zaterdag 19 november 2016

William Peter Blatty: The Exorcist

Hi again

This review is for William Peter Blatty’s classic The Exorcist.
My copy has 351 pages and I got it from my grandfather because he was getting rid of quite a few of his old books.

“The terror began unobtrusively. Noises in Regan's room, an odd smell, misplaced furniture, and icy chill. Small annoyances for which Chris MacNeil, Regan's actress mother, easily found explanations. The changes in eleven-year-old Regan were so gradual, too, that Chris did not recognise for some time how much her daughter's behaviour had altered. Even when she did, the medical tests which followed shed no light on Regan's symptoms, which grew more severe and frightening. It was almost as if a different personality had invaded the child. Desperate, Chris turned from the doctors to Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest who was trained as a psychiatrist and had a deep knowledge of such phenomena as satanism and possession. Was it possible that a demonic force was at large? If psychiatry could not help, might exorcism be the answer?”

                                                *    SPOILERS   *

Even though I haven’t seen the movie, the internet has spoiled me for quite a few key-elements of the book. Aside from that, even without these spoilers, the title kind of says it all. This is a book about the exorcism of a young girl. Add to that the blurb on the back and you can basically guess how the story will go.
And because of those spoilers the book isn’t scary to be honest, I had more of a ‘yuk’ feeling reading some scenes.
More than half the book is just drama, drama, drama and Chris trying to figure out what’s wrong with her daughter. We already know, so I truly wished Blatty would get on with the story.
He didn’t.
He just kept going on and on about what could be wrong with her. Why did he even give the book this title if he wanted to write the story of figuring out what’s wrong with her?
There’s too much drama and too little is happening.
And the too overtly religious aspect of the story made it hard to stomach at times.  I really don’t care for the religious details and the long, meandering explanations.

I did enjoy the writing-style. It’s old-fashioned, but is fits the story very well.
The characters are clearly defined and have more depth than you’d expect from a book like this.
That’s about what I liked about it I’m afraid.

2 STARS

Happy reading!
Helena