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The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty: Book Review, Summary & Analysis

Dive into the chilling world of 'The Exorcist' with our comprehensive review, summary, and analysis of William Peter Blatty's iconic masterpiece.
Welcome to an insightful journey through the world of 'The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty - Review, Summary, & Analysis,' written by Muhiuddin Alam on the book recommendations and reviews site,
Over the years as a leading authority on literary expertise, I've created numerous book reviews, many of which can be found on this site. I'm also a regular contributor to other book-related websites and publications.

I have received many requests to review the book 'The Exorcist' which was written by William Peter Blatty'. In response, I'm pleased to offer my expert Reviews, Summary, and Analysis in this article.

So, when I suggest this book, it's because I've read a lot and want to share the best ones with you. I'm all about making your reading experience awesome. Trust in a guide deeply immersed in the literary books and stories. I love books just like you do!

Introduction: The Exorcist: 40th Anniversary Edition by William Peter Blatty

  • Adapted from real and supernatural events, the most influential horror literature in the history of the Western Christian world
  • In addition to the "Bible", a book of revelation to understand the relationship between "God, mankind, and the devil"
  • 10 Oscar nominations, the original "first ghost film" in the history of the 20th-century film
  • It has sold more than 16 million copies worldwide and is the best-selling serious horror novel in history
  • The deluxe hardcover book, revised and translated based on the "40th Anniversary Edition of the United States", with 4 Western exorcism postcards included with the book
The three words "Exorcist" can be found on every list related to "Classic + Horror"...


Seemingly being possessed by evil spirits for no reason, the twelve-year-old girl Lei Gan endured pain that ordinary people could not imagine. Her mother took her to search for various doctors, but her condition did not improve. The young Catholic Jesuit priest Callas was in danger and was ordered to join hands with the old exorcist Father Merlin to hold an exorcism ceremony for the young girl Regan.

However, the priest is also a mortal, and the lack of faith in Father Callas's heart caused a breach in his body, making him the target of evil spirits. The battle of faith about life and death is unfolding in the night fog. Can Father Callas resist the temptation of evil spirits? Can the old exorcist Father Merlin successfully dispel the evil spirits in the name of the Lord? Can the girl Regan regain her life? At the end of the novel, the author gives his answer; every reader will have his own answer.


"The Exorcist" was first published in 1971 and is one of the most controversial novels in history. It has been on the "New York Times" bestseller list for 57 weeks and ranked first for 17 consecutive weeks. The novel was put on the screen the second year after it was published. On the first day of the movie's release, fans of "The Exorcist" from various cities flocked to the theaters. 

In Chicago, the enthusiastic crowd smashed the side door with hammers and rushed into the theater; in Kansas City, the police had to use tear gas to disperse the crowd trying to forcibly rush into the theater; in the face of the "exorcist phenomenon", the most famous in the United States News show host Walter Cronkite even spent ten minutes commenting on "The Exorcist." Now it seems that "The Exorcist" is not just a novel or a movie, but a milestone in the era.


All you who look to the Lord, take courage and strengthen your hearts.

Book: The Exorcist

  • Originally published: 1971
  • Author: William Peter Blatty
  • Genres: Novel, Horror fiction
  • Followed by: Legion
  • Pages: 340 (first edition)
The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

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The Exorcist Author:  William Peter Blatty

William Peter Blatty (William Peter Blatty, 1928— ), Oscar Award and Golden Globe Award Winner for Best Screenplay, Winner of the Horror Writers Association of America (HWA) Lifetime Achievement Award, "New York Times" bestseller Author.

Bratty was born in New York, USA, to both Lebanese parents. His father was a tailor in a clothing factory, and his mother was the niece of a Catholic bishop in Lebanon. 

The two later came to the United States on a cargo ship loaded with livestock. When Bratty was three years old, his father ran away from home. The poor mother took him to change dozens of residences because he couldn't pay the rent and led a life of displacement. 

When he was a student, Brady lived on a scholarship and received a master's degree in English Literature from the University of Washington. After graduating, Bratty worked as a vacuum cleaner salesman, truck driver, and airline ticket attendant before enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. After retiring from the army, Bratty began to make literary creations but did not achieve much throughout the 1960s.

In 1971, his turnaround novel "The Exorcist", which was based on real and supernatural events, was published and caused a huge sensation in the United States. For a time, it also pushed Brady into the ranks of the top American writers. The novel was translated into many languages ​​and published worldwide. 

Movies based on novels are also known as the most successful horror movies to date. In 1983, William Peter Bratty published the authentic sequel to the novel "The Exorcist", "The Demon", which was praised by readers as "a masterpiece 10 times more beautiful than the previous one", "a great story straight to the heart", and a genius writer. Another genius work of ". 

In 1990, Bratty himself directed this sequel to the novel film, which also received overwhelming acclaim from the media.

  • The Commonwealth Club Silver Medal for Literature
  • The Gabriel Award and American Film Festival Blue Ribbon
  • Knight of Mark Twain
  • Saturn Awards
  • The People's Choice Award for the Oscars – Best Picture Award
  • The Horror Writers Association Lifetime Achievement Award.
  • Academy Award, Best Adapted Screenplay
  • Golden Globe, Best Screenplay × 2
  • Golden Globe, Best Picture
  • MBKWinner of 2000 Audie Award
  • AudioFile Earphones Award 

The Exorcist Book Quotes 

Excerpts from the original text

"Not at all, just right. Mary Joe was telling me that there was a Jesuit monk who was also a psychic."
"And he doesn't believe me!" The female psychic was still happy.
"Ah, distinguo," the provost corrected, "I just say it's hard to believe."
"You are talking about psychics, right?" Kris asked.
"What, of course," Mary Joe said, "what's the matter, he once floated!"
"Floating in the air, I have to float every morning." The Jesuit monk said calmly.
"Could it be that he still held a surrender meeting?" Chrissy asked Mrs. Palin.
"Well, yes," she replied, "he was very famous in the nineteenth century. In fact, he was probably the only wizard in that era who was not identified as a liar."
"As I said, he is not of the Jesuits." The dean expressed his opinion.
"Oh, my goodness, but he really is!" She laughed. "When he was twenty-two, he joined the Jesuits and vowed not to be a psychic again. As a result, he was expelled from France"-she laughed It's even more powerful--"Because he had a big séance in the Tuileries Garden. Know what he did? The séance was halfway, and he told the queen that she was about to be touched by a fully manifested spirit child. The people next to him suddenly lit up all the lights"—she couldn't breathe with laughter—"but found him sitting there with his bare feet on the queen's arm! God, can you imagine it!"
The Jesuit priest smiled and put down the plate. "Don't even think about discounts when you buy indulgences, Mary Joe."
"Oh, come here, who doesn't have one or two scum?"
"We are pushing the Medici III Pope Special Edition."
"Speaking of which, I once had an experience," Kris said.
The dean interrupted: "Aren't you going to confess?"
Chrissy smiled and said, "No, I am not a Catholic."
"Oh, yes, neither is the Jesuit." Mrs. Palin kept smiling.
"It's all rumors that Domin I will make," the dean retorted, and he continued to Chrissy, "I'm sorry, dear. You go on."—— Quoted from page 78 

The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty Summary

Excellent novels always allow people with different reading tastes to learn from them. If you like thriller themes, then "The Exorcist" will give you a thrilling reading experience. 

If you are interested in learning about Catholicism, then "The Exorcist" will provide you with a platform to lead you to observe religions and people who believe in religions up close. If you have heard about the "Exorcism Ceremony" and look forward to knowing more, then "The Exorcist" will be a work you can't miss.

The novel was published in 1971, and once it came out, it caused a huge sensation in the United States. It was adapted into a movie in 1973 and won the Academy Award for Best Mixing and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The novel is adapted from a true story that happened in the United States. The line of the story is very simple. The Hollywood star’s beloved daughter was possessed by a demon. After many medical treatments to no avail, she turned to the Jesuit priest for help. 

The process from asking for help to being rescued was thrilling and exciting. William Peter Bratty is truly a genius writer who deserves his name. His narrative can make reading a top enjoyment, with an adventurous mind and contemplation.

Speaking of exorcism, I have to mention a movie I once watched, "The Ceremony" starring Anthony Hopkins. After reading it late at night, I couldn't sleep for a long time. At the end of the movie, the young priest who has always been swaying about God and faith has to face Hopkins alone who is possessed by the devil. 

When the devil strangled his throat and forced him to believe in the real existence of the devil and succumb to Satan, the priest finally realized that he was fearless and resolutely expelled the demon from Hopkins' body.

The themes of the novel "The Exorcist" and the movie "The Ceremony" are all about Catholic exorcism rituals. But religion often cannot be an independent topic. The stories with religion as the origin are ultimately directed toward people themselves, including questions about people’s beliefs and emotional entanglements hidden deep in the soul.

Each of us has unspeakable fear and love in our hearts. This is true for the young priests in the movie, and the same is true for Father Callas in the novel. Even though they have joined Jesus, they are still no different from mortals. 

I still bear a heavy moral cross in my heart. They have unspeakable pain for family relationships and often feel alienated and confused about their beliefs and careers. 

All of these characteristics just show that even priests are human beings of flesh and blood, emotions and worries. All these characteristics point to love. Because of love, there are concerns and fears in the heart are formed. Fear and love are emotions that depend on human nature. They are cryptic and ashamed to be exposed to the sun, but they often torture our conscience.

When Father Callas finally confronted his fear and love and desperately fought the devil in a desperate fight, he had already surpassed all doubts and entanglements, unconditionally believed in God, believed in love, performed his duties as a priest, and saved the enchanted At the same time, the ultimate self-salvation was completed.

Bratty’s novel starts with the story of exorcism, but its ultimate significance lies not only in the elimination of demons at the end of the story but also in deep thinking about humanity and love. From beginning to end, the novel does not directly explain the reasons for enchantment. I think the answer may be found in the dialogue between Father Merlin and Father Callas.

Father Merlin, an elder, said in the conversation with Father Callas: "The target of the devil is not the enchanted person, but the bystander. I think the meaning is to make us desperate and deny our own humanity... I think faith is fundamental. It has nothing to do with reason but with love." "I tend to enchant in small things. 

It's like unreasonable hatred and misunderstanding like cruel words occasionally leaked out when friends talk. It's like between lovers. This is enough. We don’t need Satan to start a war; what we initiate in a war...ourself..."

Sometimes, evil and sin are not external forces but originate from the depths of our own hearts. We have created evil, and we must also face and bear the bitter fruit. But at the same time, Father Merlin also said: "Evil is also a melting pot of good." 

Even if we are not priests or even religious, we who are born as humans must still face our fear and love, so that goodness always becomes The yardstick for measuring speech and behavior has become a powerful force for eliminating sins and practicing compassion.

I look forward to everyone who reads "The Exorcist" can get more insights from this amazing and intense adventure. 

The Exorcist Book Review and Analysis

The Exorcist’s book review is not easy to write, because this book does not have many complicated plots, and there are not many very thought-provoking processes. It is just very plain and thrilling. It is an almost linear story. Show it in front of you. 

In the subtitle of this article, I deliberately added the word "novel" before "The Exorcist". Because when it comes to "The Exorcist", the first thing people think of is the classic horror movie of 1973, the enchanted little girl whose head turns 180 degrees. I haven't watched this movie before, but after reading the novel, I came to watch it. 

Reading the novel, I have a better understanding of the plot of the story, and I have certain presuppositions about the places where high energy may appear, but this classic film still scared me a lot. I admire the movie’s creators who were able to make horror films in 1973. Taken like this. Many people know that this movie won the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay. 

The movie is adapted from a novel of the same name, and the novel is actually adapted from a real case, but I don’t think anyone knows the fact that the screenwriter, the writer of the novel, and the film’s work producer are actually the same person-William Peter Bratty. I usually never read other people’s reviews of the same book before writing a book review, but before writing this article, I read some reviews of the movie "The Exorcist". 

I’ve noticed that many people don’t really understand the plot, and some people are puzzled as to why there is a scene where Chris is filming in the first ten minutes of the movie. I would like to reply to these people if you read the original novel, I understand all of this.

I am actually somewhat interested in the things the author listed before the prologue: a phone recording of an Italian Mafia torture, then next maybe the mass killings during the Vietnam War or the Khmer Rouge, and the three place names listed below: Dachau, Auschwitz, Buchenwald. 

What is this implying? Does the cruelty of mankind owe all to the devil? What I mean is the other way around, but the cruelty of human beings has created the devil itself. The thick blood exposed in history is the cause of the devil, I think.

It’s almost hard to explain whether this novel is scientific or mystic, because most of the time, the novel is trying to find a scientifically sound explanation for the little girl’s enchantment, which we already know hopelessly. And the quotation of various materials in large sections of the article can also be said to be a disenchantment process of an exorcism ceremony, rather than mystifying it.

In fact, the book does not give us a good or bad answer: Why is a little girl enchanted? What devil is attached to her? How did the priest purge the little girl's devil and die? There is no description in the book. The little girl's guilt about her parent's divorce was not the cause of the devil's upper body. 

This incident can be said to be an accident, but Father Morin, who appeared last and was the first to appear, knew it was inevitable early on. Father Callas’ guilt over the death of his mother, and the daughter of his servant Karl’s drug addiction, is an incident of mutual cause and effect with the devil? 

In the final analysis, it is evil in the heart that caused the devil's upper body, and the large amount of evidence listed in the book shows that schizophrenia or other psychological symptoms support this explanation, but one is scientific and the other is mysticism. In the 13th century, the church declared that enchanters need not priests but doctors, which in fact implies this.

Another point is about faith. Father Callas believes in Christ, but at the same time treats the little girl's enchantment with a fairly scientific attitude; in fact, his faith in Christ has led to his skepticism about the authenticity of enchantment. Is this somewhat paradoxical? Science and religion are not so diametrically opposed. 

The large number of cases listed in the book also shows that if the little girl is not really enchanted, it may be cured. The atmosphere of mysticism hyped in the movie does not exist in the book. The priest finally cured the little girl with his life. In a sense, I think the devil turned to the priest, and then the priest used his last willpower to die with the devil.

The movie version of "The Exorcist" is not short. The version I watched is 132 minutes, while the novel is longer. I read this popular novel quite slowly. The reason is that it involves a lot of medical, psychological, and theological things. 

Relatively speaking, the theological part of this novel with the theme of "exorcism" is not However, the content of medicine and psychology is quite rich, especially after Father Karas meets with Chris, the priest did a lot of desk work, from medicine to psychology to theology. 

The chapter is quite long, and after reading it, I feel that half of my brain is almost burnt. As a clergyman, because of his medical background, the priest is still more resistant to exorcism; at the same time, because of the church’s rules, he needs approval for exorcism, and he must produce a lot of persuasive evidence to get approval. So Karas is not positive about an exorcism—nor is it optimistic. 

But it was not science or theology that made him decide to exorcise in the end, but love—a clergyman’s love for the world, an ordinary man’s love for a helpless little girl. It was this love that made Father Callas on the road of exorcism.

The sequence of the whole novel is also like this: after the little girl Regan appears abnormal, the single mother Kris, like every normal person, first thinks of the doctor, and the doctor first thinks of physical problems, and then It's the psychologist's turn. 

A similar sentence appeared in both the novel and the movie: Any reliable psychologist will first rule out the patient's physical illness. After tossing with conventional medicine and psychological medicine, Regan still did not get any better. In the novel, the process of Legan's medical treatment is very detailed, even trivial. 

Finally, the desperate Chris thought about exorcism. To put it another way, when science is weak, people in trouble think of faith. The devil is the enemy of faith, so if you want to defeat him, you can only be the person with the strongest faith, so Father Merlin and Father Callas appeared. 

However, it was anger that really defeated the devil in the end—and this anger towards the devil originated from the love of the world and the little girl. 

It was Father Callas’ love that saved the little girl. The title of the fourth book of the novel is "Let my cry reach before you...", and the inscription quotes a sentence from the "Bible": "He who lives in love lives in God, and God also lives in Inside him." Father Karas, who had doubts about his faith, finally fulfilled the task assigned to him by faith because of his love.

Therefore, after reading the whole novel, I found that "The Exorcist" does not oppose science, nor does it promote superstition and theology. The true theme of the novel is love: Kris's love for her daughter, Karas's love for the little girl, and the priests' mutual love. The love between time, the love of the housekeeper for her daughter... etc. So this novel dressed in horror is still very tender. Of course, it is also very rational.

Some film critics said that the two priests in the movie "The Exorcist" are more prominent, but the policeman Kidman is a soy sauce character, but not in the novel. The character’s language style and questioning method are very clear. Unique and unforgettable, a very tactical and cute policeman is vividly on paper, although he is indeed a character who has little effect on the plot, just like those doctors. 

In addition, in the novel, the image of the dead director Dennings is also very full. His language style, his eccentricity, and so on are all impressive. In the movie, the image of the soy sauce butler Carl is also very prominent in the novel, and his character and behavior are also very impressive.

There is a wonderful story with deep connotations. There is a group of people with profound images, discussing major themes such as science and faith, and adapting them based on real events. Such novels have long been on the bestseller list and have cumulative global sales of over 16,000. ,000 copies are not uncommon.

So after reading this book, I was still very excited. After all, I found that I didn't love science so much. A book that can make people think is a success. Although this book is simple, I am also shallow enough. In terms of plot, there are still many places that are not explained, such as how the child got into the devil's blah blah.

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