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Demons Five, Exorcists Nothing: A Fable

Overview

Coming from the Academy award-winning screenwriter and bestselling author of The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty's newest creation is no demon from beyond, but a mere mortal Hollywood screenwriter caught in his own private hell. A scathing modern fable that chronicles the descent of an acclaimed auteur to a rung above has-been rings startlingly, wickedly true. Jason Hazzard was once known as a serious heavyweight in Hollywood, respected for his intellect and skill with a pen. Now a victim of a series of flops, he ...
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1996 Hard cover New in fine dust jacket. Sewn binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 188 p. Audience: General/trade.

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1996 Hardcover New jacket First Edition. New Hardcover with dust jacket (Not Price Clipped), clean, tight, unmarked, (Fine with Fine Dust Jacket), Donald I. Fine Books, New ... York, 1996, First Edition, Cover Art by Paul Bacon. has a small remainder mark on bottom page edges. All orders are shipped by kbooks every business day. Read more Show Less

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Overview

Coming from the Academy award-winning screenwriter and bestselling author of The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty's newest creation is no demon from beyond, but a mere mortal Hollywood screenwriter caught in his own private hell. A scathing modern fable that chronicles the descent of an acclaimed auteur to a rung above has-been rings startlingly, wickedly true. Jason Hazzard was once known as a serious heavyweight in Hollywood, respected for his intellect and skill with a pen. Now a victim of a series of flops, he finds himself best known for being the husband of his glamorous, successful wife, a woman with the a point name of Sprightly God. Like Robert Altman's film The Player, Demons Five, Exorcists Nothing wittily, deliciously exposes a bizarre world, its moguls, its players, as Blatty weaves the story of Hazzard's attempts to turn his bummed life and career around. Drawing on - but of course not replicating - his own experiences in Hollywood during the writing and filming of such acclaimed movies as The Exorcist, The Ninth Configuration and What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, Blatty takes no prisoners in this realistic fable of towering ambition, cross and double-cross, and the rule of the rubber fist in the iron glove.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The self-indulgence, eccentricity, back-stabbing and overweening neurotic behavior legendary to Hollywood reach new heights in this lively but hit-and-miss allegorical farce about contemporary movie-making. Respected auteur Jason Hazard hasn't worked in years and lives in the shadow of his movie-star wife, Spritely God. When Spritely's former husband, Artery Studios boss Arthur Zelig, offers Hazard a job directing the film version of the hot, bestselling novel The Satanist, the filmmaker is suspicious. He is also desperate, and so signs on. But as it happens, Zelig, who suffers from hysterical blindness and a dysfunctional penile implant, and who talks over his business deals with his pet cobra, is plotting to ruin Hazard and to win back Spritely, in order to cure his psychological afflictions. Hazard's film becomes the archetypal troubled project; ultimately, his sanity may be at greater risk than his career. Blatty doubtless weaves his own Hollywood experiences, particularly the filming of his megabestseller The Exorcist, into this tale, but the dishing here is broad and impersonal. The characters are heavily caricatured types. Because these players are all so emphatically unreal, readers may wind up, despite a madcap narrative, more amused than involved, as if watching monkeys frolicking behind glass at the zoo. Line drawings. (Sept.)
Library Journal
The one-man Exorcist (1971) industry exacts some revenge on Hollywood in this slim, self-described fable about a mogul who plots the demise of an already faded director, who stole his movie star wife, by sabotaging his own project: the can't-miss filming of the best-selling shocker, The Satanist. Supposedly rife with Blatty's own adventures in filmland, the book, as clumsy as its title, aims for satire but hitsor missesmuch lower. Most of the time Demons Five is silly without being funny. This is unfortunate, since some of Blatty's quirks are amusing, such as his made-up words (e.g., "Hazard scruted the door, looking frimmled") and talking inanimate objects. Only larger fiction collections need consider. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 5/15/96.]David Bartholomew, NYPL
Kirkus Reviews
This comic fable about making an Exorcist-like horror movie has its moments—and, heaven knows, may not overestimate the gross appetites of a portion of the American reading public.

Each Blatty (Legion, 1983, etc.) paragraph drools with faux- movie dialogue and highbrow asides (to The Magic Mountain, Shakespeare, Emily Brontë, Dickens, Prince Miskin, etc). The most memorable figure in the book is reminiscent of the Nazi playwright from the Mel Brooks film The Producers, rendered here as a demented film projectionist in a Prussian army helmet, Jesus Machtmeintag (Makemyday). His scenes are particularly droll. " `Go avay!' shrieked the deep German voice hysterically. `You haff zer wrong man, I tell you! I am innocent!' There followed adamant denials that he'd ever gone bowling with Joseph Goebbels, weekend flying with Rudolph Hess, knew anything whatever of letters of transit, or had ever defaced Casablanca posters to suggest the film's hero was Conrad Veidt. `All lies!' bellowed Machtmeintag in a fury." The scenario: Celebrated director Jason Hazard has been in the dumps for three years when archfiend/studio head Arthur Zelig hires him to direct the film version of Jonathan Drood's bestseller, The Satanists. Hazard has run off with Zelig's ex-wife, leading actress Spritely God, and Zelig schemes to make sure that The Satanist will be a colossal bomb, blowing Hazard completely out of the water and driving Spritely back into his bed. She, however, is so aghast at Drood's script that she demands the studio be exorcised. Various exorcists show up throughout, including Don Rickles, who fails to exorcise Spritely's cat, Barbra, which sings like Streisand and turns into a gigantic rat on a levitating bed. Perhaps Mel Brooks will direct the movie?

Echoes of musty old Max Schulman novels, with some laugh-out- loud lines about Hollywood lost in extra-luxuriant false classicism and excess.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781556115011
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/17/1996
  • Pages: 188
  • Product dimensions: 6.46 (w) x 8.72 (h) x 0.87 (d)

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