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Carrie, where do I begin..

Discussion in 'Carrie' started by ErikC, Sep 10, 2014.

  1. ErikC

    ErikC Member

    Oh man where do I began with Carrie. I guess ill start by saying that every now and then a book comes along and violently blind sides you, its words triggering a monumental shift in your thinking like a magical incantation. You never see it coming, but when it does it ruthlessly plows through your mind smashing concepts into dust and turning on lights. In the end It leaves you reeling, confused and suddenly questioning everything. Such a book changes you, and in a way becomes a part of who you are.

    Thats how Carrie was for me and Ill tell you why if you have the patience. I was just a kid when I read it. It was the first non kids book I ever read and once I started I couldnt put it down. As the story of Carrie revealed itself to me i remember feeling a sliver of disquiet, like I was doing something wrong.

    As I came to understand the plot that sliver of disquiet flared into full blown anxiety. Carrie is a simple and unapologetically brutal story about a victimised girl who finally says "enough", she takes a stand and holds those who harmed her accountable, and that scared me for some reason. But I continued reading regardless. Uncomfortable or not I suddenly felt this powerful compulsion to finish it. I had this overwhelming certainty that there was something in the story I needed to see, something important between the lines. So, grabbing a flash light I crawled into the small storage space under the stairs, shut the door and continued to read.

    My anxiety grew as I read through the first half. I knew there was something there, something crucial, I needed to understand but for the life of me I couldnt grasp it. I remember feeling a sense of panic at this point. I was afraid I would miss it or get caught by my uncle for reading and never get to finish. At this point I was no longer reading a fiction, i was reading a survival manual though I didnt know why.

    Then, half way through the story it hit me. Anger, I was suddenly angry at the people who abused Carrie, angry because they where wrong, and because Carrie didnt deserve it. By the time I finished the book I felt shaken and confused. The confusion came from my anger, because in my world abuse was a normal part of day to day life. I never even considered the possibility that it was wrong for them to treat me that way, or that it didnt happen to everybody, untill now.

    Being kicked around was normal and expected, but more than that it was the only way I got attention. Now that I knew it was wrong i found myself afraid it would stop. Because that would mean getting no attention at all, leaving me ignored and alone.

    Being a kid, I ignorantly believed that the physical abuse would stop once I told them it was actually wrong. So when I finally worked up the courage to tell them as much it went over like a turd in punch bowl. I quickly discovered I didnt need to worry about being ignored because after our talk they paid a LOT of attention to me. That beating was the worse I ever caught, but it was also the first time it made me angry. Needing an escape, I read Carrie again and my eyes where opened even more.

    Eventually the beatings stopped, I got big enough to hit back, and as they say, the rest is history. I owe a lot to Stephen King for writing that book. Not only did It showe me that people didnt have the right to be abusive or disrespectful towards, it opened my eyes and encouraged me to stand up for myself.

    Sorry for the rant, I just wanted to share my experience with Carrie.

    So my question to you is this, have you experienced anything similar with a book? If so which one?

  2. Walter Oobleck

    Walter Oobleck keeps coming back...or going, and going, and going

    Was it Rosencrantz...or Guildenstern...who said I prefer art to mirror life? Both dead. And one or the other said something else. Hearts in Atlantis. The story is a confirmation of what I began to suspect a number of years after the fact, the lessons coming in the form of story, this story containing a number of phrases that are a part of that lesson, ideas that are repeated and worth noting. But each heart knows its own misery and no one else can share its joy. A shame, really, that life is that way...something to consider.
  3. carrie's younger brother

    carrie's younger brother Well-Known Member

    I read Carrie back when it was first published in paperback and have reread it many times over the years. Having lived through 4 years of high school bullying, I highly identified with Carrie White. SK's prose and storytelling in Carrie got me through high school and I still have a very soft spot in my heart to this day for Carrie White and her legend.
  4. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    I, too, endured verbal and physical abuse at the hands of my 'peers' in high school. I readily identified with Carrie White. I didn't have an overtly religious-crazed Mother, but still felt aliented and misunderstood by her. There are alot of parallels running thru that book and my life. Thank you for sharing your story with all of us, Eric. May you be able to heal the wounds that others inflicted upon you during your youth. Stay cool.
  5. ErikC

    ErikC Member

    Thank you for the kind words. Fortunately the bulling stopped once I entered high school. The shy funny looking red head had turned into an angry and aggressive stranger with a short fuse. I even changed my appearance in an effort to be as intimidating as possible. Shaved my head, wore clothes that showed off all the muscle I put on building fences during the summer, walked around with my fists clenched, staring down anybody who looked at me sideways. By that time I was so angry with the world that I didn't want to make friends. All I wanted was to be left alone, and I wanted everybody to be afraid of me. Thankfully this attitude didnt push me to bully others, but it did get me into trouble when I started getting into fights, shouting at teachers and being an all around a**. I had just returned from being expelled when I met a Marine recruiter on campus and decided that was what I wanted for my future. Having a goal for myself helped and after a while I started to relax a little. I even made a few friends my senior year right before shipping out for Boot camp.

    Yet through all of this I still brought my copy of Carrie with me everywhere I went. I knew it front to back and didn't read it anymore, but having it with me brought me comfort. Its strange how a book can have such a hold on someone.

    I hope that one day I will write a book that helps someone like Carrie helped me. I wonder how authors like Stephen King would feel if they saw the profound impact their work has on some people.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...outstanding share man...thanks for your service as well!...I think Unca Steve is well aware of the profound impact he has had on millions, though the true depth may escape him...we all have our touchstones in his work, and have been blessed because of them...I haven't had the life change because of him...but my life has certainly been enriched because he has shared his gift with me...
  7. Cristian M

    Cristian M Well-Known Member

    are you a Marine ?
    blunthead, GNTLGNT, champ1966 and 3 others like this.
  8. staropeace

    staropeace Richard Bachman's love child

    I have gotten bullying much. Maybe , because I just did not care...and they knew that.
    doowopgirl, Neesy, blunthead and 4 others like this.
  9. champ1966

    champ1966 Well-Known Member

    The one SK character I can relate to most is Ritchie Tozier, hence my tag line "way to go banana heels". The way Richie is with Henry Bowers is me to a t. I was very slight at school, at least 2 years immature for my age.
    now I'm about 30 years immature for my age of 48 ;)
    . I was the school clown (a trait that has followed me into my adult life) I took great pleasure in taunting the school bullys. I took a few kickings for my troubles, and soon got a reputation for not been able to make cry. I would always get up and laugh in their faces. My attitude has always been you can't loose a fight where you are the under dog. They, the big bullies have everything to lose. I always think of myself an honorary member of "The Losers Club". Buy hey they were the winners in my eyes.
    doowopgirl, skimom2, Neesy and 4 others like this.
  10. champ1966

    champ1966 Well-Known Member

    Peee esss. I think the best song about bullying has got to be Small Town Boy by Bronski Beat

    here's some of the lyrics -

    "Pushed around and kicked around,always a lonely boy.You were the one that talked about around town,as they put you down.And as hard as they would try,they'd hurt to make you cry. But you never cried to them,just to your soul. No you'd never cry to them just to your soul"

    Just brought a tear to my eye typing that. Well that's my reputation gone ;)
    doowopgirl, Neesy, blunthead and 4 others like this.
  11. carrie's younger brother

    carrie's younger brother Well-Known Member

    Thanks for posting champ.
    Spent many a night at clubs dancing to that song in the 80s but always keeping in mind what the lyrics were talking about. While the bullying was over by that time in my life the "scars" were still healing. I think that was something a lot of us club goers shared back in the 80s and we were expressing it in the music we listened to, art and the way we dressed.
    doowopgirl, Neesy, blunthead and 3 others like this.
  12. champ1966

    champ1966 Well-Known Member

    Absolutely loved the album"Age of Consent" . Got it on vinyl up in the loft. Will download it from iTunes this week. Haven't listened the full album in over 25 years. One of the many openly gay British groups to emerge in the early 80's.Great music from the likes of Soft Cell,Yazoo,Erasure, Frankie Goes to Hollywood and Culture Club. To name just a few.
  13. champ1966

    champ1966 Well-Known Member

    My pleasure CYB.
    Neesy, blunthead, kingricefan and 2 others like this.
  14. prufrock21

    prufrock21 Well-Known Member

    Carrie was my first time with Stephen King and I've never been the same.
    doowopgirl, Neesy, blunthead and 5 others like this.
  15. That's lovely. I think everyone wants their first time to be special.
    doowopgirl, Neesy, blunthead and 4 others like this.

    GNTLGNT The idiot is IN

    ...and King was still smoking then, so plenty of tobacco for the afterglow...
    Doc Creed, doowopgirl, Neesy and 4 others like this.
  17. kingricefan

    kingricefan All-being, keeper of Space, Time & Dimension.

    I had forgotten all about Soft Cell. They went kind of to the dark side in the later albums i.e the song 'Sex Dwarf', etc. but still made great music! Love Yazoo (called simply Yaz here in the US)!
    skimom2, Neesy, GNTLGNT and 2 others like this.
  18. champ1966

    champ1966 Well-Known Member

    Soft Cell had some beauties, "Bedsit Land" is probably my favourite.
    Neesy, GNTLGNT, blunthead and 2 others like this.
  19. Dana Jean

    Dana Jean Reformed Dirty Pirate Hooker Moderator

    Is Soft Cell the one that did Tainted Love?
    Doc Creed, doowopgirl, Neesy and 5 others like this.
  20. carrie's younger brother

    carrie's younger brother Well-Known Member

    Neesy, GNTLGNT, blunthead and 2 others like this.

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