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Review: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty (#1 The Exorcist)

23. August 2018



Father Damien Karras: ‘Where is Regan?’ 
Regan MacNeil: ‘In here. With us.’

The terror begins unobtrusively. Noises in the attic. In the child’s room, an odd smell, the displacement of furniture, an icy chill. At first, easy explanations are offered. Then frightening changes begin to appear in eleven-year-old Regan. Medical tests fail to shed any light on her symptoms, but it is as if a different personality has invaded her body.

Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest, is called in. Is it possible that a demonic presence has possessed the child? Exorcism seems to be the only answer…




The Exorcist has, for a very long time, been a movie I have absolutely loved. I’m a horror-freak, and The Exorcist is somewhat the reason why I love anything paranormal and/or connected to religion when it comes to fiction. When I bought this book, I bought it along with some other horror classics like Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, The Haunting of Hills House by Shirley Jackson, and I wanted to really get into this genre the “right” way.

The Exorcist is a complex book. The story carries around Chris (she’s an actor), a single mom with her daughter Regan, and the help she has (Sharon; the tutor, Karl; the kind of janitor type man, Willie: helps around the house and stuff). All of these are complex characters with their own background story and reasons for being in Chris and Regans life. In addition to this we have major characters like Detective Kinderman, Burke (a producer), Father Karras and Father Merrin.

The story starts right at it, in the first chapter there is observations of knocking in the walls, and Chris immediately thinks there are rats in the attic (only Karl sets up traps and only one mouse is caught), and while she kind of oversees the “typical” signs for possession, Regan becomes stranger and stranger. I mean, I even had to kind of scream out that when you find your kid in the basement with an ouija board in front of them, telling you that Captain Howdy is answering your questions – you don’t just dismiss that, you get the f*** out.

As the story continues, the lives of these characters evolve and intertwine – and secrets come out one by one. In the end, every character had some type of dark past or secret out in the open. I loved this book, it was seriously scary and I sometimes had a hard time relaxing while reading it (I always read before bed).

All though it has a lot of explanations and kind of medical talk about what is what and why Regan is the way she is, it made the whole story more believable. It does however have a lot of disgusting things in it, which are more disgusting since Regan is the one doing them and she’s only a child. But it had all of these moments that made the hairs on my neck stand, and I loved that about this!


  • When the rappings started already at page 12
  • When the Jesuit smiled by someone saying “fuck” and it was really creepy (p. 20)
  • When Chris was mad at everyone because Regan’s dress was gone, and she suddenly found it in her own closet and totally dismissed it (p. 32)
  • When Chris was about to sit down with Regan to “play” with the Ouija board and Regan started screaming that Captain Howdy didn’t want Chris to play (p. 41)
  • When things started going missing and still Chris dismissed it (p. 45)
  • When Chris took Regan to the doctor and she said “keep your goddamn fingers away from my cunt” (p. 62)
  • When Regan looked at the astronaut that was at the dinner party and said “you’re going to die up there” (p. 83)
  • When Regan started being tossed up in the air by the demon screaming that he was going to kill her (p. 121)
  • When Regan was in a trance and said her name was “Nowonmai” (p. 141)
  • When it was revealed that Burke’s death couldn’t have been just an accident and that his head had been turned all the way around (p. 172)
  • When we believed that there was something off about Karl Engstrom, but we didn’t know exactly what (p. 209)
  • When Regan masturbated with a crucifix (p. 214)
  • When Chris kind of admitted that Regan killed Burke (p. 288)
  • When father Merrin knew that he was going to do the exorcism before he even was asked (p. 315)
  • When father Merrin walked through the door of the residence and Regan started calling for him (p. 330)
  • When father Merrin was dead and Karras jumped out the window (p 374)

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