The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty
Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty’s thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.
Okay, so let’s start this right off with the fact that this book is not for the faint of heart. I mean, a little girl is possessed by a demon. If you get offended easily or are squeamish you definitely need to put this one down. It is explicit and blasphemous and disturbing. I loved it! My eyes were like saucers the whole time reading. My thoughts mostly consisted of “Is he really writing this?” “Is this really happening?” “Daaaaamn!” I was completely sucked in from the first page. Even though a lot of the writing was dense as the scene was set and as the doctors attempted to eliminate all other possible explanations of Regan’s behavior, The Exorcist was absolutely enrapturing.
One thing I loved about The Exorcist is the sheer amount of research it must have taken to produce such a realistic and, yes, informative work. As Regan descended into the possession, her actress mother Chris took her to every specialist possible to test her for various diseases and disorders. I learned more about afflictions of the mind and body in this novel than I have in any class. The science of insanity, schizophrenia, and other possibilities explored while the scientists ruled out every possibility was stimulating like a puzzle. Once it was apparent that she needed a priest, there was still a lot to rule out! The process of approval for a Catholic exorcism was just as extensive as any scientific test. Blatty did an excellent job of engaging the reader with the logistics and process that clearly reflected superb research.
I have seen the movie and I can honestly say the book is more disturbing. Seeing the deplorable and explicit things done and said by the demon Pazuzu is terrifying, but to read them is worse. The power of words can be far more striking than seeing images. The reader imagines the scenes, and the imagination can run wild when not restricted to what it is seeing in a movie. The descent into the demonic presence is that much more chilling.
The Exorcist is not a horror novel only in the sense of shocks and gore. This novel makes you question good and evil, what you know to be right and wrong. It makes you question morals and doubt everything you have ever known. It plays with your mind and tricks you into believing the demons lies. An evil incarnate possesses Regan and reading The Exorcist makes it affect you too.
- Extremely well written and captivating
- Extremely well researched and rooted in science and fact despite the paranormal aspect of the plot
- Affects how you assess yourself and your morals
The Not So Good
- For those who cannot bear reading graphic and blasphemous text despite their obvious need in the story, you can put this one away
Keeping in mind that this novel is explicit, sacrilegious and disturbing…YAAASSS! The horror made the reader ponder deeper questions of morals and good vs. evil. Despite the paranormal aspect, I felt the characters reactions and struggles were extremely realistic and captivating. You feel horrible for Chris and Father Karras. You feel terrified for Regan, during her time possessed by a demon bent on evil and her destruction. You feel relieved as she is delivered from the demon. This novel gripped me like a demon and didn’t let go! (Forgive me ;))