Carrie is one of those stories that everyone thinks they already know. I've never even seen the movie and I was one of those people. I enjoyed King's early writing, the narrative/case file style, and the sheer terror of Carrie. In the spirit of the story, I really got to know Carrie when I thought I already did.
This book showcases King at his best! Carrie is a true horror classic. The story is about a girl who has never fit in due to her mother's crazy religious beliefs, until one fateful night when the taunting of her peers has gone too far. Like other King books, he gives a lot of detail on the characters' past and a look into what they are thinking. While it isn't as long as Stephen King's other books, Carrie has everything that a good horror story should have.
Why read Carrie? Stephen King himself has said that he finds his early work "raw," and Brian De Palma's movie was so successful that we feel like we have read the novel even if we never have. The simple answer is that this is a very scary story, one that works as well--if not better--on the page as on the screen. Carrie White, menaced by bullies at school and her religious nut of a mother at home, gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers, powers that will eventually be turned on her tormentors. King has a way of getting under the skin of his readers by creating an utterly believable world that throbs with menace before finally exploding. He builds the tension in this early work by piecing together extracts from newspaper reports, journals, and scientific papers, as well as more traditional first- and third-person narrative in order to reveal what lurks beneath the surface of Chamberlain, Maine.
News item from the Westover (ME) weekly Enterprise, August 19, 1966: "Rain of Stones Reported: It was reliably reported by several persons that a rain of stones fell from a clear blue sky on Carlin Street in the town of Chamberlain on August 17th."
Although the supernatural pyrotechnics are handled with King's customary aplomb, it is the carefully drawn portrait of the little horrors of small towns, high schools, and adolescent sexuality that give this novel its power, and assures its place in the King canon.
I am not a particular fan of Stephen King's work in general. However, I picked this book up on a whim and didn't put it down again until I'd finished. The innovative narrative syle, the intriguing characters, and the fascinating plot are all reasons why you won't be sorry you decided to give this one a read.
One of Stephen King's best novels. Very hard to put down!