Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Carrie By Stephen King

Release Date: 1974
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Paperback
Pages: 242
Synopsis: Carrie White has a gift - 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...
Review: Carrie is the very first novel Stephen King ever wrote. It's consists of a very intriguing idea that just works so well with King's writing style. The basis of the novel is about a girl with the gift of telekinesis, that in itself is a very common theme in books but what makes Carrie unique is how King gives the gift to a bullied girl, and she will use this power against those who bully her. We see an innocent girl dragged to the dark side, this power is not just simply telekinesis, it changes your mind and your thoughts, you will never be yourself again. You will set out to harm and destroy all those who have done wrong to you. There is so much depth to the story that it isn't a simple paranormal story, no it is so much more. We have multiple point of views where the reader gets to know other characters and see how their actions pushed Carrie over the edge. From this debut novel you can tell King is a talented writer and would be successful and the modern day just proves it.
The novel begins where Carrie and her fellow students are in the showers after gym. Everyone ignores Carrie until she has her first period there and then. The thing is she doesn't know whats happening, she thinks shes bleeding to death. The shocked students mock her and throw things at her while Carrie remains hysterical. Things are broken up but this is the beginning of the end of Carrie. This is when she snaps. At home her mother abuses her and says she is the spawn of the devil. There is no one who cares for Carrie so she's left to her own devices and her telekinetic Powers. She tries to fit in and when she's asked to prom she thinks things are finally going right but she couldn't be more wrong.
Carrie is a weird character, at first you feel sorry for her because her mothers arrogance has left her blind to the world. But you soon begin to realise that there is darkness in her and she takes things a few steps further than just revenge. On the outside she is an image of innocents, with her religious ways and old clothes, but inside the darkness is seeping out, spilling over the edge. There's always been something different with Carrie, it was settled deep within her genes waiting to be released on the crescendo of puberty, when hormones take over.
There were other point of views too, one being Sue Snell, the popular girl who feels guilty about mocking Carrie, it is she who asks Tommy to take Carrie to the dance and because she sacrifices her place at the dance she survives. She was an annoying whiny girl who learnt that there are true horrors in the world and you won't always be safe in your cosy little town. We also get a few chapters from the eccentric mother of Carrie, Margaret White. There is something not exactly stable in her and its her harshness that has changed Carrie for the worse. During the novel we also get clippings from books and sections from police interviews which were all taken after the terrible events at the end of the novel, where the outside world tries to figure out what exactly went wrong.
The thing I find really interesting is how this all starts by Carrie's first period. I recently read that horror novels can be about anything that someone fears. It was only when reading this that I realised these fears can be simple things that are normally pushed to the back of your mind. Of course people have fears of insects or snakes but what about the subconscious fears that you reveal to no-one else? I think this book is about one. Right, I think most women would have, at some stage in their life worried that they would get their period at the most inconvenient and embarrassing times. Carrie plays on this fear at the start. The thing as well is I think we would all be embarrassed if that was us who had gotten their period in the shower but at the same time if we were the ones who witnessed it we would be so shocked and horrified that we would act irrationally. It's these fears that we never say out loud, that have more emotional power than those we will happily tell others. I don't know how King came up with the idea but It's an incredible one, that will leave women thinking.
Carrie is a horror novel that will leave your heart pumping at twice its normal speed. Your mind will be working overtime trying to figure out how this could have happened to such a sweet girl. It will change your opinions. It's a very interesting novel that I recommend reading. From Carrie you can see that Stephen King had a lot of potential in his debut novel.

1 comment:

  1. I agree, its a fabulous book, and one of King's best!


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