I have been thinking about going back and reading many of Stephen King’s books again as well as watch the movies they inspired as it has been years since I had read or watched those movies. With the recent release of yet another move adaptation, I figured that “Carrie” would be a good book to start with.
Carrietta White was always an outcast. This was largely due to her fanatical mother who spent much of her time preaching to her daughter and teaching her of all the evils and sin in the world (at least by her definition). This made her an easy target for her peers and Carrie was the butt of endless pranks. When Carrie started her first period while showering after gym class, she was terrified as she had never been told about her period and thought that she was bleeding to death. As per usual, the other girls jumped in to strike while she was vulnerable and their cruelty unwittingly started a chain of events that no one could have imagined.
One of the girls, Sue Snell, feels guilty and asks her boyfriend to take Carrie to the prom so that Carrie can have a magical evening. Another girl is less forgiving and plans what she believes will be the prank of a lifetime. The girls, and the town, are going to learn just how different Carrie really is. Carrie possesses the rare power of telekinesis and the prank just may push her over the edge to get revenge in a way in which no one else possibly ever could.
“Carrie” is Stephen King’s first novel and it shows. The writing is not really all that polished and the storytelling is a little choppy at times. Part of this is due to the novel being largely told in a way that is largely recollections of the people involved as well as research into telekinesis and the investigation into what happened on prom night. This allows King to look at the story from varying perspectives but also keeps it from being a smooth flowing narrative.
What the novel lack in polish, however, it makes up for in the power of the story. While I have been a King fan since I first read one of his books, there has been a definite transition in his works. The King of today is a much more polished writer but his storytelling has been excellent since the beginning. While his early works lack the polish of his more recent books, the resonance of his story in the reader’s mind has been strong since the beginning and is what first drove him to fame. This is in full display in “Carrie” s this is a very powerful story. “Carrie” is an original novel and one that has proven that it can stand the test of time. If you have never read the novel before, do yourself and favor and do so. While there have been several movies made based on the story, and I will have reviews for these movies up soon, none of them fully captures the novel.