Christy Hails To The King: Carrie
[Reread] [3/5] [Spoilers]
Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…
“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.”
We started from the bottom, and we haven’t read the next book, so we’re still here.
At the beginning of this year, I decided that I wanted to read the master’s books in chronological order. I have reasons both as a writer, reader and general fan of Stephen King’s. This was the man that inspired a great deal of my writing and reading choices as a teenager, and he was absolutely and influence in the movies I watched as a child. I grew up on the rabied dog, the demonic car, and yes, even the bloody prom.
I actually put off doing this quite a few times because of the few books I’ve dreaded to read or reread. Carrie was one of those books.
My first time reading Carrie had been a while after I started reading King’s work. Carrie was probably the fifth or sixth book I read of his. Having been obsessed, Carrie was the first book of his that I was left feeling unsatisfied.
Carrie has never fully captured me as a book. I’m not sure if the knowledge that it wasn’t King’s favorite write has influenced that in my second reading, or even my own personal experience of having written a book that I wasn’t as sympathetic to the character and thus, not enjoying the book as others do, that keeps me from being able to relate or care for Carrie White or any other character. I find Carrie quite annoying, and I think King almost intends it to be that way. One of the few times I truly feel for Carrie is right before her own demise.
The first time I read Carrie, I remember thinking I didn’t like Carrie very much. It seemed strange because in a lot of ways, my school experience was very similar to Carrie’s. Thankfully, my mother wasn’t a religious psycho, but I was bullied quite a bit. I retreated within myself as a child.
I just never found a way to connect with Carrie. I don’t think you HAVE to connect with a main character to enjoy a book, and often I prefer characters that you love to hate and hate to love, but there was always something that just annoyed me with Carrie.
I’m also not a fan of the breaks in the book. The articles, the side notes about things written on desks and such broke my concentration quite a bit, and for a book as small as Carrie, that is a huge annoyance. Those bits feel as if King added them to simply make the Novel word count, but that’s just my view as a writer. It’s a tactic I know quite a few of us use to force a book into being something it isn’t.
Carrie feels like a book where King was held back.
Creatively, I do think it’s a very unique idea, and one that has been replicated in many ways. I’ve even written about the out-casted teenager, and it’s almost become a trope of its own. I have negative things to say about this book, but I also have positives. For one, it introduced most of the world to Stephen King, and I will always be thankful that Carrie was published for that reason alone.
Also, with everything I’ve said, Carrie isn’t a bad book. It has heart. I did feel for Carrie as a character at times. I always felt something, even if it was annoyance. King can rip your emotions from you. Carrie was just a taste of that.
I do like the hysteria. Out of everything, the relationship between Carrie and her mother, and Carrie and her religion, are the best parts of this book, and in King fashion, they are equally as painful as they are brutal. King knows how to pull at your heart strings and he knows how to manipulate your emotions, but I love that.
With all of that proven in Carrie, it felt as if he had dipped his toes into this book. I know the next one, he jumped headfirst.
My quest to read all of King’s books in Chronological order starts at a very low point, but I’m eager to continue on because Salem’s Lot is one of my favorites, and the first King book I ever read.