Newest Review: ... She has become aware that she has an unusual ability and uses it to pay back the ones who are making her life difficult. There are some s... more
Carrie - Stephen King at His Best
Carrie - Stephen King
Member Name: Karonher
Carrie - Stephen King
Advantages: Short and has some unusual parts
Disadvantages: Not always a pleasant subject to read about
Sometimes when I read horror books, I forget where my interest stemmed from, and the first horror book I truly was scared by was Carrie by Stephen King. It was not the first of his I read - that was Salem's Lot - but it was one that seemed really unique and it was read within a few days. It was written in 1974 and I believe that there were attempts to ban it from US school libraries.
Carrie is a quiet and shy school girl, who does not fit in well at school and finds that she is often the butt of the jokes and pranks. She has become aware that she has an unusual ability and uses it to pay back the ones who are making her life difficult. There are some strange things in the book and I felt it a bit strange that a man would write about them - Carrie was being tormented for having her period and then it being the period that brought on her powers.
Carrie had suffered at home as her mother was very religious and she suffers at school because she is old fashioned and perceived to be unusual. The episode in the showers where she has her first period and loses control is because she is afraid and unaware of what is happening to her. Those who torment her are to be punished and it is from here on in that her telekinetic powers work.
The story comes to its conclusion on Prom night and Carrie uses her powers to an amazing effect. There is no way to know throughout the book quite what will happen that night but it is the most addictive piece of writing I have read. There was no way that I could stop reading it until I had finished.
Although most of the loose ends are tied up there is one event that made me think there may be a further book on the same subject but this did not really happen - Firestarter is about as close as Stephen King has come to doing that.
One thing that sticks in my mind is the fact that very few of the characters are likeable. I did not once think "If anything horrible happens I hope so and so is OK" I still hope that there might be a further book written about the school and Maine and how they have evolved since that night, but as it is close to 40 years since it was written I can't see that happening now.
It is a well thought out book and while blood plays a large part in it, it is not the sort of blood and gore books that would fit alongside something like Chainsaw Massacre.
Summary: A really good first novel