Skip to Main Content Logo

Archer Book Club: October 2021

Welcome to the Archer Book Club, or the ABC!

Selection of the Month: 50th Anniversary Celebration of The Exorcist!

From the Publisher:

"Originally published in 1971, The Exorcist remains one of the most controversial novels ever written and went on to become a literary phenomenon. 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."

Zoom Meeting Information

Zoom information will be provided closer to the planned meeting: 12:00pm-1:00pm, October 27, 2021.

Cassandra Ozog, PhD candidate in Sociology/Media Studies and sessional instructor in the Department of Sociology and Social Studies.

Content Warning

While The Exorcist in both book and film format have become horror classics, please be aware that the novel and film both contain graphic content including but not limited to:

-Discussions of self-harm
-Violence towards adults and children
-Sexual violence towards adults and children
-Discussion and debate of a religious nature
-Graphic language, violent images, etc.

Discussion Points

The following questions (or similar) will direct the discussion:

1) What did you find most striking about the book, and does it live up to the legendary reputation?

2) How does the book compare to the film? What did the book contribute that is lost on screen?

3) Who is the hero in this book, and why?  What discussions of "good" vs. "bad" are analyzed in our heroes?

4) What event, character or plot development in the book was most disturbing, and why?

5) As horror novels are often viewed as cathartic, how did you feel about the ending? Is it hopeful or horrifying?