The Exorcist (1971)
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.
ESSAY: William Peter Blatty on why there is good in ‘The Exorcist’ (William Peter Blatty, April 05, 2019, American)
Book-related and General Links:
-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:
Russell, Mary Doria
Copyright 1998-2015 Orrin Judd