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This is probably the most terrifying book I've ever read, and I'm not even religious.
First off, this is an excellent production. I'm not always a fan of the author reading their own work, but Blatty's moody, gravelly voice not only perfectly evokes the content and characters, but also the smoggy, cigarette-ash torpor of the period, when the Vietnam war was still on, the optimistic peace movement had basically ended with the Manson murders, and it was all too easy to believe Satan or some evil force really was taking hold in the world.
The novel might be forever overshadowed by the film, but there are certain things that give the book an advantage. One thing is the slow burn: the horror develops gradually, increasing the tension largely by suggestion at first. A big part of this is doubt. A priest experiencing a crisis of faith is a central character, and the ritual of exorcism requires that medical and psychological explanations be exhausted first, so much of the novel painstakingly examines the poor girl's symptoms, searching for a rational explanation. Another is the description of smells and odours, which the film can't do. This really brings home the assault on all five senses and the bestial degradation that is so horrific.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Well this as always been one of my favourite films, so when the book came on audio I was made up. This was a fantastic listen with the narrator just making it with the horrible demon voice that gave me goose bumps 10 out of 10 for this fantastic narrator. When I finished the book I went out to buy the dvd and was very surprised to find how both were very similar .
If you enjoyed the film you will love the book.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful