My review of Carrie, the novel

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Well-Known Member
Dec 27, 2007
There are few writers that can capture the imagination of their readers as well as Stephen King. Carrie is, as told by Stephen, a rough and raw novel written by a younger writer whose craft is taking form. But if books are judged by the level of visceral tenacity and wild idea-slinging, Carrie ranks highly in the halls of fiction.

The yarn, if one considers a pulp-like horror story as such, lies between deep western boogie myth and an admittedly unpolished slant on the effects of ridicule on the female psyche. It will win very little approval from literature critic circles but it possesses more of the deeper truths than most books would ever have. That speaks of pure boldness, almost as if Stephen King has a bead on the topic like someone having a feud.

His heart and mind knows paranoia and yet he feels at home, or even in the right place, when darkness is involved. We feel for the awkwardness of Carrie, and in a high school setting where that almost always equates to social outcasting, creating a tense, invoking scenario that unfolds and captures.

At first glance, the clunky nature of the ideas does force the reader to perceive them as afterthoughts, not constructed in any sort of coherent logic, but they do provide a glimpse into a writer’s workings. The seeming explanations for Carrie’s awkwardness in school, with the rigid religious beliefs of her parents being a large part, are not as concrete in the way Thriller novels explain, but mostly vague clouds that form a shape of terror. It is a tribute to Clive Barker or Jack Ketchum’s school where terror lies there’s always a source of grief.

The grief is in many ways a precursor to the actions of the characters, whether good or bad, and belies the pragmatism of these Stephen King books. The cause and effect of what these characters do are rooted in grief, and sometimes guilt. Some express them in anger-like Carrie herself- and some in repentant resolve, but as in real life, but people never have great vision, or a sense they would get there in the end, spurring a microscopic view of a realist’s ideal that life is unexpected and sometimes cruel.

The climax and the ending may have been constructed with more technical aplomb but it really carried on the record that Stephen King already had set in place. The book must end in darkness and despair, but even he had the sensitivity to inject a little hope, or at least a movement of progress to the future, a grim future that our dull reality could well have hidden. A worthy piece of reprieve from terror written by the master of dark stories, has to be remembered even if it lacks literature credibility.


Oct 25, 2016
Hi I'm at the library and I might get cut off. I didn't actually have time to read what you wrote yet but I wanted to share my thoughts about Carrie too. I thought it was so real, I actually do think it really happened. Carrie didn't get told that her period blood was the old baby's bed, because her body makes a new bed each month. The nice chick really lent her boyfriend, but got no respect from all the cruel catty bitches who wished they were that secure, and weren't. The pig blood dripped on her like the best joke ever, and poor Carrie was too surprised to laugh at the way her gorgeous expensive luxurious prom gown was toilet paper. She went home and murdered her mother who was too much for anyone to put up with anyway. Hope I'm remembering those events in order. Did the mom go before the prom...? I remember the movie and the knives pinning the mom to the doorway the way she deserved. I'll never forget my world religions highschool professor talking about how real life poltergeists are supposed to be upset teenagers. Zappo! Make that air move, world, and watch out! POLTER POWER ACCESS REALITY I just typed that to scare you! Heh. One minute to go. Tell me all. *love* TIKI


Bella Donna
Aug 21, 2009
This is one of my favorite King books. I could empathize with the protagonist because I was a misfit in middle school and high school. My family was also quite religious.


New Member
Aug 2, 2018
The book is definitely better than the movie - nothing can be compared with King's manner of writing. But Brian De Palma did his best while shooting that film, no doubt.