on 16 March 2007
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.
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.
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!
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.
on 21 March 2016
Carrie is incredible, a must read for any horror or Stephen King fan. Despite Stephen not thinking it was worth publishing it is one of his best works. It's not very long, especially compared to some of his other works. However it's small size does not mean it isn't powerful.
Carrie is Stephen King's first published novel - and it shows. As interesting a story as it is, it's let down by some tremendously amateurish writing both stylistically and in terms of the characters. It lacks his usual wit, sophistication, and beautifully picked language. It's the book of an author that is still struggling to find his voice.
The clunkiness is apparent in a number of areas... instead of hinting or fencing with a revelation, King just comes out and says it. 'What none of them knew was that Carrie was telekinetic' is so far from his usual poetic foreshadowing that it's extremely jarring. The extracts from the fictional academic journals show an almost comical lack of understanding of how such documents are written. If it was lampooning academia, as House of Leaves does so elegantly, it would be fine. Instead it comes across as careless and lazy, and since these extracts are a considerable cornerstone of the book it makes the whole thing come across as careless and lazy.
None of this is to say that it's bad, because it isn't - it's just very far from the confidence and competence that he would so clearly demonstrate a mere year later with Salem's Lot. The story of Carrie has a lot of resonance - after all, who can't identify with the trials and travails of a bullied schoolchild? Who hasn't entertained bloody revenge fantasies where a position of powerlessness transforms into a position of unquenchable power? Who can't feel desperately sorry for Carrie when her outsider status was so constantly and consistently reiterated that her fondest dream was to just be left alone? There is much in the book to draw you in. It's a good story - maybe even a great story. It's just not a great execution.
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.
on 6 July 2004
Carrie is awesome. There said it, and it's true. It's harrowing, gritty and right in your face the whole time. I finished it in one day it had me so gripped. It's a dark story, like a twisted fairytale where Cinderella does go to the ball...but it isn't all hunky dory once she's there.
It's a really sad and touching story as well, Carrie White is just abused and misused every single day of her life and then she dies. The way she dies thinking her mother was right about people is just so sad.
It's a lot shorter than the majority of Sptephen King novels, and a lot more gritty. There's no mention of evil spirits or dreams, just realism and pig's blood.
The reason this book works so well is the underlying note of despair and the fact you know there is going to be a tragedy at the end, as it is indirectly referered to throuhgout the story, yet when it happens it still shocks and hurts you. This is a great book, but not an outstanding one, also it just tugs the heart strings too much.
on 3 January 2005
I thought that Carrie is a book that is worth somebody taking the time to read. Its the first Stephen King book i've read so I don't know how it compares with his others but I thought this one was great. He does a great job of making you feel the destruction near the end of the book, and also makes you (well makes me anyway) want to save Carrie all the way through. Well worth reading
on 27 December 2016
Reading Carrie was strange, because the story itself has become such a staple of our collective consciousness that I’m pretty sure I’ve seen all sorts of parodies of it in various forms of media. That said, I’ll go into the plot briefly so that you know what to expect.
Loosely speaking, the manuscript jumps between formats, from a traditional narrative style to what are ostensibly copies of police reports and other forms of documentation. It follows the events of one summer in middle America, when a troubled young girl with a crazy mother and psychic abilities finds herself the butt of her classmates‘ negative attention.
Carrie is a likeable character, but she’s also not necessarily someone that it’s safe to be around. King’s characterisation is masterful and the story line is well thought out and enjoyable, and whilst it can sometimes be confusing to jump between the different perspectives that he offers, that also adds to the story in the long run and so I’m glad that he chose to write it like that.
Overall, then, Carrie is a King classic, and a great read whether you’re new to his work or not. Although it’s not the sort of book you should read in bed.