Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist is now a major television series on FOX. It remains one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon: It spent fifty-seven weeks on the New York Times bestseller list, seventeen consecutively at number one. Inspired by a true story of a child's demonic possession in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty created an iconic novel that focuses on Regan, the eleven-year-old daughter of a movie actress residing in Washington, D.C. A small group of overwhelmed yet determined individuals must rescue Regan from her unspeakable fate, and the drama that ensues is gripping and unfailingly terrifying.
Two years after its publication, The Exorcist was, of course, turned into a wildly popular motion picture, garnering ten Academy Award nominations. On opening day of the film, lines of the novel's fans stretched around city blocks. In Chicago, frustrated moviegoers used a battering ram to gain entry through the double side doors of a theater. In Kansas City, police used tear gas to disperse an impatient crowd who tried to force their way into a cinema. The three major television networks carried footage of these events; CBS's Walter Cronkite devoted almost ten minutes to the story. The Exorcist was, and is, more than just a novel and a film: it is a true landmark.
Like the brief doomed flare of exploding suns that registers dimly on blind men’s eyes, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed; in the shriek of what followed, in fact, was forgotten and ...
The novelist and Academy Award-winning screenwriter William Peter Blatty was born in 1928. The Exorcist was first published in 1971 and has become one of the defining works of horror fiction. His other novels include The Ninth Configuration, Legion, Elsewhere and Dimiter. He died in 2017.
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Whilst some of the grislier set-pieces of Blatty's novel (and the film adaptation) speak for themselves, there is no denying that the real horror comes from the typical, everyday setting, along with the witnessing of the disintegration of the mother/daughter relationship. The ultimate loss of control as the child grows up...and the mother doesn't have the first clue how to deal with it.