Here I begin my journey of reviewing every Stephen King book and movie (and sequels) that I can find. I will be reviewing every book in the order that it was published. I will review every movie that is based on that book and any sequel or remake of the movie I can get. Also keep in mind some of the reviews will have some spoilers and I will let you know when a spoiler is approaching. The first book I will review is Carrie.
Note: I read this book back in February when I was starting this project so forgive me if it is not in depth as I would like it. Future ones will be better.
What grand opening scene do I get when starting my review on every book of the master of horror Stephen King? Is it some horrendous monster that preys on the fears of everyone? Is it a psychotic killer on the loose? No the opening of my journey through the writings of Stephen King begin in a high school girls shower room where a girl named Carrie White gets her first period and the other girls start making fun of her and throwing tampons and pads at her.
Yes my friends this is my introduction to the world of Stephen King. As different of an opening this is, it is actually a strong opening. Carrie is a book about a high school girl who is unattractive, always gets bullied and made fun of, and has an overly religious mother. Oh and Carrie happens to possess telekinetic powers. The opening is strong because we get a feel of Carrie. We feel the pain she has of being bullied and made fun of. We get a glimpse of her background by the fact she did not know what a period was and how her over religious mother never told her. We also get signs of her telekinetic powers.
This strange but powerful opening keeps the readers engaged into the story to see what happens to this girl. The book is written in a way that would be unfamiliar to many seasoned Stephen King fans. It switches between writings from newspapers, books and interviews about the incident that takes place in the book to the actual story. To some readers this can cause annoyance or confusion. While I did not have issues with the writing format employed here by Stephen King, I did not particularly care for it. However, the story did engage me to read further so that was good.
The story details the events from the shower incident until the night of the school prom exploring the new found telekinetic ability Carrie has developed and plans to humiliate Carrie at the prom. It details how a classmate (Sue Snell) that was mean to Carrie regrets what she did and has her boyfriend (Tommy Ross) take her to prom. While one of Carries biggest bullies (Chris Hargensen) who was the instigator of the shower incident hatches a plan with her boyfriend (Billy Nolan) to dump pigs blood onto Carrie. This leads to fiery and destructive climatic ending that you will have to read where Carrie goes on a rampage from all the abuse she received from her classmates and her mother.
This book I find to be an excellent read and is just as relevant today as it was in 1974 when it was published. The main themes that I took from the book are abuse and being bullied. The mother abused Carrie so much in an over religious manner. She would lock Carrie under the stairs with religious items as punishment. This could go on for days. Stephen King received some flak for the mother character as they thought he was making fun of religion. I dont think he was but even if he was it is true there are some people like that in the real world that I have known personally.
Bullying is a major driving point to the book. Today bullying is in the media a lot and there are major programs out there to help stop bullying. Almost every week I hear something on the news or some show about bullying. People are bullying at school and even on social media. I hear of deaths or suicides from bullying. I know that bullying has been around forever, I mean I ran into a few bullies in my life, but has it become worse? Has kids just become more hateful and mean? Has social media and the internet increased bullying? Maybe I will write a blog post on bullying in the future. That is why Carrie is just as relevant today as it was when it was first published. Not only is it a good story but it mirrors many themes that are hot news items today and makes you think.
Overall Carrie is a good book and an interesting read. While the style Stephen King chooses to write the story in is not the best choice I feel like it is a great read. The characters are engaging, the story incites an emotional response and of course you do have the detailed descriptive writing Stephen King is known for. While the fear factor of the story is minimal (except the fear of what society can do to people and produce) it still has elements of the super natural and violence. The novel is also very short for a quick read. I give this opening book by Stephen King three stars out of five and recommend it to anyone interested in Stephen Kings early work or like emotion grabbing books.
Moral: Dont bully or abuse people. Not only is it wrong but the person might telekinetic and your prom might be the last event of your life if you do.
That is my first review of Stephen King books. I have three movies to watch and review about Carrie that will be posted to the blog. It is a movie, a sequel to the movie and a remake. Also at the end of the blog I will have a tracker of the final ratings of each book or movie I reviewed to see what books I liked or didnt like. Thanks for reading and please leave some feedback or comments. Did you read the book? If so what are your thoughts on it? What are your thoughts on the themes I expressed above? I want to hear from you so let me know and comment below.
You can buy the book and read up on information about it here.