Dimiter

( 31 )

Overview

"Dimiter is a story of murder, revenge, and suspense. Laced with themes of faith and love, sin and forgiveness, vengeance and compassion, it is a novel in the grand tradition of Morris West's The Devil's Advocate and the Catholic novels of Graham Greene." "Dimiter opens in the world's most oppressive and isolated totalitarian state: Albania in the 1970s. A prisoner suspected of being an enemy agent is held by state security. An unsettling presence, he maintains an eerie silence though subjected to almost unimaginable torture. He escapes - and on

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Dimiter

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Overview

"Dimiter is a story of murder, revenge, and suspense. Laced with themes of faith and love, sin and forgiveness, vengeance and compassion, it is a novel in the grand tradition of Morris West's The Devil's Advocate and the Catholic novels of Graham Greene." "Dimiter opens in the world's most oppressive and isolated totalitarian state: Albania in the 1970s. A prisoner suspected of being an enemy agent is held by state security. An unsettling presence, he maintains an eerie silence though subjected to almost unimaginable torture. He escapes - and on the way to freedom, completes a mysterious mission. The prisoner is Dimiter, the American "agent from Hell." The scene shifts to Jerusalem, focusing on Hadassah Hospital and a cast of engaging, colorful characters: the brooding Christian Arab police detective, Peter Meral: Dr. Moses Mayo, a troubled but humorous neurologist; Sarnia, an attractive, sharp-tongued nurse; and assorted American and Israeli functionaries and hospital staff. All become enmeshed in a series of baffling, inexplicable deaths, until events explode in a surprising climax.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Blatty fans looking for straight-up horror in the vein of The Exorcist will be disappointed, but those with broader tastes will find this a beautifully written, haunting tale of vengeance, spiritual searching, loss, and love. In 1973 Albania, Colonel Vlora (aka “the Interrogator”), the head of a team of torturers, questions “the Prisoner,” who the reader later learns is Paul Dimiter, “an American clandestine agent referred to in some quarters of the world as 'legendary,’ while in others as 'the agent from hell.’ ” (Rumor has it Dimiter poisoned Ho Chi Minh while the Vietnamese leader was visiting Albania shortly before his death in 1969.) Dimiter escapes to Jerusalem, where he encounters a number of engaging characters, including a doctor of neurology, a sharp-tongued nurse, and a grief-stricken Israeli policeman. The complicated plot confounds until the isolated pieces of the psychological puzzle that’s Dimiter match up and fall into place, revealing surprising truths. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
From the author of The Exorcist (1971), a halting, unfocused thriller about a series of mysterious events in Jerusalem. Blatty begins with a numbing, cluttered and confusing prologue, set against the political intrigue and violence in Albania in the 1970s. In a series of sessions, some, for no clear reason, reproduced as transcripts, a man identified as "the Interrogator" attempts to break down "the Prisoner." The Prisoner remains tight lipped until the Interrogator uses sodium pentothal to get him to talk. In a mysterious feat "never quite understood" the Prisoner takes out his guards and escapes. Three days later, on a Sunday, he appears before seven men in a barn. Back at his office, the Interrogator reflects on his Prisoner, now identified as Dimiter, "the agent from Hell." Blatty thereupon shifts to Jerusalem and Hadassah Hospital, scene of a murder, the miraculous recovery of a two-year-old from cancer and, "at the end of the hall, something black and quick." For good measure, there's also mention of a case of leprosy and, later, the discovery of a body in the tomb of Christ. The narrative mostly turns into a rather unremarkable police procedural as police detective Peter Meral (perhaps the only character with any dimension) takes on the case of American novelist Eddie Shore. Shore, hospitalized for food poisoning, dies suspiciously of cardiac arrest. Then Moses Mayo, a neurologist at Hadassah, dies, and Meral is convinced he was murdered. Periodic references to Dimiter promise to draw together the diffuse plot strands, with Blatty periodically breaking in to suggest that all will come together as he ends several chapters on a portentous note: " ‘The only cover you can blow now isthe lid on his coffin.' Which, in its way, would later prove to be prophetic." Cue rain and wind and dreams about Christ's resurrection from the tomb to add a quasi-mysterious, quasi-spiritual overlay. A holding pattern that never wants to end.
From the Publisher
Dimiter is an intelligent, tightly wound, suspenseful novel.”—USA Today

“Gripping and intelligent, Dimiter is part detective story and part religious thriller in the grand tradition of The Name of the Rose.”—Allan Folsom, New York Times bestselling author

“Enfolds a message of faith in a fast-paced thriller”—Los Angeles Times

“A beautifully written, haunting tale of vengeance, spiritual searching, loss, and love.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781613470428
  • Publisher: Centipede Press
  • Publication date: 8/27/2013
  • Edition description: Limited
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William Peter Blatty, the writer of numerous novels and screenplays, is best known for his mega-bestselling novel The Exorcist, deemed by the New York Times Book Review to be “as superior to most books of its kind as an Einstein equation is to an accountant’s column of figures.” An Academy Award winner for his screenplay for The Exorcist, Blatty is not only the author of one of the most terrifying novels ever written, but, paradoxically, also cowrote the screenplay for the hilarious Inspector Clouseau film, A Shot in the Dark. New York Times reviewers of his early comic novels noted, “Nobody can write funnier lines than William Peter Blatty,” describing him as “a gifted virtuoso who writes like S. J. Perelman.” Blatty lives with his wife and a son in Maryland.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(14)

4 Star

(6)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 32 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 16, 2010

    A moving and thought-provoking "religious thriller".

    This novel is like none other I have read. The opening chapters are moody and mysterious and the writing is quite beautiful. We are quickly introduced to the story's central character, "Dimiter," who then recedes into the backround as the scene shifts from Albania to Jerusalem. Only gradually do we see what his place is in this second half, and the key role he plays in the story as a whole.
    The plot is not a simple one. Several narrative threads are created along more or less parallel lines, then dropped for a time, only to be picked up and concluded later in the book. Eventually, all of these strands are woven together and a startling picture emerges. I won't spoil your read by revealing what that picture is. I will say, however, that it is most unusual as well as uplifting in a completely unexpected way.
    If I were to point out any drawback to the book as a whole, I would say that the second half seems somewhat shortened compared to the first. And I enjoyed the story and the quality of the writing so much that I would have been preferred to see the story extended for several more chapters. As it is, however, the pace is quick and the tension builds until the "mystery" of Dimiter is revealed.
    This is not a book for everyone, however. I think you have to love fine writing and be interested in exploring some pretty serious subjects, like the nature of God's involvement (if any) in this world and the extent to which violent acts can conceivably be justified in the name of a "good" God to fully appreciate it. This book tackles some weighty topics much in the way that "The Exorcist" (also by Blatty) does, but the stories are not similar otherwise. And anyone who picks up this book expecting spinning heads or pea soup will be disappointed. If memory serves, this book is darker and more serious in tone than "The Exorcist", despite the many surprising humorous exchanges between some of the characters in the second half. (Surprising to see on the book's dust jacket that the author has written several humorous books and screenplays, including "A Shot in the Dark", one of the first Inspecter Clouseau films.) And while I can't say that it has changed my mind about God or any of the topics mentioned above, it has certainly made me think more deeply about them. This is a book that almost demands a second reading, because there are many subtle, almost subconscious clues regarding the climax scattered throughout the earlier chapters. In addition, the main characters in the Jerusalem section of the book possess a depth which one does not usually encounter in a "thriller" of this kind.
    In short, I highly recommend this book, but be prepared to be challenged and have your thinking cap on and fully-charged when you sit down to read it.
    Meanwhile, buy the hardcover. Kindle be damned!

    10 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2010

    MANY GREAT REVIEWS!

    "Almost forty years after 'The Exorcist,' William Peter Blatty's new novel 'Dimiter' is another head-spinner." -The New York Post

    "Dimiter is an intelligent, tightly wound, suspenseful novel with a surprising and explosive climax. One can only hope Blatty will publish another sometime soon." -USA TODAY

    "Riveting."-The Los Angeles Times

    "A must-read. Had me frantically turning pages to find out what happens next."-The Buffalo News

    "Gripping and enthralling."-The West Australian

    "An amazing tale that should be read twice - once for the captivating and faith-
    affirming story, and a second time to savor the author's elegant writing and masterful craft." -Book Reporter.com

    "An astonishing piece of literature. You will want to reread it as soon as you put it down."-Horror Drive-in

    "A thrilling psychological suspense thriller."-Genre Go Round

    "A wonderfully written, mind-twirling mystery chock-full of suspense and wonder." -Stem Shots

    "Sure to keep readers' attention until the final pages."-Suite101
    "Gripping and intelligent, Dimiter is part detective story and part religious thriller in the grand tradition of The Name of the Rose." -Allan Folsom, New York Times bestselling author

    "A depth of mystery, imagination, and eloquence that will captivate mystery-lovers and suspense enthusiasts until its final pages."- BookSwim

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 4, 2011

    Fantastic Read

    I couldn't put this book down once I started. Blatty has an immersive style of writing that sucks you in right from the go.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    good stuff

    blatty is grat

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2010

    Lousy audio book. The plot sounds interesting. I listened to tapes and still can't tell you what it's about. The author is in love with his own voice.

    Lousy audio book. After 6 or 7 cd's, just put it down. The author, Blatty of Exorist fame, has a deep voice - and you can tell he's in love with his own voice, but the plot makes little sense.

    Expected more, much more from the Exorcist author

    0 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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