Book Review: Carrie

Title: Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Rating: 
Genre: Horror, Fiction, Paranormal
Pages: 242
Published by: Hodder & Stoughton
Format: Paperback
Source: Personal Purchase

Goodreads Synopsis:

Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

 

My Thoughts:

Trigger warning for bullying.

This book is classified as horror, but lets talk about that for a second. The horror in this book isn’t like the horror you’d find in The Exrosist or anything dealing with demons, spirits or anything on that side on the paranormal world. It’s more akin to the horror you feel when reading about a horrible thing that happened to someone or watching the news display pictures of unfortunate countries. It’s the type of horror often occompanied by pity.

The story is told through a combination of third person narrative and article snippets written after the Big Event. Because the articles were written as an aftermath response, they sometimes mention something that was the result of the Big Event then following that article would be the third person narrative showing how it got to that point.

This combination of tell and show worked great! It kept things interesting. An article would mention something in passing with an everyone-knows-this tone, but you, the reader, would’ve been oblivious and waiting to see how it got to that point. In most books it’s usually the reader with the omniscient view, but in this book, the reader is waiting for things to be revealed.

I felt so sorry for Carrie, who’s been the butt of all jokes, who’s been humiliated and luaghed at throughout the years. The thing about this book is that there isn’t a specific villain. Would you concider Carrie the villain? It’s safe to say that Carrie shared some villainy traits. But I kept making excuses for her. Anyone who was bullied, who wasn’t accepted or loved would’ve broken eventually; it was inevitable. The only difference was that this time the one who broke had telekinetic abilities she didn’t fully control.
Excuses like that.
Maybe the mother was the villain. Or was it the bullies?

Something that stood out to me was how much blood there was in this book. It all started when Carrie got her first period, then there was the prank that included blood and then it ended with menstral blood. All the major points in the story included blood one way or another. I don’t know if it was intended to represent anything but upon thinking about it more, I like how the blood announced the beginning and ending for events in the book. So I guess it does signify something – for me a least.

On the Characters:

There doesn’t seem to be a safe place for Carrie White.
At school she is bullied and teased for being the black sheep of the herd. They see she dresses differently, she thinks differently and they all know about her mother. She’s different. She can feel it and so – it seems – can the other kids.
At the end of the day when she arrives home, she always feels a mixture of relief and anxiety. She’s not fully comfortable at home but at least it’s a place away from them.
Her mother, Margaret White, is a religous extremist who enforces her ways on Carrie. Carrie believes in God but knows there’s something off about the way her mother thinks.
Her mother believes women are sinners merely because of their gender. For example she believes that mensturation is the product of sin. She also believes breasts are only geiven to sinners and refers to them as “dirty pillows”. Yeah, thats right, “dirty pillows”. (She be cray.)

Margaret believes whole heartedly that she doesn’t sin. Except when she conceived Carrie. And she hates Carrie for that; a product of sin, a reminder, and a punishment.

I think its understandable to see Carrie snap after six-teen years of all of this. Only, because she has telekinesis, when she snapped, it wasn’t pretty.

On the Rating:

I think if I didn’t know what was going to happen I would’ve given it a higher rating but because I was familiar with this classic horrror story I did know the outcome. Overall I really enjoyed my time reading this and so I gave it three and a half stars.

 

Quotes from the Book:

  • “People don’t get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter you don’t stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it.”
  • “Sorry is the Kool-Aid of human emotions. It’s what you say when you spill a cup of coffee or throw a gutter ball when you’re bowling with the girls in the league. True sorrow is as rare as true love.”
  • “The low bird is not picked tenderly out of the dust by its fellows; rather, it is dispatched quickly and without mercy.”
  • “The over-all impression is one of a town that is waiting to die. It is not enough, these days, to say that Chamberlain will never be the same. It may be closer to the truth to say that Chamberlain will simply never again be.”
  • “High school isn’t a very important place. When you’re going you think it’s a big deal, but when it’s over nobody really thinks it was great unless they’re beered up.”
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