Published by Doubleday on April 5, 1974
Goodreads: ★★★ 1/2
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…
One of my lifelong goals is to read Stephen King’s work in publishing order, and I finally began my quest with Carrie upon finding a vintage and battered copy at a library book sale. While I knew the general story of Carrie already, I was still interested in reading the book. Carrie is a very quick and easy read, as the novel is under 300 pages. The story is immediately captivating. I really liked how the book is written. The story is written in the third person, and follows Carrie and her high school classmates. At the same time, the story is intermixed with fictional books and news articles that look back upon Carrie and her life. It makes the story feel real, and I wished I could go and read more from those fictional secondary sources.
While the writing is intriguing and flows well at the beginning, the story gets a bit jumbled at the end of the novel. The cadence of the book is upset towards the end, which definitely took away from the reading experience for me. That being said, Carrie is a debut novel, and I think it is a solid debut notwithstanding the disorganized writing.
Moreover, Carrie deals with the real life issue of bullying in a way that I’ve never read. It is so sad to see how Carrie’s classmates terrorize her, and it’s also sad to think that this bulling still occurs today over forty years later. Carrie is such a sympathetic character, and it is truly heart-wrenching to see how she is treated by her peers.
In the same way, Carrie’s mother is also a horrifying character. She is a fundamentalist Christian, and abuses Carrie. It is quite thought-provoking that King surrounds Carrie, the supposed monster, with such terrible people. It makes a great statement about what truly makes one good versus evil.
Overall, I enjoyed Carrie and am glad I decided to read King’s work in publishing order. It will be great to see the evolution of his writing over time. If you haven’t read Carrie I definitely recommend it despite the lackluster writing at the end of the novel. It is, of course, a well-known novel, and the bullying theme is an important one. I look forward to continuing on with King’s novels, and will be sure to share my thoughts on each in the future!
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