CarrieTitle: Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Genre: Horror
Published: 1974

2 weeks before the round one of 4Rs Challenge closed, I realized that I haven’t even decided what to read for the Challenge. If you remember I had done a post on it where I had listed all the horror books that were recommended. I had asked for a few of those books in the bookstore but most were out of stock and a few were not even in their database. Stephen King’s name came up repeatedly. I had tried reading a short story collection by Stephen King once but remember not being very impressed by it. I tried reading one more ‘The Eyes of the Dragon’ which although I liked, was not enough to entice me to read more of his books.

So the point here is that I read Carrie only because of the 4Rs Challenge. I was recommended ‘The Pet Semetary-Stephen King’ by Jennifer and Sandy but out of all the books only that book was out of stock and I was in no mood to check out another bookstore. So I settled on Carrie which Shelby had recommended in the comments.

Let me start by saying, ‘What a book’. I loved it. Thankfully I hadn’t seen the movie and did not know much of the plot either, so I enjoyed this book thoroughly.

Carrie is the story of a 16 year old girl who is constantly tortured in her school and is always the object of jokes and ridicule. Her mother is a tyrant with twisted views on religion. She’s the reason why Carrie is never really able to fit into school. There is an incident in the locker room where Carrie is again a subject of ridicule but on a higher scale of embarrassment. It triggers a series of events which leads to what is called The Scene of the Crime, the Prom night.

Carrie has Telekinesis, a scientific condition where a person can move objects when particularly distressed or in anger. What happens at the Prom night is the culmination of everything. The book is told in present tense where we learn what exactly happened, and intermingled with the story are the various study reports, interviews and articles on Carrie’s condition-telekinesis, in which the scientists are more interested.

This book was a page turner and a great thriller. Although you come to know very early in the novel about what happened on Prom night, I didn’t feel it spoiled the book one bit. As I said this was more of a first rate thriller for me than a horror book. The only thing that scared me a little was the picture of Carrie on the back cover.

That said I did find the book a little unsettling. I found her mother very unsettling because I’m sure there could be women like her in this world and being even 50% like her would be an awful thing. I appreciated the writing style and Stephen king’s ability to get into the mind of a 17 year old. I’m definitely going to look for more books by Stephen King, may be I’ll see if Pet Semetary is available.

4.5 out of 5 stars. Thank you so much to everyone who recommended me books for the 4Rs Challenge, I will definitely get to them at some point.

Some interesting bits:
–It is one of the most frequently banned books in United States schools and the film version was banned in Finland.
–Carrie is the first Stephen King novel to be published.
–He wrote this book because some woman said, ‘You write all those macho things, but you can’t write about women.’ I said, ‘I’m not scared of women. I could write about them if I wanted to.’
–Finally, he says about Carrie-“In retrospect it reminds me of a cookie baked by a first grader—tasty enough, but kind of lumpy and burned on the bottom”.

In fact, go read the entire Wikipedia article if you have already seen the movie or read the book. It’s very interesting.