with his logic and sleuthing
The Father with his background in psychology
The Exorcist with his unflinching faith
Even the mother scored points with me in the end with her unwavering plea for help.
I cried as she begged for help. I could empathize with her as she sought medical, mental and spiritual help for her daughter in horrific crisis.
I really loved the ending too but I don’t want to spoil anything. I’ll just leave a fitting scripture:

“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13

Lastly, while parts of this story were very difficult for me to read because they were so crude and blasphemous, I thought it was, in contrast, a beautiful story of sacrificial love against impossible danger. So I gladly mucked up my heart and my mind with grotesque language and offensive, vivid details in order to finish. I wanted to see that outcome I was waiting for...and it was delivered as expected. My review would have been very different if it didn't go the way I thought it would.

Profile Image for Rinda Elwakil .
501 reviews4,558 followers
February 16, 2018
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 شاهدت الفيلم المقتبس عن الرواية لم أنبهر به علي الإطلاق
ولم اخطئ كثيرًا وقتها غير أني أغفلت أن بلاتي كان له السبق و من عباءته خرجت كل الأفلام عن الاستحواذ، لكن الرواية!
يا الله الرواية!
ظلمت ظلما بينا عندما أقتص منها أجزاء وأجزاء لتصبح سيناريو فيلم محتمل

شخصية القس الذي فقد إيمانه/الطبيب النفسي من أكثر شخصيات الروايات التي قرأتها عمقًا، والتي ظلمها الفيلم كثيرًا كثيرًا.

رواية كتبت علي يد طبيب نفسي محترف، وقس يسوعي محترف، وطارد أرواح محترف، وباحث تاريخي محترف

هل تظن أنك ستقرأ رواية مرعبة عن شياطين تتخطف بشرًا وتحيل حياتهم حجيما بعض الوقت ثم يأتي قس بصليب ضخم و قنينة ماء مقدس وإنجيل يقرأ منه بصوت زاعق فتنتهي المأساة وتزهر الزهور ويعيش الجميع في سلام؟

ليس صحيحًا..
ستعيش أياما مع كريس ماكنيل الأم المكلومة التي لا تعلم ماذا حل بابنتها الوحيدة، ستشفق علي الأب كاريس، الطبيب النفسي والقس اليسوعي ذو العينين الحزينتين و القلب المكسور، ستتبع خطي كارل المسكين خادم الأسرة الكتوم الذي كان علي استعداد أن يضحي بنفسه حتي ينقذ فتاة صغيرة، وستضيع في المحيط البادي في عينيّ الأب ميرين، وسيخطر ببالك ألف سؤال لكنك لن تنطق بأحدهما و ستتمني لو كان بإمكانك أن تريح رأسك علي كتفه مطمئنا لأن الله قد سمع صراخك وأرسل لك بالعون.

(يارب..أنا لست أهلًا أن تدخل تحت سقفي، فقط قل كلمة، وستبرأ روحي.)


-ما الغرض من الاستحواذ؟ ما الغاية؟
من يعرف؟ بل من حتي يأمل أن يعرف؟ ورغم ذلك أظن أن هدف الشيطان ليس الضحية الممسوسة ذاتها، إنما نحن..من يري..كل فرد في هذا المنزل. أظن أن غايته أن يجعلنا نيأس، أن ننبذ إنسانيتنا يا داميان، أن نري أنفسنا وحوشا، أخساء وعفنين بلا كرامة، قبحاء. تافهين. هنا يكمن جوهر الأمة كله ربما: في الشعور بأننا غير جديرين. لأن الإيمان بالله كما أظن ليس مسألة عقل ومنطق علي الإطلاق، بل هو مسألة حب في النهاية، قبول احتمال أن الرب قد يظل يحبنا أبدًا.

حوار بين الأب ميرين والأب كاريس.

ما الاستحواذ؟
أن يتلبس الشخص الذي عرفته روحًا تحيله شخصًا آخر، هنا في الرواية تلبست ريغان روح غاضبة كانت تجعلها تتحدث بلغات لا تعرفها تفيض بالبذاءات وتسير مقلوبة كالعنكبوت وتلتف رأسها حول محورها وصار بجسدها قوة عاتية تطرح بها أرضا أربعة بالغين..

ربما نحن من لم نفهم الاستحواذ، يتبادر إلي أذهاننا شياطين عاتية تتخطف بشرًا و تحيلهم لشئ سواهم ولا سبيل لردعهم غالبا إن لم نؤمن..ولكن؟ أليس فعل الشيطان، أليس الاستحواذ هو الطيش؟ الضغائن التافهة؟ سوء الفهم؟ الكلام الجارح الذي يقفز غير مدعوّ علي لسان الأصدقاء والعشاق والأزواج حتي تنظر في حيرة وقلبك ينفطر ألمًا و تتساءل إن كان هذا هو الشخص الذي عرفته دومًا؟ هل كان طوال الوقت يحمل بداخله تلك القدرة علي ايذاءك؟
إذا وجد هذا بمقدار كاف لن نصبح في حاجه للشيطان لكي نؤجج معاركنا، سنكون نحن أكثر من اللازم.


و الشكر موصول وواجب للمترجم نادر أسامة علي الترجمة الرائعة، وعلي ترجمته للنسخة المنقحة التي أخبر بلاتي بعد أن أعاد كتابتها تقريبًا أن هذه النسخة التي يحب أن يتذكره بها العالم.

الرواية المقتبسة عن قصة حقيقة حدثت مبكرا في ذلك العصر وتلاها أعمال تدنيس متكررة للكنيسة فيما عرف وقتها بالقداس الأسود، الذي كان يهان فيه كل رمز ديني والذي ذكر في الرواية تفصيليا مما أثار غضب الكثيرون وقت صدورها وأتهمت بالتجديف والازدراء

كان بطل الحادثة الأصلية صبيّ، تم ليّ أحداث القصة لتصبح البطلة فتاة يافعة، في إشارة لأن الأنثي هي غالبًا مطمع الشيطان، وكأن العالم بإناسه وشياطينه اتفق أن يعاقب الإناث لأنهن إناث :))

وبعدها أصبحت تلك قاعدة غير منصوص عليها، وأصبحت شخصيات البطولة في أعمال الاستحواذ بنسبة تتعدي التسعين في المائة فتيات مراهقات أو سيدات، وإن حدثت الصدفة وكان البطل رجلًا يعزي الأمر غالبًا للمرض النفسي أو الهيستيريا أو السرنمة أو ايا كان ، كما في رعب أميتي فايل وأفلامه الشهيرة.

كتب ويليام بيتر بلاتي رواية أخري تدعي "ليجون" امتداد لطارد الأرواح الشريرة تحولت لفيلم بدورها عام 2009

وهناك فيلم آخر بنفس الاسم لم يلاق رواجا كبيرا علي الرغم من جودته يدعي:
The exorcist,the beginning
يحكي الأخير عن قصة الأب ميرين ولقاؤه الأول مع الشيطان بازوزو في أرض العراق بعدما استقال من وظيفته كقس وعمل في التنقيب عن الآثار علي إثر تعرضه لأزمة زعزعت ايمانه

لينك مشاهدة لهذا الفيلم المظلوم:


بيتر بلاتي، يا لها من طريقة يتذكرك بها العالم
يا لها من طريقة لنيل الخلود.


Profile Image for Johann (jobis89).
672 reviews4,294 followers
May 4, 2018
"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."

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 diagnose what could have caused this shift in personality, so Regan's mother turns to Father Damien Karras, who is suffering from his own lack of faith.

I'm finally writing a proper book review for one of my favourite books of all time after reading it for the third time. But let's go way back to the start… The Exorcist was pretty much my gateway into reading horror. Growing up I hated horror, you couldn't have paid me to watch a horror movie - I blame my brothers forcing me to watch Freddy Krueger at a very young age and mentally scarring me - but in my late teens, I was intrigued. I started off by watching the Scream movies to ease me into the genre, but pretty quickly my movie choices escalated into what is considered one of the most terrifying movies of all time - The Exorcist. It quickly became one of my favourite movies and I decided I needed to read the book. And so my journey into horror literature began.

I remember thinking the book wouldn't be as scary the movie, but boy was I wrong. I think the book is somehow more terrifying. Granted, we don't have the incredible cinematography or that haunting score, but what we have instead is a slow and tense build as Regan falls under the possession of Pazuzu. During my readalong of this book a number of people seemed to be surprised by William Peter Blatty's prose. A lot of people were like "Shit, this guy can write". And he can! After reading this, Legion and The Ninth Configuration, he would rank as one of my favourite authors, and so I take a lot of pleasure in people "discovering" Blatty as a writer.

Another surprising aspect for a number of people was how emotional the book is. I shed a few tears at the end myself. Damien Karras is one of the most well-written and believable characters I've ever come across. He struggles with his faith as he tries to decipher exactly what is happening with Regan and you can really feel the turmoil he is going through. He is a psychologist as well as a priest, so I found it really interesting to get inside his mind and follow his thought process and research - is Regan possessed or can this be explained by some psychological disorder? As someone who believes in demonic possession, I find these sections of the book incredibly informative. And they help me build my argument for people who try to tell me that these things don't exist because all the symptoms can be explained away by science. In my opinion, they can't. *insert sassy emoji*

This book is one of the very very few that I struggle to read in bed at night. I've become very desensitised to horror, but I think a lot of us still have certain triggers that overwhelm us and send our brain into overdrive. Demonic possession is one of my triggers, as are murderous home invaders (I'm looking at you Golden State Killer). As well as being unnerving and scary, it gets pretty uncomfortable to read at times, particularly when it comes to trying to imagine a young girl screaming expletives in a growling voice coupled with her constant projectile vomiting. And the crucifix scene. I honestly felt like I needed to go to mass after reading that scene. It will always remain one of the most horrific sections I've ever read.

One of my favourite aspects of The Exorcist, and Blatty's works in general (what I've read so far anyway), is his examination of good vs evil. This seems to be a recurrent theme and one that he is very accomplished at exploring. This merely isn't a story about the possession of a young girl, but its really a commentary on a vast range of topics such as faith and the lack of it, to what exists after death, if anything exists at all. It might be presented as "horror" on the surface, but really it goes so much deeper than that.

All the stars!! It somehow gets better on each read.
Profile Image for Leo ..
Author 2 books382 followers
December 31, 2017
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. They were both in their twenties back then and I recall them laughing all the way through the film. I guess times and tastes have changed. The book is great and the original film too, whatever the younger generation may think. The new TV series is good though, I must admit. I think it stars Ben Daniels as the priest.🐯👍
Profile Image for Ahmad Sharabiani.
9,564 reviews27 followers
November 25, 2020
The Exorcist (The Exorcist #1), William Peter Blatty

An elderly Jesuit priest named Father Lankester Merrin is leading an archaeological dig in northern Iraq and is studying ancient relics.

After discovering a small statue of the demon Pazuzu (an actual ancient Assyrian demon), a series of omens alerts him to a pending confrontation with a powerful evil, which, unknown to the reader at this point, he has battled before in an exorcism in Africa.

Meanwhile, in Georgetown, a young girl named Regan MacNeil is living with her famous mother, actress Chris MacNeil, who is in Georgetown filming a movie. As Chris finishes her work on the film, Regan begins to become inexplicably ill.

After a gradual series of poltergeist-like disturbances in their rented house, for which Chris attempts to find rational explanations, Regan begins to rapidly undergo disturbing psychological and physical changes: she refuses to eat or sleep, becomes withdrawn and frenetic, and increasingly aggressive and violent.

Chris initially mistakes Regan's behavior as a result of repressed anger over her parents' divorce and absent father. After several unsuccessful psychiatric and medical treatments, Regan's mother, an atheist, turns to a local Jesuit priest for help as Regan's personality becomes increasingly disturbed.

Father Damien Karras, who is currently going through a crisis of faith coupled with the loss of his mother, agrees to see Regan as a psychiatrist, but initially resists the notion that it is an actual demonic possession.

After a few meetings with the child, now completely inhabited by a diabolical personality, he turns to the local bishop for permission to perform an exorcism on the child. The bishop with whom he consults does not believe Karras is qualified to perform the rites, and appoints the experienced Merrin—who has recently returned to the United States—to perform the exorcism, although he does allow the doubt-ridden Karras to assist him.

The lengthy exorcism tests the priests both physically and spiritually. When Merrin, who had previously suffered cardiac arrhythmia, dies during the process, completion of the exorcism ultimately falls upon Father Karras.

When he demands that the demonic spirit inhabit him instead of the innocent Regan, the demon seizes the opportunity to possess the priest. Karras heroically surrenders his own life in exchange for Regan's by jumping out of her bedroom window and falling to his death, regaining his faith in God as his last rites are read.

تاریخ نخستین خوانش: سال 1995میلادی

عنوان: ج‍ن‌گ‍ی‍ر؛ نویسنده: وی‍ل‍ی‍ام‌ پ‍ی‍ت‍ر ب‍لات‍ی‌؛ مت‍رج‍م: ب‍ه‍رام‌ اف‍راس‍ی‍اب‍ی‌؛ ت‍ه‍ران ن‍ش‍ر ال‍ب‍رز، 1372؛ در 355ص، مصور؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان امریکایی - سده 20م

همانگونه که از عنوان کتاب پیداست، روایت یک «جن گیر»، یعنی پیرامون «جن» و تسخیر انسان است، ماجرای دختری است، که «جن» او را تسخیر کرده، کتاب «جن گیر»، بسیار شناخته شده، و با گذشت چند دهه، هنوز هم یکی از بهترین رمانهای ژانر ترس، و با گذشت زمان، هنوز جزو ترسناکترین داستانهای جهان است؛ و بسیاری از رمانها، و داستانهای ژانر ترس و وحشت، از این کتاب الهام بگرفته اند؛ فیلم و سریال، با اقتباس و الهام از این داستان نیز ساخته شده است.؛ نخستین فیلم، که دو سال پس از چاپ کتاب، یعنی سال هزار و نهصد و هفتاد و یک میلادی، که کتاب چاپ شده و مورد استقبال چشمگیر قرار گرفته بود؛ فیلمی با همین نام «جن گیر» ساخته ی «پازوزو» نیز به سینمای جهان عرضه شد، که این فیلم نیز از بهترینهای سینمای ترس میباشد

تاریخ بهنگام رسانی 04/09/1399هجری خورشیدی؛ ا. شربیانی
Profile Image for Lyn.
1,882 reviews16.6k followers
March 31, 2017
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 piecing all the fragments of evidence together and even a couple of interesting sub-plots. There is the great struggle between the elder exorcist and his devilish foe.

But what drives this work; the central focus is not the blasphemy going on in Regan’s bedroom, but the spiritual conflict taking place within Father Karras. Blatty has crafted an intricately complete allegory about the modern divergence between strictly rational scientific thought and the traditional ideas about faith and religion. Karras, a Jesuit priest who is also a Harvard trained psychiatrist, is the living embodiment of this diametric clash, not between good and evil but between uncompromising faith and logically defined scientific knowledge. Karras wants the possession, wants to know that a demon has taken up residence in the child, because this will be his definitive sign from God that his faith is real.

Finally, in the peaceful words of Father Merrin, the exorcist, Karras finds absolution from his doubts. The obscene heresies graphically described by the author will keep most people of faith away, but for those who can get through this well-written work of speculative fiction, the result may be a strengthening of faith.

Profile Image for Francisca.
189 reviews83 followers
October 4, 2019
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 into everyday life.

Was that just the wind, howling outside all night? Was that broken branch after the storm just a normal thing? But why now, and why in the middle of my street? You have no answer, because to be honest there's no answer, but soon Blatty's words, come to give you one:

“You see, the trouble with the signs in the sky, my dear morsel, is that once having seen them, one has no excuse.”

And there you are, hooked searching for signs to prove to youserlf that something normal may not be so normal after all.

I'm a fan of this type of horror, the one that leaves a lingering feeling of unreality to our reality, and Blatty is a master in this matter.

So, let's talk about the book. The premise is simple: A strange, unexplained mental illness has struck a 12 years old girl. The girl's mother, who is an atheist, consults numerous medical professionals to no avail. All signs point to a demonic-possession, but that's a paranormal phenomenon ridiculed in the modern day as superstition, so how to take the signs seriously?

When things get worse, out of desperation, the girl's mother approaches a priest, pleading for an exorcism, but the priest instead of accepting to perform the ritual, sends mother and daughter back to the doctor. Why? Simply because the priest, despite the requirements of his profession, doesn't believe in the existence of the Devil!

For the priest, faith has become a matter of philosophical and academic pursuit only. For him, demonic possessions only happened in the holy book, not in today's world. But even then, the priest argues, the demonic possessions in the holy book should be interpreted with sophisticated hermeneutics, to explain the supernatural reality while emphasizing the philosophical, and theological meanings behind the miracles.

This is the premise on which Blatty stood to write a captivating tale about faith. Yes, this is horror, but truly disturbing stories only work so well because of their roots in real life, and what is more real than faith? Faith shapes our world, is the lens we used to interpret our life and existence. Indeed, The Exorcist is a allegory about the internal struggles of modern-day religious believers, who, wrestle to adapt their own perception about faith to a world where everything is being rationalized.

When first published, the story also raised an interesting question for the modern-day religious believers, when something unexplained happens, why do they often default to a naturalistic explanation --like non-believers do-- over a supernatural one?

If you’re looking for an outstanding horror novel to read, look no further than the exorcist. Beyond just being a classic, this is one of those near perfect novels that you won’t be able put down. It will keep you awake, reading well into the night.
Profile Image for Maciek.
567 reviews3,411 followers
December 27, 2010
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 classic - but it is a good classic; it's not The Castle of Otranto or The Monk, both of which haven't exactly stood the test of time; The Exorcist is a classic in the way of Rosemary's Baby or I Am Legend, both of which will be remembered and savored by generations of readers in years to come.

Since its original publication in the 1971 (what a shock that must have been), the genre known as "horror" expanded broadly, and people's tolerancy towards controversy and shock in fiction has vastly increased. So what does make The Exorcist still so strong a novel after almost forty years since its first printing?

It's not the shock, nor the scare; The Exorcist was written when no one even thought about countless horror movies and novels that would be so cheap and poor that they'd make people think twice before watching/reading something that would be dubbed with that name. Falls of blood and mountains of dead bodies succesfully dimmed any scares and frights that the reader could have experienced when he was reading this novel in the early 70's. No, no; what affects us so strongly is the inner turmoil of people who live in this text. It's not the monster; it's those he's after. The scary things get old easily and are quickly succeeded by even more scary and gruesome creatures and concepts; the people dealing with them stay the same. Each decade, each year a new icon of evil is introduced and abolished, but fear...fear stays the same.

The plot of The Exorcist is widely known to practically everyone, but if you haven't read the book or seen the movie I strongly encourage you to do both - in that order - and then come back to read my ramblings. HERE THERE BE A DISCUSSION WHICH REVEALS PLOT POINTS AND THE CONCLUSION OF THE NARRATIVE.

The Exorcist opens in northern Iraq, at an excavation site where we first meet Father Lankester Merrin, an elderly priest who's the leader of the excavation dig and has just came upon an interesting discovery - a small statue of a demon juxtaposed with a St.Joseph medal. Father Merrin feels the omen of an ancient, malevolent force looming over him.

Meanwhile, in Georgetown, a young girl named Regan MacNeil becomes inexplicably ill. The enrgetic and happy child drastically changes and her mind seems to slowly deteriorate. But to her mother, Chris, something is wrong with Regan on an entire different level - strange noises are heard, objects move in her room. Chris seeks medical help, but the doctors can't find evidence for their theory about Regan's condition being caused by a lesion in the temporal lobe of the brain.
Regan's condition worsens - she spits countless obscenities and starts speaking in several languages - and the most shocking image of all: she masturbates with a crucifix. She has strapped down to the bed for her own protection as well as of those around her - Regan's strenght is almost inhuman. The figure bound to the bed doesn't even resemble Regan - it claims to be the devil himself.
Desperatedly, non-religious Chris turns to the Jesuit priesthood for help - she wants an exorcism to be performed on her daughter. Enter Father Damien Karras.

The descriptions of Regan's demonic behavior - the famous 180 turn of her head - are not as impacting as they were in the 70's, but they still serve their duty well. However, as I said before, it is not the physical manifestation of the demon that is important - it's how people deal with the posession.

Chris asks Father Karras to perform an exorcism - an ages old ritual used by the Church to purge the demons out of the posessed. Father Karras explains that a priest cannot simply perform an exorcism and has to get a persmission from the Church - speaking simply, he needs evidence. Father Karras is reluctant to approach his superiors - he is struggling with his own innter turmoil. The horrible sense of betraying his mother as he left her old and alone to enter the priesthood, with scatters of his childhood memories that deepen his sense of guilt. The Father doubts his faith, and he struggles to keep his belief. We see him as an emotional and troubled being, for whom a request to perform the ancient ritual comes as something totally unexpected and irrational. It is the Priest who encourages the non-believing mother to seek out medical help. The priest doesn't want to perform the exorcism, he wants Regan's case to be scientifically explainable; he wants to think of the exorcism as a forgotten superstition of past times. He seeks proof to encourage the woman that her daughter's condition can be healed medically, taunts what he believes to be Regan's unconsciousness taking the form of "demons" about whom she's heard or read in books. But his quest takes an unexpected turn when he sees two words appearing on Regan's stomach, like stigmatas: HELP ME

Father Karris turns to the Church for the persmission to do the exorcism, and it is granted to him though he's not allowed to actually perform the ritual. He will be the assistant to Father Merrin, who is revealed to have been suspecting the encounter all along - it's revealed that a long time ago he performed an exorcism in Africa, and it's suggested that the exorcism has wounded him physically, though not spiritually. Father Merrin is a figure that provides comfort and solace to the troubled, but he is old; when he faces the demon it recognizes him, and mocks the elderly priest by saying that this time he will lose.
Nevertheless, Father Merrin and Father Karras set out to perform the exorcism.

The lenghty ritual tires the priests, both physically and mentally. Father Merrin is strong spiritually but his flesh is long past its prime; though he's desperate to perform the ritual till the demon is exorted, his body fails him and he dies before the demon is casted out.
The demon lavishes in his victory, mocking the dead priest; but it is this moment where wheels are turned. The demon is arrogant and pitiless, doesn't consider Father Karras a worthy opponent because it detected doubt in him; however, it is Father Karras who will defeat him. After seeing Father Merrin's sacrifice, Karras decides to give his life for the life of the posessed girl. The demon operates by low means, occuping innocent, defensless children to gain its goals, and it doesn't even acknowledge the idea of selfless love displayed by the priest for the girl. The demon outmathced both priest in a spiritual duel, because of Father Karras's doubt; but faith is more than a matter of doubt, it is goodness and selflesness that is displayed by Father Karras in the ending sequences. The demon is not even sucpecting the troubled priest to be able for such sacrifice and when Father Karras becknons him to enter his body, he lets go of the girl and accepts the invitation; Father Karras uses the remains of his strenght to jump out of the window, and dies at the pavement.

In the finale of this dramatic conclusion Father Karras is not brought back to life by God, as some could have expected; he's dying fast, but he dies fulfilled, having captured the demon within him and therefore freeing the girl. He dies free of burden and guilt; his life had purpose, just like Regan's - The demon chose the girl to lure Father Merrin to face him, just as Father Karras was chosen to face the demon and defeat him. But chosen by whom? Blatty gives us the benefit of doubt and doesn't enforce any ideology on the reader, but he also gives us the benefit of hope by emphasizing the inner strenght of the human spirit and faith in the most dire conditions.

I'm glad I've finally read The Exorcist, though I'm also glad I waited so long to do it. The novel offers an insight into the mind and soul of the tragically troubled character of Father Karras, a profound vision that is much more fascinating that all of the demons combined. It illustrates how fragile human spirit can be, but also how strong when it is armed with love and purpose. Heartily recommended.

Profile Image for Michael || TheNeverendingTBR.
479 reviews190 followers
January 6, 2023
I was completely blown away by how good this book was. The characters kept me enthralled throughout and although it didn't scare me, it did have some really creepy and repulsive moments.

The authors writing is flawless and characters were believable because of their flaws.

If you've seen the film you'll love the book, it goes into so much more detail.

It was a lot of fun, deserves the cult classic status and I can't wait to read some of his other books.

I'm looking forward to rewatching the adaptation, not seen it in years.
Profile Image for Fernando.
684 reviews1,127 followers
May 15, 2020
—¿Dices que eres el demonio? -preguntó Karras.
—Te lo aseguro.
—Entonces, ¿por qué no haces que las correas desaparezcan?
—Eso sería un despliegue de poder demasiado vulgar, Karras. Demasiado burdo. Después de todo, soy un príncipe.

Luego de haber leído “Los elementales” de Michael McDowell, me quedé con ganas de subir la apuesta y decidí leer “El exorcista”.
No me equivoqué. La novela posee los más altos ingredientes de terror con los que me haya topado, aunque no haya leído mucho del género y por supuesto posee un suspenso adictivo, propio del estilo de estos libros.
Su autor, William Peter Blatty, quien publicó esta novela en 1971, basándose en una experiencia vivida por él mismo en el año 1949, causó un revuelo instantáneo, tanto por la historia narrada, como por los condimentos de alto contenido polémico, repulsivo, escatológico y demasiado violento para la época, llevó en dos años más tarde su novela a la pantalla grande, junto con el director William Friedkin para terminar ganando un premio Oscar por “Mejor guion adaptado”.
Fue tal el impacto de la película en los cines por aquellos años, que mucha gente salía vomitando de las salas. La película se transformó en objeto de culto instantáneo y sigue vigente hasta nuestros días.
Es digno de destacar la manera en la que Blatty se informó e investigó en distintas áreas para solventar el argumento de la novela. El autor profundiza sobre la medicina clínica, la psicología, la psiquiatría, la teología, las supersticiones, todo lo referente a posesiones, brujería, hechizos, inquisiciones, civilizaciones antiguas y la religión católica.
Los síntomas de Regan se van manifestando de menor a mayor, comenzando con simples explicaciones que los profesionales atribuyen como propios de su edad, como los desórdenes normales previos a la adolescencia para ir incrementándose en complejidad.
Tanto médicos, como psicólogos y psiquiatras divagan entre conjeturas tratando de explicar el estado de salud de Regan que incluye hiperactividad, mal genio, insomnio, trastorno hiperkinético, sonambulismo histérico, contracciones clónicas, convulsiones, epilepsia, desdoblamiento de la personalidad, enfermedad mental, desborde psiquiátrico, histeria, esquizofrenia, paranoia hasta llegar a la conclusión de una posible posesión demoníaca.
A partir de allí, Chris MacNeall, la madre de Regan completamente desesperada y abrumada, contactará al padre Damien Karras para pedirle que le realice un exorcismo a su hija.
El padre Karras, un sacerdote experto en psiquiatría, quien atraviesa una crisis de fe ante la reciente muerte de su madre, batallará en primer lugar contra su propio escepticismo para terminar luchando contra el demonio que consume el frágil cuerpo de Regan.
Es aquí donde Blatty nuevamente despliega un bagaje de conocimientos técnicos relacionados a la posesión diabólica y a los exorcismos.
Es indudable que, en primer lugar se asesoró con médicos especialistas en la materia y sobre todo contactó a diversos sacerdotes y personalidades eclesiásticas que le brindaron la información necesaria para desarrollar su novela.
La inclusión de libros como "Psicología y patología de los fenómenos ocultos", “Posesión” de Osterreich, “Los demonios de Loudun”, de Huxley, y “Parapraxis en el caso de Haizman” de Freud; “Posesión por el demonio y exorcismo en la primera época del cristianismo, a la luz de las ideas modernas sobre las enfermedades mentales”, de McCasland, así como extractos de revistas psiquiátricas sobre “Neurosis de posesión diabólica en el siglo XVII”, y “La demonología de la psiquiatría moderna”, de Freud no están incluidos por casualidad. Todo esto le da solvencia y credibilidad a la novela.
Cuando un comienza a leer la tercera parte llamada “El abismo” es allí donde el horror de desata. Todo lo que sucede en la novela será replicado fielmente y sin censura en la película.
Algunas escenas y situaciones realmente superan al lector causándole asco, repugnancia e incluso ganas de detener la lectura, desde el lenguaje altamente obsceno que sale de la boca de Regan ya poseída, junto con toda una serie de sustancias, vómitos, flujos, sangre, excrementos, escupitajos y hasta una controvertida escena de masturbación con un crucifijo, hace que uno sobrelleve una lectura verdaderamente tortuosa.
Ciertas escenas realmente son difíciles de soportar si tenemos en cuenta que de quien hace y dice todo esto es una niña de doce años.
Esta novela no es para lectores susceptible ni para estómagos flojos ni tampoco para aquellos poco acostumbrados a la violencia y la obscenidad.
Muchas situaciones chocan al lector, propinándole golpes verdaderamente bajos, pero uno en cierto modo, leyéndola, logra compadecerse de lo que le sucede al personaje de Regan, poseído por un demonio que no le tiene piedad y que la está matando de a poco, mientras su cuerpo maltrecho resiste sus embates, atada a una cama y en dormitorio cuya temperatura es de varios grados bajo cero.
Este detalle no es menor. Cuando Dante Alighieri describe el lugar donde se encuentra el Diablo en “La divina comedia”, está castigando cruelmente a Judas Iscariote en el Cócito, situado en último círculo del infierno, que para variar, está congelado, algo que contrasta con la idea de que el Infierno es un lugar ardiente.
Por otro lado, para la película, los actores fueron sometidos a verdaderas temperaturas congeladas que hicieron verdaderamente tortuosas sus actuaciones.
Volviendo a la novela, nos encontramos también con otros personajes muy importantes como por ejemplo los personajes que trabajan en la casa de Chris, o sea su mayordomo Karl, la esposa de este, Willie y una joven llamada Sharon quienes tiene implicancia directa en todo el asunto.
Y no debemos olvidar al detective Kinderman, que investiga la muerte del director de cine Burke Dennings y sobre todo al verdadero exorcista, el padre Lankenster Merrim, un afamado y experto sacerdote que en la película es personificado por el maravilloso Max Von Sidow.
“El exorcista” es una novela aterradora, difícil, incómoda, cruda, violenta, visceral y hasta repugnante, pero realmente atrapante.
Considero que William Blatty alcanzó la fama a partir de una novela que se salió de todo lo conocido hasta ese momento y que aún hoy, con el agregado de la película de 1973, sigue causando la misma conmoción y espanto que cuando fue publicada.
Profile Image for Overhaul.
317 reviews702 followers
September 7, 2023
Publicado en mayo de 1971.

Clásico del terror indiscutible que abrió las puertas del miedo a los lectores y después las vejigas en los cines.

Regan, una niña de once años, sufre una inquietante transformación que deja confundidos a médicos y científicos. ¿Cabe la posibilidad de que actúe una fuerza demoniaca, de que Regan sea una posesa? Ya que la Psiquiatría se ha mostrado impotente, ¿Habrá que recurrir al exorcismo? La madre acude entonces a un jesuita, que posee profundos conocimientos sobre el satanismo y la posesión...

Si la película te acojonó como me pasó a mi en su momento, el libro es si cabe más aterrador en otras maneras diferentes.

Excelentes los dos, el libro como la adaptación. Soberbios y no suele suceder así. Uno de los dos suele cagarla.

Hay una diferencia entre ambos que me gustó y es que el libro cuestiona mucho si Regan está poseída, la película debido al maquillaje y verla con nuestros ojos, juzgamos que lo está. El libro marea algo más la perdiz dedicando más tiempo a la cuestión de si ella está o no.

Una sólida y espectacular historia del mejor terror que juega más con el suspenso de hacer que te preguntes qué le está pasando a Regan en lugar de simplemente asustarte como pasa en la película. Imaginación u ojos. En este caso los dos merecen la experiencia.

"El exorcista" es un libro establece el estándar para el terror moderno, para mi es el padre que dió paso a tanto en un género tan rico pero aún no tan leído como merece.

La historia no solo es inquietante, ágil, llena de una gran documentación a través de una gloriosa parte de investigación, sentimientos y emociones.

Brillantemente escrito. Lo que convirtió a "El exorcista" en una leyenda hoy en día es que es memorable, una historia que permanece contigo siempre.

Profile Image for Ayman Gomaa.
454 reviews608 followers
March 6, 2023
مقومات الكتابة الروائية عديدة كما نعلم
لكن قليلة هى الروايات التى تاتى ب جميع المقومات الادبية بل و ياخد كل منها حيز لا باس به و تشعر فعلا انك امام عمل ادبى متكامل
ويليام بيتر بلاتى بامتياز استطاع بقلمه ان يجمعهم كلهم لينتج رواية ستظل محفورة فى الاذهان و تصبح من الكلاسيكيات و مرجع لروايات لكل كاتب جديد يريد ان يكتب عن الرعب النفسى و الصراع النفسى مع الجانب الدينى .

هل قرات مقالة العراب " العمل المدمر " اول مقال فى كتابه اللغز وراء السطور !

بعد انتهائك من الرواية ستبحث عن باقى اعمال " ويليام بيتر بلاتى " لتفاجئ ان لا يوجد عمل حقق نجاح مثل رواية الاستحواذ عل الرغم من كتابة روايات اخرى تدور عن الاستحواذ , فهل كانت تحفته الادبية " الاستحواذ " العمل المدمر له مثله مثل كثير من عمالقة الادب الذين واجهتهم هذة المأساة .

للاسف نعم :
تخيل ان توصل فى اول عمل لك للرواية الكاملة بكل عناصرها النفسية و الرعب و التشويق و الدرامى فاصبح سقف التوقعات عالى جدا بالنسبة لقراءه فى ما هو جديد و اعتقد ان ذلك سبب فى انه لم يستطع ابرازها فى عمل اخر حتى فى السينما الذى اتجه اليها بعد ذلك .


الفيلم رائع و لم يختذل من الرواية اي احداث من احداث الرواية من ناحية التشويق و الجانب الدرامى ايضا
لكن ...
الجانب النفسى اهم ما يميز الرواية هو ما لم يستطع المخرج تناوله و بذلك دمر اكثر ما كان يميز الراوية .

لذلك عندما تقرا الرواية بناء عن الفيلم سوف تنتظر الرعب الرعب الرعب لان هذا معظم من سمع عنها يعرفة انها رواية رعب , لكن هذا اول ما سوف يصدمك انها ليست رواية رعب عل الاطلاق.

انت امام رواية ظلم ان تصنف ك رعب و هذا تقليل منها , هذة رواية نفسية من الدرجة الاولى.
رواية عن الصراع النفسى بين قس فقد ايمانه \ ام ملحدة \ محقق يصارع بين واجبه المهنى و الاخلاقى \ طفلة بريئة بين كل هذا استحوذ عليها كائن شيطانى كل هذة الصراعات النفسية كفيلة انها تدمرك اكثر من الرعب الذى كنت تنتظره

شخصيات بعد ان وصلت ل طريق سد مع الله معظمهم ألحد و الاخر فقد ايمانه و اى ما يتعلق بالدين , الان لا يوجد شى يمكن انقاذهم و اختبار ايمانهم غير هذة المصيبة الخارقة للطبيعة .

من افضل الصراعات النفسية التى قراتها فى حياتى صراعات الاب كاريس *
هذة الشخصية رسمت بعناية فائقة و تساولاتها و اجابتها كان لا مثيل له .

ايضا الحوارات بين الاب ميرين و الاب كاريس كانت بديعة لا توصف .
" اقتباسات الحوار المفضلة بين ميرين و كاريس تناوله اصدقائى فى مراجعتهم " من الواضح ان كلنا تاثرنا بها .

- من افضل ما قرات و ينصح بها لكل الاذواق
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