Who can believe that Carrie is 40? Certainly not me. Carrie was actually the second book of Stephen King’s that I read – the first being “The Stand” and when I think back I can still remember the impact of it. I was the right age – at “High School” myself when I read it, looking around me at the social groups, the popular kids and the geeks, small batches of “different” kids who seemed to attract the bullies like moths to a flame. A difficult time of life for any young adult, including one must allow, those who seem to have it all.
Then there was Carrie. In Carrie Mr King explores these themes of course, Carrie is “different”. She has a difficult home life, she lacks confidence in herself and she is a girl who draws the darker side of humanity to her. Here is someone that the majority can look down on, tease mercilessly, make life hell for, and presumably walk away back to their little gangs having proven their superiority. Happens all the time, and sadly will probably never change. Carrie really is different though – in this story she is ultimately no pushover. Any person who has ever been bullied will relate to the wish that they could fight back. And of course Mr King being who he is, Carrie’s revenge is devastating, violent and absolutely unrelenting.
This is not one of Stephen King’s best novels for me. It was one of his early ones that foreshadowed the amazing things to come however. And the fact that even now, thinking back, I remember absolutely all my feelings during the experience – the sympathy for Carrie, the hatred of what is happening to her and ultimately the grim satisfaction at the outcome, despite innocents getting caught up in it, tells you the absolute power of this short but entirely brilliant and compelling novel.
King for a reason. Oh yes indeed.
Read it. Live it. Love it. Feel it.
Happy Reading Folks!