Illustrated by Jeremy Caniglia
The iconic tale of demonic possession, Catholic guilt and self-doubt horrifyingly illustrated by acclaimed artist Jeremy Caniglia.
It's no surprise that Stephen King once came up to Blatty and said, "You know, in a way, you're my father." '
In memory of William Peter Blatty who died 12 January 2017.
Few novels have shocked the world like The Exorcist. Inspired by the real-life exorcism of a child in the 1940s, William Peter Blatty's gripping tale of a young girl thought possessed, and the small group of determined individuals who race against time to save her, is as iconic as it is horrifying. Yet beneath the notoriety of the novel, and the gruesome scenes stamped into the public consciousness by William Friedkin's 1973 film adaptation, lies a satisfyingly complex exploration of Catholic notions of suffering, guilt and redemption. With illustrations from acclaimed artist Jeremy Caniglia, this Folio edition is a fitting tribute to an unforgettable work of psychological horror
'Immensely satisfying … holds its audience in a vice-like grip'
'Yet I think the demon’s target is not the possessed; it is us…the observers … '
Writing in the tradition of horror’s past masters, Blatty enlists the grotesque to conceal a more profound truth. As they battle the growing malevolence inside 11-year-old Regan McNeil, each character must confront their own self-doubt: manifestations of darkness as real as those consuming the mind and body of Regan. Chief among these is Father Karras, the troubled Jesuit priest plagued by a crisis of faith, now locked in an infernal battle of wits with Regan's tormentor. To win, he must choose between science and the catechism, and decide if the horror growing inside Regan is a product of her mind or part of a war an eternity in the making, between good and absolute evil … or is the true reckoning still to come?
The blurred lines between the sacred and the supernatural permeate Caniglia's brooding, photographic artworks, which number, aptly, 13. Each appears like a document of a past horror, their surfaces scratched by a ghoulish nail trying to cover its tracks. The text follows that of the 40th anniversary edition, with amendments and additions from Blatty which he considered lacking in his original, including a new character now thought by the author to be 'the most hauntingly chilling in the book'. The edition’s burnt-red binding is embossed with an inverted crucifix in the book’s title.
William Peter Blatty was an American writer and filmmaker. He studied English literature at Georgetown University and George Washington University before joining the United States Airforce, where he worked in the Psychological Warfare Division. His first book, the comic memoir Which Way to Mecca, Jack?, was published in 1960, and several comic novels followed. Blatty went on to write scripts and comedy films before publishing The Exorcist in 1971. An immediate bestseller, it was adapted by Blatty for film in 1973. Blatty’s screenplay earned him an Academy Award, and the film became the first horror movie to be nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. Subsequent novels include The Ninth Configuration (1978), Legion (1983) – a sequel to The Exorcist – and Dimiter (2010). Blatty died in January 2017.
Jeremy Caniglia is an American painter and illustrator. He earned a BFA from Iowa State University and an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Known primarily for his work in the fantasy and horror genres, Caniglia has created book covers for authors such as Stephen King, Ray Bradbury, Max Brooks, Peter Straub, and Michael Moorcock. He received the International Horror Guild Award for Best Artist in Dark Fantasy and Horror in 2004, the IlluXcon Artist Award in 2012, and the ISU Design Achievement Award in 2015. His emotionally charged work, often unsettling, continues to push boundaries as a felt reality full of symbolism and metaphors.
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Review by paulmoran on 13th Sep 2017
"Still shocking after all these years this book packs a powerful punch. Indeed, I cannot quite believe that this has received the folio treatment. Impeccably designed, understated binding and slipcase,..." [read more]