Series: Stand Alone
Published by DoubleDay on April 5th, 1974
Stephen King's legendary debut novel about a teenage outcast and the revenge she enacts on her classmates.
Carrie White may have been unfashionable and unpopular, but she had a gift. Carrie could make things move by concentrating on them. A candle would fall. A door would lock. This was her power and her sin. Then, an act of kindness, as spontaneous as the vicious taunts of her classmates, offered Carrie a chance to be normal and go to her senior prom. But another act--of ferocious cruelty--turned her gift into a weapon of horror and destruction that her classmates would never forget.
Good evening (in my best Tales from the Crypt voice). Today, in honor of Literary Excursion’s Horror October, I’m bringing you my review of Carrie, by the master of scary story tellers….STEPHEN KING. So, sit back, flip on your light, and remember, there may or may not be something lurking under your bed.
Now that my fabulous and creeptastic intro is done let’s get to the good part. The part where I basically say:
Stephen King you are one twisted, sick, and talented SOB and damn you for making me feel and think so darn much!
I’m sure most of you are familiar with the story of Carrie and many of you have probably seen the original movie and are planning on seeing the remake. With that in mind remember, the book is always better! And I say that as someone who thoroughly LOVED the movie. It’s just, there is something about the way the book was written. The way we see all those varying perspectives. The glimpse inside those brains. It just makes a tangible difference the movie just couldn’t attain.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Carrie it is the story of Carietta Carrie White. At 16 Carrie was the butt of every joke, the subject of daily torture and bullying and the child of a seriously fucked up and unstable mother. Now when I say those things, I mean them in their rawest form. Don’t think of today’s form of bullying. No, for that poor girl today’s bullying would have been a walk in the park. And that is not me saying bullying in 2013 is not a very serious and rough experience. But when you compare the fact that Carrie got her very first period at the age of 16, in her crowded CO-ED locker room, had absolutely NO idea what was going on, and was then pelted with pads and tampons while her peers yelled “plug it up” at her, well…you see what I mean. And while that in itself is traumatizing and a whole new kind of evil, that was just the tip of Carrie’s daily torture. She was tortured just in school, oh no, that would mean she had two days off to lick her wounds. Carrie was tortured by her classmates, her ENTIRE town (adults and small children included) and her own mother. Stephen King, has one seriously sick and twisted mind to be able to think up the crazy that is Mrs. Margaret White. This woman was the kind of “ultra religious” that I honestly couldn’t have thought of by myself. Breast, were a sin. The menstrual cycle, was a sin. Showers were a sin. Swimsuits were a sin. And when Carrie “sinned” she was sentenced to “the closet”, which is a lot creepier than I could ever describe.
But then, all that bullying and abuse finally pushes Carrie off the cliff, and the events that follow are some of the most devastating and intense things I’ve ever read. King has this was of not only making a story “scary” but of implanting you RIGHT there. I know very little about the 70’s but, everything about Carrie just felt so authentic! And yes, I know that’s because King wrote it in the 70’s, but for that to still hold so well so many years later without making you roll your eyes is pretty cool. Not only that, but the fact that he was able to portray how quickly things can change and how, sometimes, it’s possible for not a soul to be left to tell you how or why, gave me chills.
I’ve read It, Pet Cemetery, Fire Starter and Christine by Stephen King, way back when I was in middle school, which means I barely remember most of them. With the exception of It. That book scarred me so deeply I still hate clowns to this day, and I once ripped down half a haunted house trying to get away from one. But Carrie, even with its odd back and forth interviews/quotes writing style, will always remain one of the creepiest and most intense books I’ve read of his.