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Publisher's Summary

Four decades after it first shook the nation, then the world, William Peter Blatty's thrilling masterwork of faith and demonic possession returns in an even more powerful form. Raw and profane, shocking and blood-chilling, it remains a modern parable of good and evil and perhaps the most terrifying novel ever written.

©2011 William Peter Blatty (P)2011 HarperCollinsPublishers

Featured Article: From Page to Scream—Spine-Chilling Listens that Inspired Horror Movies


Even though your popcorn might end up on the floor at the first jump scare, there’s something inherently satisfying about scary movies. Many standout suspenseful flicks have distinguished literary roots—based on books written by some of the best authors in the genre. These terrifying tales—all of which were adapted for the big screen—offer plenty of frights. Here’s a spotlight on terrifying tales that will have you sleeping with the lights on.

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What listeners say about The Exorcist

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Terrifying...

I listened to this book while my wife was out of town. Bad idea. I slept with the lights on the whole weekend. I'm 35.

The author does an unusually phenomenal job of narration, I wish he'd only been a more prolific writer I'd love to hear more of his work and his narration. The book took me to a darker place than I remember when i saw the movie for the first time 15 years ago.

194 people found this helpful

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Wow! Who knew?

I'd never read the book -- I did see the film, of course, but now, decades later, I remembered only two scenes, probably the same ones you remember. But this is a fine novel by any standard -- much more complex and nuanced that I ever expected. Back then, I guess I was too engrossed in the green puke and turning heads to realize that there was a real story here, and a good one. The struggles of Father Damien are really touching. Quite a story.

But really, what made this book among my favorites -- and yes, I will listen to this one again -- is the author's narration. I actually had to go look, to see if William Peter Blatty had acting experience in his background -- and no, apparently not, but wow. He's seriously talented -- famed as a scriptwriter, director and novelist, but apparently he stayed on the other side of the camera. But Blatty as narrator is absolutely excellent -- one of the best narrations of anything I've ever heard. He manages the Irish brogues, the Brooklyn cant, the whole panoply of DC accents with aplomb, worth a listen for that alone, see how a master really interprets a novel. The whole thing, every scene, just comes alive.

Not to be missed, this one.

96 people found this helpful

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Don't pass this one up. Enthralling.

I know we all have our Exorcist movie experiences. The movie came out my senior year in high school and even Time Magazine gave it a huge exposé and for years most of us think of it as a mortifyingly realistic horror story. It is much, much more than this.

This book, especially this audible version read by its author, is a masterpiece of tragedy and mystery. My favorite character is Kinderman, the old, Columbo type detective. He provides the comic relief during the horror, reminding us there is a normal world carrying on during the possession.

I like that the story reveals the priests as professional, human and loyal to the Church whether their faith is weak or strong. And how accurate he is regarding the Church's official teachings and history. The great emphasis the Church places on science and truth. Finally, how clever he reveals shame and guilt as the powerful entities they truly are.

A couple of interesting notes if you are interested. You can listen at 1.5 x speed and lose none of the emotional content. Years ago I purchased the director's cut of the movie and watched the version with the director explaining all the shots and angles and just what he was wanting the audience to understand. It was then I grasped the depth of the story.

This is an easy 5 star experience.

104 people found this helpful

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Worth the dowload

Overall, I thought this was a great download. I tried to read the original, and thought it was a little slow after seeing the movie and being terrified. This audio version solved that. William Peter Blatty does a fantastic job! I agree with the other reviewer that his voice is made for narration. I too am leery of any author who reads their own work, but I can't imagine a better narrator.

I was a little confused with the addition of the little girl voice three-quarters of the way through the book. It was disconcerting to hear after we have been hearing Blatty's voice for so long, but it really didn't make much sense to me since Blatty also does Regan's voice before the possession so suddenly hearing her as a little girl seemed unnecessary.

Overall, a creepy, great autumn listen!

33 people found this helpful

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Add 3 Hours&40 Years&Let Simmer Till Very Dark

Sometimes its great to be old. It is great to remember sitting in a packed house watching, "The Exorcist," when it was first released, even if it meant I had to sit their with my mother. Odd that "The Exorcist," should form some sort of consistent source of entertainment or inspiration, throughout my life, having read it in print a couple of times, having watched the film, in one form or another, at least once a year, since owning a film became a doable thing, I have listened to the original book, also read by the author, three or four times, and now I have had the great pleasure of listening to that same author, reading an updated and expanded version.
Okay, so I have more than just a wee fascination with this story and this topic. I love Mia Farrow reading, "Rosemary's Baby," and I wish Audible offered Malachi Martin's, "Hostage to the Devil," and Thomas B. Allen's, "Possessed," a case study of an exorcism taken from a Jesuit's diary, and the case that "The Exorcist," is said to be based on.Well, they are not available, but what a treat it is, after all these years, to have a new version of "The Exorcist,", so easily available, and, best of all, read once again, by the author. I don't think there is a narrator out there who is any scarier sounding than William Peter Blatty. His voice has those dark, ominous tones, and the voice of the demon is, to my ears, anyway, always lurking. I guess that is why I did like having the young girl reading Regan's voice on the tape that her mom loans to Father Karras. I appreciate her pure, sweet voice, that contains nothing dark...not one shadow of Captain Howdy. It worked for me, as did the whole book.
I think there are around three more hours in this version than the original audio book, and that time is divided up in expanded conversations and entirely new conversations and scenes, as well as more psychiatric descriptions and indecision, and more descriptions of the particulars of possession. If you are interested in the topic, you will probably find it as fascinating as I did. Personally, I love being able to hear what has been percolating inside William Peter Blatty's mind, , all these years. I appreciate Audible and the author making it possible. Thumbs up!!

86 people found this helpful

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40th Anniversary edition of very scary story!

What did you love best about The Exorcist?

The atmosphere and eeriness of the movie is captured in the book.

What other book might you compare The Exorcist to and why?

The Shining by Stephen King. Both are about children in danger and needing rescuing. Both are very scary. Both are excellent!

Which scene was your favorite?

I think when Karras sees Merrin on the floor and realizes that he will have to save Regan with all of his doubts. He is her only hope.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, too long but it only took me a week. I picked Halloween week because it's a perfect listen for the holiday.

Any additional comments?

I usually don't like the author reading his own works. (Stephen King does not always read his books as well as professionals). Blatty however does such a great job of getting the demons and nuances of the work that I couldn't imagine any one else doing it. I also liked the tape of the innocent Regan talking to her mom. Helps to set the stage.
One more thing. This book is definately rated R. Not for the faint of heart or person who doesn't like profanity. This is one for the record books.

25 people found this helpful

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Still Scarry After 40 years

This is a spell binding story that will have you from page one.
Still the scariest film ever made in my opinion.
What a great narration by William Peter Blatty, set the right tone for this book.
The book begins with a prologue which is set in modern day Iraq, at the site of the ancient city of Nineveh. A Jesuit at the excavation feels a premonition of horror and receives signs that there is about to be an otherworldly confrontation when he sees a figurine of the demon Pazuzu entwined with a medal of St. Joseph. The scene then shifts to Georgetown, where a young girl Reagan McNeil, daughter of a famous actress, falls mysteriously ill. Following an onset of very obviously paranormal disturbances which psychiatric treatment can little resolve, she turns to a Jesuit priest: Father Damien Karras. The narrative then follows Karras' attempts to diagnose the situation and at last he obtains approval from the church to assist in an exorcism to be conducted by Father Lankester Merrin, newly returned from Iraq. The two priests attempt to exorcise the girl evidently possessed by a demon. The book follows Karras's struggle with his own faith as well as his attempt to face the new dangers that the possession causes.

33 people found this helpful

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Book brings the horror and chill to this day

I find the movie to be one of the all time best horror movie, and I was not sure if book would live up to the expectation. I have to conclude that book brings depth and detail to the story that complements the movie well. Compare to movie, it seems that book takes a long time to get to the conclusion that an exorcist was needed. The banter between the demon and priest during the vetting process was particularly bone chilling. The intelligence shown by the demon was not particularly this evident in the movie. I did feel the hate of an entity that wanted to destroy life. I can only image what impact it would have had on people when book first came out. Book had several shocking scene that I believe were not in book. Also, I think that profanity and hate was toned down in movie compare to the book. Finally, once the exorcism started, book takes it to another level, and all of this has more impact due to the buildup from the beginning.

This has to be the top narrated book by an author. Narrator was able to depict the malevolence, and hate of the demon as well as gentle care of a mother. I am very impressed with narration. Though, I kept the narration speed at 1.25.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for supernatural horror. Book brings something new even for readers who have seen the movie.

14 people found this helpful

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More than Head Spins and Pea Soup Vomit…

This is one of those iconic stories I had put off for far too long and decided to finally give it a try (there was no particular reason why I had put it off to be honest and its baffling even to me why it has taken this long- I haven’t even seen the movie). William Peter Blatty died about this time last year and with his passing I picked up this audio version and it still sat in my “to-read” list for a year. Finally I finished it today (on Blatty’s birthday, no less) and man, what a well written, haunting tale! I had a good idea how the story would go down (you can’t have an interest in horror without running into mentions of head spins and pea soup vomit), but I was pleasantly surprised by all of Blatty’s characters and how they were painstakingly well-crafted. Without the character development of each of these characters, the story would have fallen flat. What really makes this version of the book so special is Blatty’s narrating. This is a must read/listen for any horror fan. I can only hope that he had the same glimmer of triumph in his eyes as he passed. RIP Blatty. #DemonPossession #HorrorClassic #MoreThanPeaSoup #Tagsgiving #Sweepstakes

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didn't get a feeling this book was even readable..

surprisingly, the plot is almost nonexistent. the text could hardly be less interesting, it is boring to tears, hard to listen and i struggled to even pay attention at times. so happy it ended (abruptly and in a random fashion, very much like it had started).

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jodie
  • 07-03-20

Fantastic book!

everything about this book is just amazing. bill blatty's narration was perfect!! his voice is so perfect to tell this story. an absolute classic

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  • Alex B
  • 05-06-20

Expertly narrated

One of my all time favourite novels & expertly narrated by the author. RIP WPB

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-29-19

It’s a must read

I was born when the movie was filmed.
It’s a milestone in cinematography history.
I have watched the movie and I have read the book dozens of time, but the result had always been the same: cold blood from the beginning to the end.

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  • emma lane
  • 10-14-18

Masterpiece

The narrator being the author made this extra special for me. Moving , thought provoking .