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Book Review: The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty

“Yet I think the demon's target is not the possessed; it is us . . . the observers . . . every person in this house. And I think---I think the point is to make us despair; to reject our own humanity... to see ourselves as ultimately bestial; as ultimately vile and putrescent; without dignity; ugly; unworthy.”

Now, I promise that this isn’t going to become strictly a review blog, but I feel like I need to be posting *some* content and until I know exactly what that will look like, something is better than nothing, right?

Plus, now that we’re in a quarantine, what better way to practice social distancing than reading and watching stuff?

First, I have to get something off of my chest – I had never read The Exorcist before. I had seen the movie, I had watched the TV show, and in general occult/Ouija board horror is one of my favorite subgenre’s and yet, this book just never made it to the top of my To Read pile until this year.

Now I have to get something else off of my chest…I didn’t like it.

I know, I’m sad too, but I just don’t get the hype. Here were my biggest problems:

  • It was from the POV of Chris – which at first didn’t bother me, but she just continued to annoy me and I didn’t find her to be a very likeable character, so much so that I didn’t care about the plight she was going through.

  • It was slow moving. The exorcism (you know…the main event of the book) didn’t even start til about 300 pages in.

  • We didn’t get Reagan’s POV – at all. And I guess the argument could be made that since she was possessed she didn’t have a point of view, but I really wanted to feel her agony. That’s what’s terrifying about possession. But I just didn’t get any of that.

  • It wasn’t scary. The spiderwalk down the stairs gave me a tiny chill down my spine, but other than that the book wasn’t scary at all. Just full of raunchy “jokes” and gross (but not gory) descriptions.

  • I wanted more priests. Well, not more priests, just more of them. The most poetic parts of the book were the parts that were from the POV of the priests - and I wanted more of that.

Anyway, I’m sad I didn’t like this book. I feel bad that I didn’t like it. This book has a lot of notoriety. Even people who don’t like horror have heard of this book – and yet, it just didn’t do it for were enough of them.

Have you ever gotten excited to read a popular book in your favorite genre, but it turned out to be disappointing? Share your frustrations in the comments

I promise there will be more content here. There will be more reviews, but also camp nanowrimo is coming up so there will be writing updates, and I am ready to submit a couple of short stories so maybe there will be some publication announcements! One can hope.

That's all for now. Until next time.

B Strong &;

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