The Exorcist (英語) ペーパーバック – Special Edition, 2011/10/13
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Father Damien Karras: 'Where is Regan?'
Regan MacNeil: 'In here. With us.'
The terror begins unobtrusively. Noises in the attic. In the child's room, an odd smell, the displacement of furniture, an icy chill. At first, easy explanations are offered. Then frightening changes begin to appear in eleven-year-old Regan. Medical tests fail to shed any light on her symptoms, but it is as if a different personality has invaded her body.
Father Damien Karras, a Jesuit priest, is called in. Is it possible that a demonic presence has possessed the child? Exorcism seems to be the only answer...
First published in 1971, The Exorcist became a literary phenomenon and inspired one of the most shocking films ever made. This edition, polished and expanded by the author, includes new dialogue, a new character and a chilling new extended scene, provides an unforgettable reading experience that has lost none of its power to shock and continues to thrill and terrify new readers.
"A tremendous novel...fast, powerful and completely gripping" (Sunday Express)
"Well researched, written in a literate style... grips with the force of evil incarnate, and there are not many readers who will be unmoved" (The New York Times Book Review)
"Wonderfully exciting" (Newsweek)
"Immensely satisfying... holds its audience in a vice-like grip" (LA Times)
4件中1 - 4件目のレビューを表示
At its core, though, it's such a Catholic book. Part is about poor Regan's fight with a demon styling himself as "Captain Howdy," but it's mostly the dark night of Father Karras's soul. After the death of his mother (whom he feels he let down), his faith is shot. Compounded with his training as a psychiatrist, he is in a hell of a dilemma with Regan's case -- he so badly wants to believe she is possessed and the Devil is real and so is God, but he so badly wants to believe he's not nuts and this is a girl undergoing an extreme case of psychic breakdown. Every single sign that this is a genuine devil comes with just enough doubt that I even started wondering, "...could she just be crazy?"
I'm quibbling a little with the rating, though. The last chapter was...eh. I despise when authors feel the need to beat you over the head with "See? This could mean one of two things:..." But, for its faults, it succeeds in troubling the soul (just as Blatty and Captain Howdy want): if Regan is possessed, how could God do this to her and her family? If she isn't...there is something really dark at the bottom of even a young child's soul. It spooked me a bit. It wins.
Minor tangent I'd like to touch on: the most odd object in this book is Detective Kinderman. His mannerisms, modest demeanor belying a sharp cunning, and self-deprecating humor is so startlingly like my favorite TV character, Columbo -- in fact, so alike that Blatty accuses the show's creators of lifting his character -- that it struck me to find him in the midst of a quite unsettling book.
What I loved most about the book when I first read it-and what I cherish now-is how real the characters seem. The author, William Peter Blatty, was a graduate of Georgetown University and knew well the world of Jesuit priests. For my money, he did a marvelous job of delving into their humor, their disappointments, and their loneliness. And when he takes a tortured soul like Damien Karras, a priest who is also a brilliant psychologist, and puts him in a room with Satan, well… Let's just say things get really interesting.
One more thing. In rereading the novel and recalling Lee J. Cobb's excellent screen portrayal of Kinderman, I was happily reminded that the author had quite a sense of humor. To me, his dogged cop is Columbo if he'd been Jewish. Seeing this weary flat-foot spar with the dour priest is nothing short of magical.
As bad as things get for the girl, Regan, and her mother, Chris, Blatty gives us hope that God will prevail in the end. Without that, this story would have been nihilistic and pointless. An exercise in demonic torture porn. So, whether you are a person of faith or not, if you enjoy horror that is smart, funny, and mind-numbingly scary, I heartily recommend this book. And if, like me, you're Catholic, be sure to keep a Rosary on your nightstand.