Continuing my current trend of reading freakishly disturbing books on a Kindle whilst commuting to work, this week I have also read ‘Carrie’ by Stephen King. The book tells the story of, yes you guessed it, Carrie White, a seventeen year old high school student. After being humiliated at her school prom, she exacts her revenge on her fellow classmates with spectacularly gruesome consequences through her telekinetic powers. This book definitely stopped me falling asleep on the train.
I have never read any of Stephen King’s other work and thought it was appropriate to start with his first published novel. ‘Carrie’ also happens to be one of his shorter works which is also good for those who don’t want to commit to one of his epics. Even though I’m really not interested in horror as a genre, I figured King must be doing something right in order to sell 350 million copies of his books so I thought I’d try one simply out of curiosity.
I thought the way excerpts from articles, interviews and academic journals were interspersed throughout the story was generally quite effective although it did switch between different viewpoints a little too often for my liking. Even for a short book, ‘Carrie’ seemed to have quite a slow start but I thought King created some interesting supporting characters, particularly Sue Snell who bullied Carrie even though deep down she knew what she was doing was wrong and also Carrie’s fanatically religious mother. I think for that reason I found ‘Carrie’ to be a rather sad story instead of a particularly scary one. Saying that, I imagine that the film version would probably scare me more than the book – I can easily read vivid descriptions involving blood and guts but I’m a little more squeamish when confronted with images of them!
I would be interested in reading something else by Stephen King in the future – any recommendations would be much appreciated.
11 responses to “Carrie by Stephen King”
Welcome to the fandom! I’ve been a fan since my tweens and I would suggest either Salem’s Lot or Christine before you read It or Pet Cemetary (both of which are still responsible for my certain very embarrassing at my age caution stepping around dark corners or into the bathroom still all these years after having first read them).
I reviewed this one not too long ago too! Like you, this was the first Stephen King novel that I read and I agree that it was difficult to get into the book because the constant switching of viewpoints didn’t really pick up much pace. I am tempted to try others though, the next on I am going to read is his non-fiction memoirs/writing tips ‘On Writing’ and then I will read ‘Misery’
The only Stephen King book I’ve purchased is On Writing, and I got about 10 pages into the book before I went ahead and sold it in a garage sale for less than a dollar. I’m not a fan of his writing at all, and that’s stopped me from reading ANY of his books.
Does Carrie have a move traditional narrative/grammar style that it looked like his other books did? For me in On Writing, he was definitely too masculine, too aggressive, for me enjoy it.
I usually prefer Dean Koontz. Still a great writer, but a little less violent.
I’ve never picked up a King novel myself, but I have heard so much about him and I’ve been meaning to for a long time. You’re definitely right about something must be making them sell.
I’m not sure how I’ll deal with the written word because my imagination does tend to run away with me, whilst I find I can laugh more at the blood and gore on the screen.
Sounds like a great kind of narrative and a book I’ll be looking out for!
Try: Salem’s Lot. It’s also an early King. One of the scariest books I’ve ever read. I loved the way King combined banality of everyday life with horror. But I hated his female lead characters — they are all the same. I also like The Stand — his apocalyptic novel about a pandemic that wipes out most of the world. The story is about the survivors. Hey, thanks so much for liking my review of Bring Up the Bodies, btw. Enjoy your reading!
When I was 12, I read Carrie under the covers with a flashlight. (I don’t recommend that for getting a good night’s sleep.)
I enjoy Stephen King’s novels – he has also written under the name Richard Bachman and his novella “The Shawshank Redemption” is written under that name. It’s one of my favourite stories. My King list includes It, The Talisman, Christine, The Stand, The Tommyknockers, Rose Madder, The Green Mile, and the Dark Tower series. Duma Key, Needful Things and his newer one, 11/22/63, are also worth reading. Good beach reads!
I am an avid King fan and highly recommend you read the Dark Tower Series. They are some of the most interesting stories he has crafted. I am anxiously waiting for Peter Jackson to agree to make them into movies!
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