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4.3 out of 5 stars
Carrie
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
Well considering that King thought this book wasnt worth publishing it has done surprisingly well, wouldnt you agree?

King has a knack of relating fiction to real-life and this is no exception. Teen bullying, a girls first entry into womanhood, it is all real and for most of us, scary. King in turn makes his stories scary to reflect this by using real problems.

Carrie is a teenager with 'normal' difficulties at school. She however does have an underlying power, a well hidden dark side that is waiting to burst out. And burst out it does in one hell of a blast, and a hell of a climax.

The characters are easy to relate to and you willl be forgiven if you think they are actually based on real people, such is Kings talent. This book is, for the most part, an 'easy' read. The plot is clear and simple to follow. However just because the plot is simple doesnt mean it is any less engrossing. And get engrossed into Carrie's world you will.

A super read that is quite linear with fewer twists and turns than in Kings larger books, but exciting none the less.

He is truly the epitome of modern horror.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
As with virtually everything Stephen King has written, this is enjoyable reading. It is also a quick-read for anyone who is intimidated by the length of some of the author's later works. I think the basic premise of this story appeals to many people because Carrie is, in many ways, the ultimate underdog, a girl terrorized by an insanely religious mother, victimized and persecuted by her peers, and alienated from the world around her. Everyone in life has been a victim or a bully, and I think the story of Carrie White does impart an important lesson to the folks out there who are treating someone they know the way that Carrie's classmates treated her. For those of us more sympathetic to Carrie's plight--the high school "outcasts," the "poor," the unpopular, the nerds, etc.--the story really matters here. Many of us daydream about the revenge we will exact from those kids who made fun of us all those years ago, and Carrie White shows us that revenge is not all it is cracked up to be. Carrie's "triumph" costs many innocent people their lives, and it doesn't really do a whole lot of good for Carrie herself.
You don't need me to tell you why you should read or re-read this book. This is Stephen King. By this point in time, unless you are just coming of age, you have already read this book if you are one of King's legions of fans or even if you were ever curious about this man's phenomenal success. Even more of you have probably seen the movie. While the movie was pretty faithful to the book, not even the magic of cinema can convey the true weight and atmosphere of this (or any other) book. Carrie is also King's first published novel. This is very important to would-be writers--clearly, King was still learning his craft when he wrote this novel, and thus the process of reading it provides any potential writer with a great learning experience. The format here is significantly different from King's more mature work. The story is told through several "voices," including a third-person account from a "survivor," extracts from research articles and newspaper items based on the events, as well as a more traditional author's voice. Thus, we get several perspectives on the characters and events. The story is not as fluid as it might be because we switch from one viewpoint to another as the tale unfolds. While I much prefer the style of King's later works, especially in terms of getting inside a character, King still infuses Carrie's world with realism and believability, proving that he can create masterful atmosphere and mood with any number of literary tools.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 28 June 2013
It was like love at first sight when I first picked up this novel at the age of thirteen, loving the front cover of a girl with blood dripping down her face. I was attracted to it immediately and it would be a love affair that has lasted fifteen years.

I had just lost my dad and was completely depressed. Within the first few lines of this debut novel by my all-time favourite write Stephen King, I immediately forgot all my troubles and concerns and was engrossed within the story of the "ugly duckling girl" that was tormented by her peers, tortured emotionally and physically by her religiously demented mother and had a rare gift - the gift of telekinesis - that allowed her to move objects with her mind. I felt sorry for Carrie and suddenly started wishing that I had a gift like this, but the genius of King is the way he is able to twist this wonderful rare talent into the ultimate nightmare.

Carrie is a simple story of how a girl who has no friends, suddenly discovers the idea of women growing up and discovering her first period, a trauma for her brought on by the fact that she believes she is dying, as well as the fact that her peers believe this is just a funny joke that they can use to abuse Carrie with. This is the catalyst that starts the whole horror of what the novel Carrie really is. Through the use of false interviews and made-up articles written by King himself, the reader learns the true horror of what this girl possesses and what she has to go through to get to the point of prom night where she will use her power to enact vengeance on those that have tortured her.

The real horror is more so for the reader who is drawn into the entire drama, waiting to see what happens, wondering just where the horror will end - the way in which Carrie is treated both by her peers and her mother, and what she is forced to endure is probably more horrific than the way in which she enforces her power on the towns-people.

Carrie, the book, has often been criticised by a lot of readers as being very raw and only showing the tip of the ice berg towards King's talent. Yes, this is a debut novel and King is still finding his way through his talent, but the rawness and naivetés is what makes this one of King's most popular and enduring novels that bounds the reader under some sort of spell in which they cannot put the book down. I have read this numerous times and I never get tired of it. It shows King as a great story teller who really knows how to engage his audience and make them want to come back for more.

I first read Carrie fifteen years ago and I have never looked back since. Over the years I've discovered new books by King and discovered his talent doesn't dim but grows and he is one of those rare writers where if you were to read the same book again, it will become better for you rather than tedious. I do not consider Carrie to be the best of his novels - how could it be with all those other works of genius he has written, but it is one of my favourite and most treasured as it was the first of his novels that I read; I read it when I was going through the worst period of my life and it got me through some really bad times. It is a fantastic story with a great heart, a well written tale of sweet revenge and consequence. It is one of those books that a lot of people can identify with as it gives a clear understanding of what school is really like, both for the victim and the bully. I cannot rave about this novel enough. It is a truly wonderful book and if you haven't read Stephen King before, this is a good place to start. If you have read him before, you are in for a treat and will not be disappointed - if you have read this novel before, read it again. It's just as good, if not better, the second time. It's the debut of one of the most talented writers who has ever put pen to paper. It made me become a fan!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 24 July 2001
When I first read Carrie, I was blown away by the storyline and the style of writing, but the important thing was that we felt sympathy towards the protagonist,Carrie, so we weren't sure weather to condemn her actions at the end or root for her.
This is strange because King recently admitted that he never liked her, and felt that she was asking for the abuse she got. He based Carrie White on two people that he taught in his high school.
When I recently re-read the novel, it does not hit the same impact that it originally did and one factor constantly annoyed me: why did Chris go so far to humiliate her? Did she have a psycological problem or something.
But that was just an excuse for the action, so I'll let it go. If you want a good introduction to the Master of Terror, than you can't go wrong.
By the way, after you read this, compare it to the Brian De Palma/Sissy Spacek film and draw your conclusions on how faithfully it was adapted. The notorious ''shock-ending'' is not in the book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 19 March 2000
This was the first SK book I ever read. I spent months listening to everyone raving about the movie. I was too young to go see it and there were no videos in those olden days of 20 something years ago. I decided that I would settle for the book and boy am I glad I did. I read it on holiday, in a lonely country cottage in the Highlands of Scotland - best place in the world to read HORROR. This made me fall in love with SK. It was the most incredible experience ever, as far as books go. It left such an impression on me that I kept thinking about the characters years later, hell I even called my daughter Carrie! If you are wondering which SK book to read and want real excitement and thrills, then you won't go far wrong with this masterpiece. It is horror at it's very best. If it is your first SK book it certainly won't be your last.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 11 September 2012
Plenty of reasons why this is a great read. This was King's first novel and it's only 242 pages long (quite easy going compared to some of his others which can put some people off) so for both those reasons, it's a great book to start with the King novels.

What I like about this book, is the shift around in narrative. Sometimes it's told from Carrie's point of view, sometimes her classmates and some quotes from text books (fictional ones) are thrown in too. It makes it easier to read in my opinion as I'm not a massive fan of realism where you get only first or third person narratives. It all gets mixed up together which makes it more entertaining to read.

Another reason, is that although the book falls into the genre of 'horror' there's more to it than meets the eye. By that I mean everyone immediately has assumptions of monsters, blood, gore and supernatural powers. And or course it does fulfill that criteria to a certain extent with Carrie's power of telekinisis, the pigs' blood and loads of people dying etc (not to give too much away!). But I felt the horrors of bullying, obsession with religion and the psychological effect/consequences that could occur were more apparant than the effects of telekinisis. These things are of course very real indeed and thats what makes it more frightening.

I didn't want to give a plot overview or summary, just wanted to share why I love 'Carrie' so much. So if you're considering reading this please do so! A real classic and well worth it! Happy reading! =]
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 29 May 2012
Everyone over the age of sixteen knows the basic plot behind "Carrie", whether they have seen the film/read the book or not. Most of the people that I have told that I had finished this book remarked "Doesn't she move things with her mind and kill lots of people?" Which is, in essence, correct but there is so much more to the story of Carietta White.

This was, famously, King's first published novel yet I didn't feel aware of this fact when reading. The switching of narrative, the interspersed Committee interviews and police reports and the codified thoughts of characters would suggest an experienced author.

The tragedy that lies behind Carrie (her abusive, fanatical mother; constant bullying and humiliation from her peers; her restricted adolescent life that would inevitably evolve into a stifling, repressed existence at the hands of her mother) is far more expressed in the novel as opposed to the film. As a reader, I knew what was to come and the devastation that Carrie would wreak, yet one can't help but feel sympathy for this fragile, abused and ritually humiliated girl. Additionally, King manages to convey the effects of Prom Night and the town's collapse - reading the novel with the peppering of police reports and government investgiations brings reality to what could be absurd and you are forced to imagine the horror of that night.

It is a short novel which I zipped through - the prose flows so easily that you find yourself desperate to read more, to know more about this destruction that "the White girl" creates.

I'm not usually a fan of supernatural novels however due to the film, I felt this was a must-read. And I was certainly right - an amazing novel that I thoroughly enjoyed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 21 June 2011
I saw the movie a whole lot of times before I read this book. However, what could I say? How can you not feel sorry for Carrie the bullied girl who never gets a break not in school or at home. The pig blood; what a sick stunt not that it was a stunt, but a spoiled girl's idea of some twisted revenge. Well revenge is what Carrie gets in the end, but it comes at a terrible cost to so many other innocent people in a way like so many of these school shootings in recent years. I don't believe all were made by victims of bullying, but some were. Unfortunately, this kind of revenge does nothing for innocents are always hurt not to mention the person inflicting the vengeance. In this case Carrie herself was destroyed in the end. Carrie is a tragic character plain and simple. This book should make people think about bullying and its tragic consequences at times.

I enjoyed reading this even as it made me sad. Along with Flowers in the Attic and The Outsiders, this book inspired me to write my own novel Love Child a story with a similar plot though the boy Tommy Hulette does not have telekinesis powers but he does get picked on a lot too; only for different reasons. As for Carrie still a great book all these years later. I highly recommend it.

A.M Torres author of Love Child sold here on Amazon UK
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Stephen King's Carrie is not so much a classic tale of horror and retribution as a study of the effects of repression. Carrie White is bullied: by her class mates who see her innocence as a thing to deride; by her mother, a religious zealot who subjects her daughter to bizarre and terrifying rituals.

Carrie also has another factor that ensures it is just a relevant today. It's well written. King ensures that Carrie White's character is no mere thumbnail sketch. He gives her depth as well as flesh, and by the time she wields her terrible power upon a town bent on shutting its gates upon her, well...we're sort of on her side.

King uses several devices that made this book different in its day. The use of letters and newspaper cuttings reminds the reader of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Horror set pieces such as: when Carrie has her first period in the shower and the spiteful reaction of her classmates; the slaughter of a pig with a sledge hammer and the notorious bucket of blood set to christen Carrie as she's crowned queen of the prom.

It's good to see that Carrie has been branded a classic. And to think if it had been up to Mr. King himself the original manuscript would not be gracing the bookshelves of adoring millions, it would still be in his kitchen bin!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 6 October 2000
This was King's first published novel and there is as much fun to be found learning about its past as actually reading it. As you read you can almost see King writing it in his little house with the typewriter balanced on his knee. What is astonishing is how he managed to get the thing finsihed while working full time and attending to his family. We all know the plot - Carrie is tormented until she finally goes mental at Prom Night and wreaks telepathic havoc - but this book expands upon the movie, adding more depth to the early scenes and having a whole new ending ... Although the ending is parcticulary downbeat in a way Kings work is rarly today, it is a joy to read, and makes you root for Carrie when everything seems to be going well at the prom. The book has a weird fairly-tale style as it is mainly comprised as newspaper clippings and biography of some of the charectors from years later, but it has a real sense of community and makes for a disturbing read. Funny in places, most definatly raw, it is also good for aspiring movelists to study to see how the world's most prolific writer started out.
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