The Exorcist

( 136 )

Overview

The chilling movie we could not forget . . .

The Exorcist changed popular culture forever.Forty years ago, the movie that was based onWilliam Peter Blatty's runaway #1 bestseller—agroundbreaking story of faith and supernaturalsuspense—held audiences captive. Now this specialedition commemorates the 40th anniversary of the iconic film that paved the way for the entire genrethat followed it: the unforgettable The Exorcist.

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The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition

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Overview

The chilling movie we could not forget . . .

The Exorcist changed popular culture forever.Forty years ago, the movie that was based onWilliam Peter Blatty's runaway #1 bestseller—agroundbreaking story of faith and supernaturalsuspense—held audiences captive. Now this specialedition commemorates the 40th anniversary of the iconic film that paved the way for the entire genrethat followed it: the unforgettable The Exorcist.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061007224
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/2013
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 107,839
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

William Peter Blatty is a writer and filmmaker. The Exorcist, written in 1971, is his magnum opus; he also penned the subsequent screenplay, for which he won an Academy Award. His most recent works include the novels Elsewhere, Dimiter, and Crazy.

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Read an Excerpt

Exorcist


By William Peter Blatty

HarperTorch

Copyright ©1994 William Peter Blatty
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0613913396

Chapter One



Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men's eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and perhaps not connected to the horror at all. it was difficult to judge.

The house was a rental. Brooding. Tight. A brick colonial ripped by ivy in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Across the street, was a fringe of campus belonging to Georgetown University; to the rear, a sheer embankment plummeting steep to busy M Street and, beyond, the muddy Potomac. Early on the morning of April 1, the house was quiet. Chris MacNeil was propped in bed, going over her lines for the next day's filming; Regan, her daughter, was sleeping down the hall; and asleep downstairs in a room off the pantry were the middle-aged housekeepers, Willie and Karl. At approximately 12:25 A.M., Chris glanced from her script with a frown of puzzlement. She heard rapping sounds. They were odd. Muffled. Profound. Rhythmically clustered. Alien code tapped out by a dead man.

Funny.

She listened for a moment; then dismissed it; but as the rappings persisted she could not concentrate. She slapped down the script on the bed.

Jesus, that bugs me!

She got up toinvestigate.

She went out to the hallway and looked around. It seemed to be coming from Regan's bedroom.

What is she doing?

She padded down the hall and the rappings grew suddenly louder, much faster, and as she pushed on the door and stepped into the room, they abruptly ceased.

What the heck's going on?

Her pretty eleven-year-old was asleep, cuddled tight to a large stuffed round-eyed panda. Pookey. Faded from years of smothering; years of smacking, warm, wet kisses.

Chris moved softly to her bedside and leaned over for a whisper. "Rags? You awake?"

Regular breathing. Heavy. Deep.

Chris shifted her glance around the room. Dim light from the hall fell pale and splintered on Regan's paintings; on Regan's sculptures; on more stuffed animals.

Okay, Rags. old mother's ass is draggin'. Say it. "April Fool!"

And yet Chris knew it wasn't like her. The child had a shy and very diffident nature. Then who was the trickster? A somnolent mind imposing order on the rattlings of heating pipes or plumbing? Once, in the mountains of Bhutan, she had stared for hours at a Buddhist monk who was squatting on the ground in meditation. Finally, she thought she had seen him levitate. Perhaps. Recounting the story to someone, she invariably added "perhaps." And perhaps her mind, that untiring raconteur of illusion, had embellished the rappings.

Bullshit! I heard it!

Abruptly, she flicked a quick glance to the ceiling. There! Faint scratchings.

Rats in the attic, for pete's sake! Rats!

She sighed. That's it. Big tails. Thump, thump. She felt oddly relieved. And then noticed the cold. The room. It was icy.

She padded to the window. Checked it. Closed. She touched the radiator. Hot.

Oh, really?

Puzzled, she moved to the bedside and touched her hand to Regan's cheek. It was smooth as thought and lightly perspiring

I must be sick!

She looked at her daughter, at the turned-up nose and freckled face, and on a quick, warm impulse leaned over the bed and kissed her cheek. "I sure do love you," she whispered, then returned to her room and her bed and her script.

For a while, Chris studied. The film was a musical comedy remake of Mr. Smith Goes to Washington. A subplot had been added dealing with campus insurrections. Chris was starring. She played a psychology teacher who sided with the rebels. And she hated it. It's dumb! This scene is absolutely dumb! Her mind, though untutored, never mistook slogans for truth, and like a curious bluejay she would peck relentlessly through verbiage to find the glistening, hidden fact. And so the rebel cause, to her, was "dumb." it didn't make sense. How come? she now wondered. Generation gap? That's a crock, I'm thirty-two. It's just plain dumb, that's all, it's . . .!

Cool it. One more week.

They'd completed the interiors in Hollywood. All that remained were a few exterior scenes on the campus of Georgetown University, starting tomorrow. It was Easter vacation and the students were away.

She was getting drowsy. Heavy lids. She turned to a page that was curiously ragged. Bemused, she smiled. Her English director. When especially tense, he would tear, with quivering, fluttering hands, a narrow strip from the edge of the handiest page and then chew it, inch by inch, until it was all in a ball in his mouth.

Dear Burke.

She yawned, then glanced fondly at the side of her script. The pages looked gnawed. She remembered the rats. The little bastards sure got rhythm. She made a mental note to have Karl set traps for them in the morning.

Fingers relaxing. Script slipping loose. She let it drop. Dumb. It's dumb. A fumbling hand groping out to the light switch. There. She sighed. For a time she was motionless, almost asleep; and then kicked off her covers with a lazy leg. Too freaking hot.

A mist of dew clung soft and gentle to the windowpanes.

Chris slept. And dreamed about death in the staggering particular, death as if death were still never yet heard of while something was ringing, she, gasping, dissolving, slipping off into void, thinking over and over, I am not going to be, I will die, I won't be, and forever and ever, oh, Papa, don't let them, oh, don't let them do it, don't let me be nothing forever and melting, unraveling, ringing, the ringing--

The phone!



Continues...

Excerpted from Exorcist by William Peter Blatty Copyright ©1994 by William Peter Blatty. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 136 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(100)

4 Star

(24)

3 Star

(6)

2 Star

(2)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 136 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 14, 2007

    Incredible

    This book was exactly what I was looking for. It fed me. Page after page it delivered line after line of great storytelling, great characters and great setting. It was eerie without being over the top. It was informative without being boring. It was powerful without being pretentious. This is the ultimate horror novel. It is the standard.

    13 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 7, 2011

    The Grandmother of all horror stories.....

    Although Blatty has always described the Exorcist as more of a detective story, The Exorcist comes across as one of the scariest books, and films of all time. It will tap into your deepest fears, and remains one of the few novels that has and will stand the test of time. An instant classic !!!

    11 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2005

    Truly The Scariest Book

    This is a very well-written, suspenseful, disturbing, one-of-a-kind, horror novel. This is not for sissies! It is better than the well-known film. I recommend this for all fans of sheer ultimate horror it is cleverly and expertly written. I dare you to read this and not get chills crawling up your spine...

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2011

    Scariest...EVER!!!!!

    I read this book when I was 11 years old and I have never read anything that has surpassed the sheer terror this book instilled in me. And TRUST me!!! I've read a TON of horror novels.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2012

    Beautifully Written

    This book is absolutely terrifying. My parents allowed me to watch the movie when I was 5 years old, so I was always so scared of Regan. Somethimg about her makeup in the movie just stuck with me and terrifyed me. Now that I'm 17 and reading the book, I realise what fantastic casting they did to portray a fantastic plot.

    The author writes this book in such a way that makes you want to continue reading; I can't put the book down. The frequent use of italics makes it easier to read and seem more organized, but maybe thats the OCD in me talking.

    What I really like about this book is that it jumps right into the tense and somewhat frightening parts (granted, it does get progressively scarrier as the novel carries on, starting off mild). Having seen the movie first I knew there was a big, long, boring intro about a coin in some hot land (I always skip that part) but the book starts off in Regan and Chris' house immediately. One thing I love is a book that hooks you from the first page. I got the free sample on my Nook Color first, then instantly bought the book when I was done with the sample. I just had to keep reading.

    I believe this really is one of the scariest books of all time, and I am a HUGE horror genre fan.
    I reccommend it to anyone looking for an intense, scary read (and who doesn't mind the very graphic language used).

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Exorcist holds up nicely against the test of time

    In 1940s Georgetown, actress and single mother Chris MacNeil begins a new film. Her happy young daughter Regan is with her. The child begins to complain to her mom about noises at night and her bed shaking. Chris assumes it is just a child's imagination perhaps caused by her parents' recent divorce. However, she becomes concerned when Regan's mental state deteriorates. Doctors find nothing wrong while Regan's health changes for the worse as her language is filled with profanity, her strength greater than several circus strong men and she claims to be the devil as she molests herself with a religious icon.

    Chris asks the Jesuits to conduct an exorcism. Psychologist Father Karras, who suffers from a crisis of faith when he failed to be there for his dying widow mom, arrives seeking a medical solution even when he witnesses first hand the inexplicable. Finally Father Merrin comes to Georgetown to attempt the exorcism while DC Police Lieutenant William Kinderman seeks a ritual serial killer who also desecrates churches.

    Forty years since the classic horror was published (two years before the movie) and The Exorcist holds up nicely against the test of time as an exciting good vs. evil thriller in spite of most readers knowing the story line and the release of a sequel (see Legion). The novel is character driven by a strong cast with readers wondering for much of the plot whether Regan is possessed or insane; for how can the devil take residence in an innocent child. This barrier breaker tale remains a strong psychological horror thriller as William Peter Blatty enables his audience to see deep into the souls of the priests, the actress, the cop and mostly the besieged victim.

    Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2007

    A reviewer

    This book is a really great read. It held my attention all the way through and I found myself not wanting to put it down. It may be a long book, but I read through it like a flip book. It is wonderfully written and is a great book to read even if you aren't scared by it.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2002

    A HORRIFYING. CHILLING. RIVETING. AND MAGNIFICENT CLASSICAL HORROR STORY

    THE SCARIEST BOOK I HAVE EVER READ IN MY ENTIRE LIFE. A MARVELOUS TALE OF DEVIL POSSESSION, ESPCIALLY DURING A TIME OF ANGUISH AND DISORDER THE WATERGATE SCANDLE, THE ENDING OF VIETMAN WAR. CHILLING, INNOVATIVE, AND ABSOLUTELY TERRIFYING.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2000

    Pants-soiling horror!

    I think it's pretty much in consensus that this is absolutely the greatest horror novel ever written. If you read it and it didn't scare you then you are dead and It's now starting to scare me to think that you, a dead person, is reading this.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    this book seriously is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    thank you william peter blatty for this one amazing work of art true art in a form of a amazing tale good against evil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 27, 2006

    Awesomely creepy

    if you scare easily dont read this book. it was very chilling but i could just not put this book down for the life of me!!!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2005

    Scariest film and book of all time

    I read this in high school and it scared me to death. I was actually looking forward to the movie, thinking, 'It couldn't possibly be worse (scarier) than the book.' WRONG! Truly, this is one of the most disturbing things ever to hit the page or screne

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2002

    MUST READ

    I just have three words for you, SCARY AS HELL!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 5, 2002

    Disturbing

    The book, for me, was more disturbing than scary. I don't belive in demonic possession but this book was so well written and I got so wrapped up in the characters, my disbelief was put on hold. The Exorcist is not just about evil, it's also a book about great faith. It's MUCH better than the movie and definatly not for the very impressionable.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 5, 2001

    Post Tenebras Lux

    I saw the movie when I was a kid. I was frightened for MONTHS. Now 31, I decided to read the book. Here I am, absolutely scared again. Forget all you know, don't intellectualize the book and you will feel all its impact. Just let it take over you. Absolutely recomended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 15, 2001

    WOW!!!

    If you liked the movie, you will absolutely LOVE the book. William Peter Blatty couldn't have done a better job on this masterpiece.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2013

    I loved it

    I have to say I loved this book. If u seen the movie you have to read this book. Truthful and honesty it was not scary to me for the fact is I do not get scared easy. But I do enjoy horror and love this. I would recommend this to anyone interested in a good exorcist book. The charator and there thoughts was perfect and the demon so evil. I give this 5 stars

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 19, 2013

    Very good

    Although I had seen the movie, I never had read the book until now and I am glad I did. It one of those books that you can't set it down; I really like it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2012

    I really enjoyed this book. It didn't scare me as much as it fas

    I really enjoyed this book. It didn't scare me as much as it fascinated me. I always wanted to keep reading, and see what happened. It was
    a very good book. People told me the original movie was one of the best horror movies made, and the book reflected that. If the things 
    that happened in this book, happened in real life, I would be very horrified!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 23, 2011

    Fantastic book!

    I read this book over 3 days. I could not put it down! The suspense builds nicely, and then it is a full-on assault of terror. I've always loved the movie, and now I can say without hesitation that the book is a masterpiece as well. A must read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 136 Customer Reviews

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