Carrie- Stephen King

Stephen King is one of the most recommended and loved horror novelists, until now I’d only seen two films based on King’s work, so as my first introduction to Stephen King’s novels I selected Carrie.

The first thing that hit me when I started reading Carrie was curiosity as to how similar the novel and film would be. But I quickly forgot about any kind of comparison; as the novel quickly had me engrossed in the narrative and compelled to keep reading right until the very end.Carrie The format of Carrie threw me at first, written from numerous perspectives, jumping between different time frames and interjections written in note format throughout- it certainly wasn’t your typical novel style, and not what I expected. Once passed the first few chapters I had gotten used to the flow of novel- I found the trick was to simply read it, not try to analyse it, not trying to remember what happened next in the film, and not trying to make the flow of events or how they are dictated; fit to any other written style.

I had high expectations for King’s narrative style, his reputation would not be what it is if he couldn’t deliver- and I was not disappointed. His attitude to Carrie’s story is extremely sympathetic, and his true skill in manipulating the reader really shines when by the end of the book it’s still Carrie White that the reader feels sorry for; despite all the death she causes.

Admittedly knowing the ending of the book was slightly disappointing but, reading the run up of events, finding out about Carrie’s history with her mother (much more than you get from the film) was very entertaining, it kept the novel grounded in a recognisable reality, despite its paranormal plot.
Carrie herself is a character which many readers would understand on some level, sharing some of her experiences and emotions and having that connection to the main character is what makes this novel more terrifying- the idea that perhaps you, the reader, could be as destructive a force as Carrie would make you think twice.

Overall Carrie was an enjoyable read, it may not have left me with nightmares but I’m certainly not complaining. The plot was gripping the twists were engaging and for the most part the characters were realistic and believable. If you’re considering trying King’s work I would recommend Carrie as the novel for dipping your toe into the horror genre.

© Gemma Feltham 13 June 2015

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22 Comments

Filed under Fiction, Horror, Supernatural

22 responses to “Carrie- Stephen King

  1. Reblogged this on akothwrites and commented:
    this is an excellent read

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  2. A wonderful novel, left a lot of emotions and impressions after reading !!

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  3. pronchers

    I have always felt, since I began reading King’s books, that it wasn’t so much the horror as it was the dark parts of American society, human society. Where there are people there will be love and fun and laughter and downright horror lurking there beneath it all.Stephen King catches all that.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’ve actually never read this one, I’ve seen the movie and the remake a million times but I am reluctant to read it, I don’t know why…maybe I am afraid I won’t like the movies as much anymore, or maybe I am afraid I won’t like the book.

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  5. Although I’ve read quite a few Stephen King novels I’ve never actually read “Carrie” because I remember the film so vividly, but I think you have persuaded me to give it a go. My favourite Stephen King is probably “The Stand” but it is doorstep-sized so you need a bit of time to get through it!

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  6. I think Stephen King is underrated. I think he gets a bad rap from the literati for being too popular, which is ridiculous.

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  7. I have been wanting to read this novel forever! Great review! Makes me want to go out and get the book immediately! 🙂

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  8. Great review! I’m thinking about picking this up sometime soon. The only King book I’ve read was Misery, which I loved, but I wanna get more experience with his books!

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  9. Reblogged this on MrsKirstyHoll and commented:
    I’ve not read any stephen king novels before – although I do currently have at least 1 on my ‘To read’ pile. Based on this review I need to read this book and the other one on my shelf!

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  10. I loved reading this book – you should try reading Firestarter!

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    • pronchers

      I read Firestarter many years ago and the image that sticks with me is of them hiding out by the lake, and the old guys in the store clustered around the stove. That’s what I love about King and that is America for me and that is what sells his work. The intricate and loving details. I should read it again.

      Liked by 2 people

  11. I think Carrie, The Shining and Room 1408 are my favourite of his works. King is one of the few authors whose books work equally well as films (though I haven’t actually seen 1408 – I think it would scare me too much)!

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  12. Very good topic, here, and after reading this I think I may blog a little bit about King myself. What I love about King is that he’s more than a Horror writer. Many of his best books are deeply involved human interest stories. As you say above, he writes about the dark side of humanity. Characters like Ace Merrill, Henry Bowers, and Carrie’s mother are at least as frightening as the monsters… if not more, because unlike the traditional monsters, they look like us. A lot of King’s best supernatural monsters also affect our psychology: IT preys on childhood fears, while the burial ground in “Pet Semetary” preys on grief, And stories like “The Body” and “Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption” show mastery of a completely different style of story.

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  13. I don’t know….”Under The Dome” kind of ruined King for me. Though Carrie is one of his old ones, so yeah, it’s probably better.

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  14. I saw the movie, but now I definitely need to read it. Thanks for the review!

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  15. You should read “Misery.” King really outdoes himself in that one. Great review!

    Lindsay Coleman
    https://untamedshrews.wordpress.com/

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  16. Thanks for the review! I’ve been thinking of starting up with Stephen King. I had no idea the format of this novel was from multiple perspectives, I love that kind of thing- will definitely have to give it a try!

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  17. Didn’t read it, great movie though

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  18. I chose Misery as my first Stephen King novel, maybe I’ll give Carrie a go next – have no idea how it ends having not seen the film either!

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  19. My first Stephen King novel was The Shining. One of the best books I have ever read. RedRum

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  20. I love all the New England details in Stephen King novels and that he writes such believable female characters… favorite books: Bag of Bones, the Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon and Lisey’s Story. Carrie(the 1970’s one) and The Shining are the only screen adaptations that did the novels any sort of justice.

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