The other day I finally, FINALLY, was able to make it to the end of The Exorcist by William Peter Blatty and let’s be real, it was a journey. According to my Goodreads I started reading this novel on the 7th of November, 2015. That’s right. It took me 4.5 years to read The Exorcist. A 320 page novel.
This book and I, we had our ups and downs. Mostly downs. I hate being so negative about it because I was genuinely so excited about the book. Everyone knows The Exorcist, right? An instant classic. Nothing can compare, you won’t be able to put it down! The back cover says so. What was it? 17 weeks atop the New York Times Best Seller List? Someone fact check me.
I’m not sure if it was just Blatty’s writing style I failed to connect with or just this set of characters. I couldn’t sympathize with any one of them, which given the plot, is kind of saying something.
Okay, Chris, we get it. Your sweet baby turned into a demon child and no one wants to help. Righto. Regan, sweetie. If you want people to connect with you better maybe you should leave it a bit longer before you start peeing on rugs, cue The Big Lebowski. Willie and Karl? Simply didn’t care for. Okay, maybe Karl a little towardds the last half of the book. Sharon? Uhhh, do you have a purpose other than being their for the sake of it? Dennings was outright not my kind of person (so maybe that’s personal bias, but probably he wasn’t written to be liked… I hope).
Don’t even get me started on Kinderman. Kinderman’s blabbering is the sole reason I got stuck on the chapter at the running track with Karras for so long. 2 of the 4+ years spent reading this novel was genuinely me not being able to push through Kinderman talking a 5 mile radius around whatever it was he wanted to say.
Karras, on the other hand, I did like. Karras was responsible for me enjoying about a quarter of the book. The third quarter to be exact, when the plot focuses more on his discovery of Regan’s situation and his dealings with it, and very little on anyone else. I can’t say why I enjoyed his character so much more, although it quite possibly was simply that I didn’t find him intolerable the way I did the others.
Now I don’t want to spoil anything so all I’ll say at this point is simply: I did not spend 4 and a half years of my life dreading finishing The Exorcist just for it all to suddenly hit it’s climax and wrap-up into unresolved nothingness in the last ten pages. I put that book down, breathed a sigh of relief, and then took a moment to scratch my head because I had no idea what the hell just happened.
2/5 stars. Would not recommend.
(Would rate it 1 star but my bb Karras deserves better.)