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.