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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:

    -WIKIPEDIA: William Peter Blatty
    - ESSAY: William Peter Blatty on why there is good in ‘The Exorcist’ (William Peter Blatty, April 05, 2019, American)
-REVIEW ESSAY: Rereading ‘The Exorcist’ in an age of new demons: William Peter Blatty’s novel arrived when the supernatural could still deliver a shock (Louis Bayard, August 19, 2023, Washington Post)
    -ESSAY: How The Exorcist Turned the Tensions Beneath the Inviolable Nuclear Family Unit into Horror: Kelly Roberts, Michael Grasso, and Richard McKenna on the Patriarchy Beneath the Possession (Kelly Roberts, Michael Grasso, and Richard McKenna, October 12, 2022, LitHub)
    -REVIEW: of The Exorcist (James Baldwin)

Book-related and General Links:
    -ESSAY: Demoniac: Who Is Roland Doe, the Boy Who Inspired The Exorcist? (JD Sword, November/December 2021, Skeptical Inquirer)
    -ARTICLE: What really happened to Ronald Hunkeler, who inspired ‘The Exorcist’ (Isabel Vincent and Jack Morphet, December 20, 2021, NY Post)
    -PODCAST: The Exorcist (Titus Techera & Scott Beauchamp, American Cinema Foundation)
    -PODCAST: The Exorcist (Bill Simmons, Sean Fennessey, and Chris Ryan, The Ringer)     -REVIEW ESSAY: The Ultimate Horror Movie Is Really About Heaven and Hell (NY Times, August 12, 2023)     -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)
    -VIDEO: The Exorcist (Oren Peli, Trailers from Hell)
-TRIBUTE: The Renegade: Wild and brilliant, William Friedkin was an exemplar of the New Hollywood (Carlos Acevedo, Aug 11 2023, City Journal)