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“An experience you will never forget.”—St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“The Exorcist is as superior to most books of its kind as an Einstein equation is to an accountant’s column of figures.”—New York Times Book Review
Four decades after it first terrified the world, William Peter Blatty’s The Exorcist is back! An extraordinary classic work of horror and dark paranormal suspense—widely considered one of the most frightening novels ever written—Blatty’s masterpiece of unrelenting chills was the basis for the acclaimed Academy Award-nominated motion picture directed by William Friedkin and starring Ellen Burstyn and Max Von Sydow. Rediscover the power ofThe Exorcist in this stunning 40th Anniversary Edition, as a desperate mother and two priests fight to free the soul of a little girl from a supernatural entity of pure malevolence.
Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist, one of the most controversial novels ever written, 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.
Purposefully raw and profane, The Exorcist still has the extraordinary ability to disturb readers and cause them to forget that it is “just a story.” Published here in this beautiful fortieth anniversary edition, it remains an unforgettable reading experience and will continue to shock and frighten a new generation of readers.