Review: Carrie by Stephen King

October 30, 2013

Author: Stephen King
Publisher: Pocket Books
Year: 1974
ISBN: 9781416524304
Rating: ★★★★☆
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But hardly anybody ever finds out that their actions really, actually, hurt other people! People don’t get better, they just get smarter. When you get smarter you don’t stop pulling the wings off flies, you just think of better reasons for doing it.

― Stephen King, Carrie

This is a story about a girl’s revenge against all those who have tormented her,all her life. They say that revenge is a dish best served cold but her revenge is so chilling that no one could have ever imagined its consequences.

I have never been one for horror movies or books and hence am not a big fan of Stephen King’s books. But when I came across an article about the movie Carrie which is to be released soon, I was curious enough to try the book. I ended up surprised and found myself wondering why I hadn’t given Stephen King’s books a second look before.

Sixteen year old Carrietta White (Carrie) has been bullied and ostracized all her life – by her repressive religious fanatic of a mother, cruel and overtly mean classmates and even a small kid of 7 who lives across the street, which basically makes up all the people in her life. This makes her a social misfit, shy and a societal oddity. But she is also gifted with a special power, a power so special that when mishandled, it could lead to disastrous consequences. And that is exactly what happens when a certain event that occurs on the Prom night, pushes her to the brink.

Stephen King’s writing style in this book, which is incidentally his first novel to be published, is pleasantly simple and unpretentious, making it an easy read. It makes you empathize with Carrie and identify with her character – haven’t we all been there at least once in our school life? This book is partly epistolary in nature because even though some part of the narration comes from Carrie, it also consists of police investigation reports, various people’s accounts on what happened, excerpts from newspaper articles etc. that are used to connect the dots. It is divided into three parts – the lead-up, the main event and its repercussions. The story is a fast paced one and keeps you hooked. It’s no wonder that four movie adaptations (including a sequel) and a Broadway musical of this book have been made since it was published.

You also get a glimpse of the ugly side of school life – bullying. Kids get reeled into this world of drama where they fail to see humaneness and opt to take the easy but cruel way to make friends and impress them. Everybody sees Carrie with dislike and loathing but what they don’t see is a simple girl who is misunderstood, who can sew beautiful dresses and who dreams about having the perfect prom just like any other girl. This book is another reminder of the saying ‘Everything is not what it looks like’.

Verdict – I wouldn’t call this book a classic but if you are in search of a quick but engaging page turner, then I would recommend this book to you. It won’t give you nightmares but will leave you a little sad.

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Vanathi Parthasarathi

Vanathi Parthasarathi

Writer at IndiaBookStore
Love to read and have been reading since 5. Amatuer photographer and experimental cook! One of the best things in the world, according to me, is the smell of the pages in a book!
Vanathi Parthasarathi

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