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.
King's first novel is more than a coming-of-age story, it is the story of a birth in all its bloody glory. Carrie, shy, embarrassed, seemingly helpless, attempts to emerge from the hell of her childhood into a free, bright adulthood, only to be met with the same ridicule and violence from her cruel classmates and fanatical mother. But Carrie has grown up, not into an adult, but into something darker, more vengeful and infinitely more powerful that will repay them blood for blood. King's debut novel remains one of his best, creating characters that are simultaneously horrifying and pitiable.
In one way or another, everybody abused Carrie. This sixteen-year-old misfit was forbidden everything that was young and fun by her fanatical mother. She was teased and taunted by her classmates, misunderstood by her teachers, and given up as hopeless by almost everyone.
But Carrie had a secret: She possessed terrifying telekinetic powers that could make inanimate objects move, a lighted candle fall, or a door lock. Carrie could make all kinds of startling bizarre, and malevolent things happen. And so she did one night, when feeling scorned and humiliatedand growing angrier and angriershe became the vengeful demon who let the whole town -- and all the people in it -- feel her power.
âEvery girl has felt like Carrie, at one point in her life or another..â
I love this book. You know I hate to say it, but I'm completely on her side too. People were absolutely horrible to this young girl. A person can only handle so much hate and riticule, before they blow up. Carrie did that exact thing, she âBlew Upâ. Maybe people should learn to just be niceâ¦
It was a pretty quick but interesting read. I've never been a huge stephen king fan, but this I liked. If you've seen the movie, this book merely enhances it. He develops all of the characters well and I like how the book reads like a case-file yet isn't boring.
I read this as a youngster and it scared the crap out of me. King also does a great job dealing with "teen" issues in the book. With this was the birth of my fascination with all things horror and all things King.
I am a serious King fan, LOVE his work. Was not thrilled the first time I read this. The second time, it got better. So, if you didn't like it, give it a few years and read it again. If you're going by the movie only, this was one of the better adaptations of his work, but still, nothing compares to the real thing.
The first novel by the master of the macabre himself. We've all heard the story of how Carrie almost never saw the light of day until his wife pulled it out of the trash and told her husband that it was good and that he should finish it. Low and behold, a star is born. Carrie is told through a somewhat different kind of format that has been used with varying degrees of success by other authors. King actually lets us know what happens in the end long before the last few pages through "interviews" and testimonials published from the Carrie White hearing papers. Many times this format of storytelling can be chunky and plodding, slowing the story down. This isn't the case in Carrie.
Carrrie White is the awkward odd ball character that all of us knew back in high school. Although Carrie takes place long before I was in high school, some things never change. No mattter what generation, there is always a hidden rule that many high schoolers follow and that is "Eat or Be Eaten". You either follow what the group you hang out with does or they'll turn on you. This is what happens one day while Carrie White is taking a shower in gym class. Due to her crazy mother's strict religious raising of Carrie, she is caught unaware when her first period starts while in the middle of the shower. Not knowing what is happening to her, she begins to freak out. Thats when the other girls, led by the classic bitch of all bitches, Chris Hargensen, begin teasing and taunting her in a most vicious way. To say this comes back to bite the girls is an understatement. Another girl that was involved, Sue Snell, feels guilty about the way she blindly followed her group in their prank and decides that the way she can make ammends and feel better about herself is to get her wildly popular boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom. When Chris gets suspended over the little incident, she begins plotting her revenge on Carrie. The problem is Carrie isn't like that awkward lump of flesh we all knew in high school. Carrie has an ace up her sleeve that has been held dormant for many years and now that she's entered womanhood, it won't stay dormant any longer.
Carrie has many great things going for it and you can't ask for a much better freshman effort. King's description of the over the top prank in the shower scene will evoke memories of being bullied in high school by virtually all the readers. Religion gone wrong in her mother will also leave an unpleasant taste in your mouth. With so many school shootings in the past handful of years, the ending scene makes you cringe. Even though Carrie doesn't have an AK-47, it still leaves you feeling hollow watching innocent high schoolers bite the dust for being at the wrong place and the wrong time.
King rides many emotions that drag you kicking and screaming back to your high school days and makes you ask yourself "what if?" and thats where Carrie shines. You'll also see a pattern King uses in his later writings where he compares reading someone's mind to taking books off the shelves of a large library and reading them.
4 out of 5 stars
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This story had a big impact on me when I was younger and I really wish I read the book then. (I carried it around with me for a week or so in 4th grade, but I really was not capable of reading a book at that time. I was really obsessed with the idea of telekinesis in like the 4th grade.) Now that I'm older, I can't help but feel all the girls in this book are mean and stupid and manipulative: "I'll have sex with you if you ask Carrie to the prom," and "I'll have sex with you if you kill a pig for me", etc. I don't think girls actually think this way and it is a stereotype that I try to avoid hearing about. It seemed like Tommy Ross was the only nice person in that town. I really enjoyed reading it though. It is such a brilliant story, but maybe it could have been told a little differently.