So I know what you're thinking, but forget about the sensationalization machine that was the film adaptation and give this 'theological thriller' a shot. Blattey, himself a comedic writer, gives us a thoughtful, sincere, and truly funny look at faith as a whole. To be honest it reads more like a detective novel more than horror. Religiosity and potential proselytizing aside, I walked away from this book feeling... warm. Who knew??— From Dean
Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist is now a major television series on FOX. It remains one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a child’s demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.
Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On opening day of the film, lines of the novel’s fans stretched around city blocks. In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater. In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events; CBS’s Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a true landmark.
Purposefully raw and profane, The Exorcist still has the extraordinary ability to disturb readers and cause them to forget that it is “just a story.” Published here in this beautiful fortieth anniversary edition, it remains an unforgettable reading experience and will continue to shock and frighten a new generation of readers.
William Peter Blatty is the bestselling author of The Exorcist, which he turned into an Academy Award–winning screenplay. The son of immigrant parents, he was a comic novelist before embarking on a four decade career as a Hollywood writer, penning the screenplays for A Shot in the Dark, What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?, the Julie Andrews romantic comedy Darling Lili, and The Ninth Configuration (which he also directed), among many other films. Blatty died on January 12, 2017 in Bethesda, Maryland.