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William Peter Blatty reflects on 40th anniversary of 'The Exorcist'
William Peter Blatty reflects on 40th anniversary of 'The Exorcist'

For the last four decades, William Peter Blatty's demonic possession thriller, "The Exorcist," has ranked as the ultimate in scare fare. His 1971 novel sat atop the New York Times bestseller list for more than four months, and director William Friedkin's 1973 blockbuster film version, for which Blatty earned the adapted screenplay Oscar, is largely held as a masterpiece of the horror genre. But in a recent phone conversation ahead of Tuesday's 40th anniversary Blu-ray release of "The Exorcist," Blatty noted that on its release the novel had actually been dead on arrival at bookstores. His publishers, Harper & Row, had spent a "fortune"...

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