The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty


The Exorcist, William Peter Blatty, 1971

My favorite quote: “Head propped against a pillow while eyes bulging wide in their hollow sockets shone with mad cunning and burning intelligence, with interest and with spite as they fixed upon his, as they watched him intently, seething in a face shaped into a skeletal, hideous mask of mind-bending malevolence.”

Notable characters: Chris MacNeil, a famous actress, Regan, her possessed daughter, Father Damien Karras, the priest called upon to help them; Father Merrin, the exorcist; Pazuzu, the demon

Most memorable scene: All I know is, no one spider-walks like little Regan

Greatest strengths: I’ll take the creep factor for $500.00, Alex …

Standout achievements: There are a lot of horror novels from this era that undoubtedly paved the way for contemporary horror writers, and this one is assuredly one of the most — if not THE most —  relevant on that list

Fun Facts: This book was inspired by a 1949 case of demonic possession 

Other media: The 1973 film of the same name

What it taught me: That sometimes, the book and the movie are equally as good

How it inspired me: My collaborator, Tamara Thorne, and I both like the way the priests in this book (and the movie, too) were represented, and both enjoy writing priests of our own. Good ones though, because we also both think bad, nasty priests are way overdone. The priests in The Exorcist are thoughtful — they question good and evil. They question faith. The priests Tamara and I write follow their example 

Additional thoughts: I didn’t read this book (or see the movie, for that matter) until I was well into adulthood. I don’t think being older lessened the effect, though. I can understand why this book was (and still is) so controversial, but underneath the subject matter is a truly good story. The plot the impeccably executed, the characters are fully fleshed-out, the dialogue shines (and in some cases, scathes) and the prose is simple and powerful

Haunt me: alistaircross.com

Published by Alistair Cross

Alistair Cross grew up on horror novels and scary movies, and by the age of eight, began writing his own stories. First published in 2012, he has since co-authored The Cliffhouse Haunting and Mother with Tamara Thorne and is working on several other projects. His debut solo novel, The Crimson Corset, was an Amazon bestseller. The Black Wasp, book 3 in The Vampires of Crimson Cove series is on its way. Find out more about him at: http://alistaircross.com ********************************************************************************************* In collaboration, Thorne and Cross are currently writing several novels, including the next volume in the continuing gothic series, The Ravencrest Saga. Their first novel, The Cliffhouse Haunting, was an immediate bestseller. Together, they hosted the horror-themed radio show Thorne & Cross: Haunted Nights LIVE! which featured such guests as Anne Rice of The Vampire Chronicles, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels, Jay Bonansinga of The Walking Dead series, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake novels, Peter Atkins, screenwriter of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, worldwide bestseller V.C. Andrews, Kim Harrison of the Hollows series, and New York Times best sellers Preston & Child, Christopher Rice, and Christopher Moore. ********************************************************************************************** Currently, Thorne & Cross are hosts of Thorne & Cross: Carnival Macabre, where listeners can discover all manner of demented delights, unearth terrifying treasures, and explore the dark side of the arts.

2 thoughts on “The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

  1. I read The Exorcist when I was a kid. (My parents didn’t know.) It scared me, but it also impressed me. I had such a physical reaction (fear, grossed out) with my breath getting all shaky and my stomach churning. I thought it was SO COOL that words on a page could do that!

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