Author: Stephen King
Publication Date: April 1974
Rating: 4 stars
I’m slowly starting to become a semi-respectable English major by reading as many “classics” as I can (but still making time for my adored YA novels, of course). A lot of my fellow English majors love King, and a love of them hate him. Carrie is the first work I’ve read of King, and I was really excited to finally read it. Unfortunately, I had already seen both the original film and the remake before reading it. When I read a book, I create everything inside my head; I make the movie – how the setting looks, how the characters look and sound, etc. Well, since I’d seen both films before, my brain was unable to create everything in my own way. It was weird – I would read and the images in my head were part original film, part remake. It was interesting, but kind of a bummer that, not only was I unable to see everything in my own way, but that I already knew what was going to happen.
Most people know the plot, but for those of you that don’t, Carrie is about a girl named (you guessed it) Carrie. Carrie has telekinetic powers, but doesn’t fully develop them until she undergoes a severe mental trauma at school one day. Carrie is an outcast – she has no friends, she is constantly being bullied, and her mother is a psycho religious nut. I used to think my mom was hardcore Christian, but Margaret White takes it to an entirely different level. So, Carrie beings to develop these powers and, later on, undergoes yet another serious trauma – the final straw. All hell breaks loose.
Stephen King has a very unique way of writing. There are moments where I love what he’s writing; the way he describes certain scenes is incredibly detailed (but not in an overdone sort of way) and very engaging. I really liked the way he alternated the story with newspaper articles, testimonies, excerpts from (fake) books, and so forth. Even though I knew how the book was going to end before I even started it, somehow King’s writing made me feel even worse reading it than watching it on the big screen. I felt so bad for the kids, for the town, and especially for Carrie.
I intend on reading more from King in the future, being not only an English major, but a huge horror fan. Even though I read this for my American Literature class, I like to think I would have read it eventually of my own accord. Even if you’ve seen one or both films, I suggest reading the novel anyway; it fills in any gaps and missing information, and honestly, it’s just a really good book.
Favorite Quote: “People don’t get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter you don’t stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it.”