THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty

A book review I wrote a couple years ago.... 

If you are a fan of horror fiction or just a lover of good books from the dark side (aren't they the same thing? :-)) I strongly recommend reading THE EXORCIST by William Peter Blatty. In my opinion, like all good books, this one far exceeds the movie.

In the book, you get to know Chris MacNeil, the adoring single mother/actress. My heart went out to Chris as she helplessly watched her loving, intelligent daughter become a sullen, angry monster spending all her time in the confines of the basement lashing out verbally when provoked. (Sounds like your typical teenager?)

Chris knew there was something seriously wrong with her daughter, but the medical community provided more questions than answers.

You also meet Regan (Rags), Chris' pre-pubescent twelve year old, full of love and innocence whose curiosity gets the better of her. Then, there is Father Damien Karras. A troubled Catholic Priest crippled by self-doubt and overwhelmed with guilt upon the death of his mother. There are other characters like the Columboesque Police Detective Kinderman, Chris MacNeil's free-spirited assistant, Sharon, and the staunch Swiss house staff of Willie and Karl Engstrom.

At first memories of the movie overshadowed my enjoyment of the book. Quite frankly the scratching over Regan's ceiling made me hesitate and question how badly I wanted to complete this ON WRITING HORROR assignment. Then, as I discovered characters not fully revealed in the movie, my fearful soul calmed down and I began to understand the whys and hows of the story behind THE EXORCIST. A story of self-doubt and unexplained circumstances that most of us can relate to, if we allow ourselves.


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