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The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty


Despite the title this book is more about the demonic possession of a twelve year old girl than it is about the exorcist. The book starts with a prologue introducing the reader to the exorcist of the title but does not inform the reader that this is the exorcist.


The appearance of the exorcist is presented in the last 50 pages of the book.


This is the fortieth anniversary of the publishing of The Exorcist.  I believe that that which is described in the book would, at the time, be terrifying but because this book so very heavily influenced the horror genre mostly everything that is described in the book is more than familiar to horror aficionados now. For example:


The name of the priest who asked for the exorcism is Damien.  It can’t be a co-incidence that there are three films called The Omen whose lead character is called Damien, portrayed as the Anti-Christ.  Also, the neck twisting like an Owl’s, as one of the characters was found murdered with the body face down but the neck twisted so that the face is up, must have been lifted straight from this book.


The author wrote a new sequence for the book and cleaned up some bad language for the fortieth anniversary.  If it’s the sequence I’m thinking about it’s just as well it wasn’t there for the original film, which I won’t be seeking out, because it's absolutely disgusting. As for cleaning up the bad language the author states that it was the language of one character that he cleaned up and that is all.  Bad language is not unusual for this genre of novel and I didn’t find it difficult to read, but it does have to be mentioned that in some places the language is horrendously bad.


All in all I enjoyed the novel for what it was and I recommend it but only to those who have a taste for horror in general and don’t mind horrendously bad language.




I have reduced the size of the font, which I had found a bit startling.


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