Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Summary: from Amazon
Carrie White is no ordinary girl.
Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis.
To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie – the first
step towards social acceptance by her high school colleagues.
But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she
is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her . . .
I read my first Stephen King book, The Outsider, earlier this year and really enjoyed it. So I wanted to start tackling some of his extensive back catalogue and I decided to begin with Carrie mostly because it is a story that has always intrigued me. It’s a relatively short book, especially by King’s standards, so I finished it in a couple of days and it definitely packed a punch.
Firstly, I have to say that the language and dialogue in Carrie is understandably a little dated. The novel was first published in the 1970s so it is to be expected that some aspects of the story don’t exactly feel current but I was also surprised by how much of it did actually feel quite relevant. The cruelty that teenagers are capable of is well documented in fiction and in reality and it always manages to shock me. If I’m being totally honest I did feel that in Carrie, King places a great deal of blame on girls in the story. Of course teenage girls can be cruel but so can teenage boys, sometimes more so and I just felt that wasn’t made as clear as it could have been. The strongest emotion I felt reading this book was overwhelming sympathy for it’s titular character. King’s brutal writing makes the reader feel horror at the way Carrie is continuously mocked and humiliated but also puts the reader in the uncomfortable position of making them question whether they would have stepped in and done something to help Carrie when they were a teenager. The book is written in an unusual and effective manner with alternating points of view as well as book/journal excerpts and police interviews. This structure gives a wide spectrum of conflicting opinions which works hugely in the book’s favour.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed reading Carrie. King’s writing is so engaging and biting, the characters are fascinating and the ending leaves a lasting impact. I’m definitely looking forward to reading more of King’s work. I’m not sure which one to try next so if you have any recommendations then please fire away in the comments!