By: Stephen King
Published: April 1974 Doubleday
Length: 253 pages
Carrie White has always been an outsider. She has always been the butt of school pranks, made fun of by everyone. It doesn’t help that her mom is a parinoid religious fanatic who sees the devil and evil in even the smallest of things. Carrie also has telekinetic powers that manifest during situations of extreme stress. Now in High School Carrie experiences her first menstrual cycle in the shower after gym class. Not knowing what is happening (since her mother never bothered to explain the changes that come with puberty, since the blood of sin only happens to those with impure thoughts) she begins to panic. This just causes hysterics among her classmates who are more then willing to do anything to cause more grief to Carrie. After this incident one classmate, the popular Sue Snell has a change of hurt and decides to come to the cause of Carrie. Sue asks her boyfriend Tommy to take Carrie to the school prom. Hoping to give the down trodden Carrie at least one day in the sun. But Christine Hargensen has other plans. She plans the ultimate humiliation of Carrie in front of everyone during the prom. But Carrie has had enough and decides to push back. Letting her powers come forth to help get revenge on everyone who has hurt or made fun of her.
I’ve decided to try to read thru Stephen Kings vast catalogue in order of publication. I read Carrie about 20 years ago and while it is a short book when it comes to some of Mr. King’s later works it is really good and still holds up. With just a few small changes, this story can fit in any time period. The story is told mostly in the first person using Carrie’s point of view. It also uses magazine clippings, news reports and pieces of some of the survivors memoirs which I felt to be very ambitious for a first novel. Of course we have the advantage of knowing the type of writer King is but no one knew who Stephen King was at the time of publication. I can only imagine what people thought when the book first came out. We also see King’s excellent work in characterization. He bring Carrie and her mothers past to life, giving the reader a true understanding of the characters. Great read. Next on the list is Salem’s Lot.
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