For a beginner writer like me, Carrie is an inspirational book. Carrie was Stephen King’s first breakthrough. I remember reading about it in On Writing, SK was surprised when a publisher decided to buy his book. He had been living by selling short stories before Carrie was published.

I have seen the movie ages ago and didn’t know it was by SK, my first realization of SK’s work was when I saw Thinner. That movie fascinated me and made me wanted to know more about SK. I have forgotten the details and the full story of Carrie, all I could remember was it was about a girl who was the joke of the school, she ended up killing everyone in her school with her telekinetic power. Now that I have read the book, I wanted to see the movie again.

As I have said before, I always read introduction or afterword in SK’s books because SK always shared interesting bits about the book and he always wrote it as if he was talking directly to the readers. SK revealed that Carrie was written based on his school days. Back then, there was two girls who used to be the school’s laughing stock, SK never participated in torturing both girls but he didn’t do anything either…he was after all still a teenager.

I will not call either by her true name here; they were unfortunate in life and do not deserve to be chewed over, even in such humble introduction as this, in death.  I will call one of them Tina White and the other Sandy Irving.
Neither girl -fortunately or unfortunately- had Carrie White’s wild talent. Neither made it through high school , nor saw the age of thirty.
Sometimes-quite often in fact- I wish that Tina and Sandy were alive to read it.
Or their daughters.

Carrie is a good book for high school students and teachers, the book might talk about revenge and murder but it also talked about the consequences of bullying. Fortunately, such act rarely, very very rare, happened in my schools. There was one incident at my previous school but teachers and staffs ended the action straight away. As a teacher, and used to be a student too, I never understand why students like to bully the one that looks different…it’s a ridiculous act.

Carrie was different because she had unusual mother. Parents often determined the behavior of their children. Carrie’s mother was what I like to call as religious freak, this kind of people always exist in any religion, whatever the religion is. Margaret believed that everything that related to lust is sinful. She often locked Carrie in the closet when Carrie had done something bad, bad in her own definition.  Carrie must pray for her salvation in that closet. One day, when she was talking to her neighbor who was only wearing bikini, Margaret forced her to go to her closet. But Carrie refused to do so and ended up sending rain of stones into their house. She forgot about that as she grew up.

Carrie had her period, for the first time, at the age of 17. She knew nothing about menstruation and was laughed by other girls, they threw tampons and sanitary napkins at her. That incident was the trigger of all bad things that would soon befall upon Chamberlain, Maine.

One thing led to another, one nice girl was trying to help Carrie to atone her guilt while the other trying to ruin Carrie in the worst possible way. These two girls with different intention toward Carrie ended up making one hell of a mess. Carrie who had found out about her power could no longer stay still, she had to pay them all back to what they had done to her.

Carrie might not be a book with new kind of story, we can find many books about bullying…but for a first book, Carrie was really well done. I like the way SK inserted bits of newspaper articles, interviews and books written on Carrie’s incident. He made it as if the destruction of Chamberlain by Carrie White was a true event. Those inserted articles gave us interesting insight on the prom night incident. I also like how things related to Carrie’s ability were revealed little by little through those articles. I can see how a publishing company became interested with the book from a new writer like Stephen King.

Now…I am looking for the movie, I’d love to have another viewing of the movie. I hope I can find it.

Book Details:

Title: Carrie
Author: Stephen King
Language: English
Pages: 253 pages
Publisher: Simon & Schuster, Inc

23 thoughts on “Carrie

    1. How lucky that you have found SK since you were kid. I discovered SK and the joy of reading his books when I was in college.

      I have got the movie, will try to watch it this weekend 🙂

  1. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie. However, after reading the motivations behind it, I am interested in it. I moved to a new high school in a different state when I was a teen. I wasn’t bullied, but it was a difficult adjustment and some of the kids made it more difficult. Thanks for the info!

  2. The original 1976 movie version of “Carrie” with Sissy Spacek was really, really good…. especially that very end part where Sue has that dream about her. That scared me silly when I first saw it. It wasn’t exactly like the book if I remember it, but it was a good adaption…..

    I didn’t like the sequel or the 2002 remake at all though… There’s also supposed to be a new remake being made, but I haven’t seen too much about it yet.

    1. I really don’t remember the movie but I have got it and will definitely see it tonight. I am so curious about. I hope I don’t mind with the changes as much as The Shining. I can see parts of the book that can’t be translated to movie.

      The sequel is called Rage, right? I am indifferent toward it. Hmmm…a remake? for old movies, I can forgive remake 😉

      1. The one of his earlier books that I really liked was “Salem’s Lot”/b> with the vampires…. very scary… and so much better than the movie versions. If you haven’t read that one yet, it is really worth it!!

        1. I have read Salem’s Lot, in fact that was one of the first books by SK that I reviewed here, it was either CELL or Salem’s Lot was my first.

          I am not really into vampire stories but I do enjoy some good ones like Salem and the movie I have just reviewed, Let the right one in.

  3. I read this after having read On Writing and it’s still the only book I have read by Stephen King. It did impress me. I thought it captured a lot so well, the bullying, the religious fanatism, growing up. The only reason why I didn’t read more of him is the length of his books.
    I think considering when this was written, it’s highly orginal. I’m not so sure many people wrote about bullying before him.

    1. ah yes I can understand that…funny thing is some of his best works are in super thick books, such as The Stand and Under The Dome which are over 1000pages.

      Now that you have mentioned it, you might be right…the book was written and published before I was born, at that time books about bullying might not be as much as nowadays. Maybe that’s why they were so eager to buy Carrie. in the 70s, to have 400thousand dollars for a book royalty was huge.

    1. You should try reading it James, it’s really good. The way he wrote bits of information in the middle of the story is really interesting.
      I also like Salem’s Lot and Needful Things, but I like Needful Things more. I haven’t read The Tommyknockers yet,I will one day. Talking about books I want to read, I honestly want to read yours too…but I haven’t seen it yet. I need to visit the biggest bookstore in my city one of these days.
      Thank you for stopping by James and Dennis.

    1. Hi Sam,it’s nice to see you stopping by here 🙂
      It is an interesting book, I have just seen the movie and honestly, it’s a better interpretation than The Shining.

  4. There is something very unsettling about this film and the book it’s based on. I read the book before I saw the film so my expectations were very high. I think if it was remade today it would probably make a more interesting film but then then Sissy Spacek defined that role so it’s hard to imagine anyone else playing it. Thanks for this Novia!

    1. I agree with you Ronan!!
      The book was really brutal but themovie was from from being closed to the book,I guess it was because of the year it was made…but Spacek was indeed incredible.
      I can’t wait to share my review but there are a lot more post in waiting list before I can post Carrie.
      Thank you for stopping by Ronan.

  5. I had recently watched the film as I have been collecting some of my fave movies on DVD. I was shocked that the film was still so impressive and potent some 30 years later. I had read the book after seeing the movie and feel the film was a very good adaptation. If you never new someone who had an overbearring mother or went to a high school where you were mocked if you didn’t have the latest fashions and followed the latest trends, you probably won’t understand how well DePalma captured that feeling in the movie and more importantly how King relayed those feelings in the book.

    1. I have seen the movie too,recently. I agree with you,it was really well done, although lack of special effect but the emotion was really there. It was a far better adaptation compare to The Shining, IMO.
      I have never had an overbearing mother (Thank God for that) nor being mocked at school…Indonesian schools aren’t like US, we have uniform (another Thank God for that)…but I can understand perfectly the feeling SK and DePalma were trying to convey.

      Thank you for sharing your thought Michael.

  6. I love Carrie and the fact that it is King’s first published work is a great way for anyone to get started with his stuff. I love the movie too but do think the book is better. Hope you manage to find a copy of the movie to view. I think I managed to watch it recently by getting it at the library (if I am not mistaken). I know they run it on television sometimes too. Thanks for being part of The Stephen King Project!

    1. Hi Katleen…thank you for hosting this great reading event. I have loved SK for years. My first movie was Thinner and somehow it fascinated me and made me want to read his book. I read Bag of Bones afterward, it was my first book.

      I have seen Carrie 🙂
      …and yes, the movie lacks of destruction but Spacek was amazing, she totally embodied Carry.

      Thank you for stopping by Katleen 🙂

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