Stephen King Saturday: Happy Birthday Carrie!

Posted 21 June, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Stephen King Saturday: Happy Birthday Carrie!Carrie by Stephen King
Published by Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group Genres: Fiction, Horror, Occult & Supernatural
Pages: 192

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.

Carrie turned forty this year, so I thought it was a good time to give her a re-read. 

She blew my socks off!

The problem with classic Stephen King movies is that they are always sad reflections of the books. No matter how wonderful Sissy Spacek’s Carrie was or how amazing Jack Nicholson’s Jack Torrance was – they still don’t hold a candle to the original source material for these characters. Unfortunately it’s easier to experience a two hour movie than it is to sit down and read the original – so the movie is inevitably what gets stuck in our head.

This book is about way more than cruel teenage girls throwing tampons, though interestingly enough, this incident is the catalyst to the entire rest of the novel and it happens almost as soon as you open the book. 

Carrie, like a few different early-era King novels, focuses on the feeling of being a misfit as an adolescent. But Carrie doesn’t just have her general weirdness working against her, she has possibly the worst mother in contemporary literature. All of that leads her to the spark of her unknown tele-kinetic power. 

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed this book. It actually has withstood time very very well. The most dated thing about it is teenage Sue’s pondering how her future husband will eventually move up in the world when he moves to a ‘five-figure’ earning bracket. 

All the themes in this book felt current and stylistically it is pretty modern. It’s written through the eyes of a few different characters, but also includes excerpts from fake academic papers on ‘The Carrie White Incident’ and newspaper clippings. I’d say it’s definitely gotten better with time. Worth the read.

I haven’t seen the new Carrie movie, should I? What book have you come back to and been surprised how much you still liked it, Reader?

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April @ The Steadfast Reader


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