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The Exorcist ()

Brothers Judd Top 100 of the 20th Century: Novels

Sometimes, the worst thing that can happen to a great book is to be made into a great movie.  The Exorcist is a case in point.  First, because the movie was well done and secondly, because it's visual pyrotechnics were so memorable, there is a danger that people will ignore the novel.  This would be a great mistake.  The Exorcist is not simply a horror novel, like all great horror stories (Frankenstein [see review], Dracula, etc.) the supernatural happenings merely offer a way for the author to meditate upon greater issues.  In memory, the movie may seem to be "about" Regan's possession by a demon; in fact, Blatty is telling a story about Father Damian's crisis of faith.  Paradoxically, being forced to confront this great evil serves to restore Damian's faith in God.

This is a great book (remarkably enough, it is based on actual incidents), don't miss it.


Grade: (A+)


William Blatty Links:
ESSAY: William Peter Blatty on why there is good in ‘The Exorcist’ (William Peter Blatty, April 05, 2019, American)

Book-related and General Links:

    -PODCAST: The Exorcist (Titus Techera & Scott Beauchamp, American Cinema Foundation)
    -PODCAST: The Exorcist (Bill Simmons, Sean Fennessey, and Chris Ryan, The Ringer)     -The Haunted Boy: The story that inspired the Exorcist (Strange Magazine)
    -House of Horrors presents: The Exorcist (film site)
    -Profile (Washington Post)
    -Story about the movie (Washington Post)
    -Film synopsis (from Film Site)
    -REVIEW : of Shows About Nothing: Nihilism in Popular Culture from The Exorcist to Seinfeld  by Thomas Hibbs (Robert R. Reilly, Crisis)

If you liked The Exorcist, try:

Greene, Graham
    -The Heart of the Matter (1948)    (read Orrin's review)

Levin, Ira
    -Rosemary's Baby (1967)

Moore, Brian
    -Black Robe
    -Cold Heaven

Pagels, Elaine
    -The Origin of Satan

Russell, Mary Doria
    -The Sparrow