Book Review: Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie: King, Stephen: 9780307743664: Books

Title: Carrie

Author: Stephen King

Genre: Horror

Number of Pages: 290

Rating: B

Recommended?: Yes

Poor Carrie. Every single aspect of her life sucks. When she has one tiny bit of hope dangled in front of her and then snuffed out, is it a surprise to anyone that she snaps?

Confession time: I’m not a huge fan of Stephen King’s writing. I’ve read several of his books and some of his prose is just so damn hokey, and Carrie is no exception. There are moments where the writing gets melodramatic to a almost laughable level, but the story and the main character are still really compelling. I was really surprised in Stephen King’s book On Writing when he said he didn’t feel any sympathy for Carrie’s character. I’d think it would be impossible not to, the girl is such a tragic figure it was hard for me to see her as a ‘villain.’

She was a casualty like the hundreds of people who died on that fateful prom night. I really liked the excerpts from fictional books about Carrie and the havoc she wrecked in retrospect. I’ve never read a book that did that before and I thought it was pretty cool. It created a sense of ‘reality’ around the events. I also liked the stuff that wasn’t in either of the movies, like Carrie beginning to develop telepathic abilities along with her telekinesis.

I think the book is better than the movies (though the classic version with Sissy Spacek is obviously far superior to the remake with Chloe Grace Moretz in almost every respect) because it takes you into the main character’s head. Even though it’s written in third person the way it portrays her vulnerability coupled with her growing powers is compelling and even though I didn’t think the book was scary, it does skillfully create a feeling of heart-wrenching human tragedy as well as bitter inevitability.

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