Tuesday, August 9, 2016


King, Stephen. Carrie. New York: Anchor Books, 1974. Print.
image from: http://stephenking.com/library/novel/carrie.html

Summary (from http://stephenking.com/library/novel/carrie.html)
The story of misfit high-school girl, Carrie White, who gradually discovers that she has telekinetic powers. Repressed by a domineering, ultra-religious mother and tormented by her peers at school, her efforts to fit in lead to a dramatic confrontation during the senior prom. 

My Thoughts
I did it! I read a Stephen King book, didn't have nightmares, and managed to enjoy the story. I was scared of this author and overcame the fear! I challenged myself to read a King book after reading his memoir On Writing. As he wrote about his writing experience, I decided I needed to give him a chance.

I'd seen the movie (or at least I remember pieces of the movie), so as I read, I would remember scenes.

The writing was a bit chaotic. There were parenthesis and asides and news reports and the White Commission reports and at first, I actually searched in the back for "Appendix B" (and the like) then I finally caught on that this story is told from the point if view of an information collector, a "researcher" (King75). The narrator is collecting stories to explain the phenomenal energy (telekinesis) that Carrie White has. Almost the entire story revolves around the Spring Ball--the night her humiliation will be complete (King 105). As a reader and teacher, I felt so sorry for Carrie. She was an odd ball. Her school mates were hateful and her mother was nuts! "We know that Carrie was a victim of her mother's religious mania" (King 145). Yep!

One thing that I flagged in the book was the mention of some theatre props that included "a bust of Pallas, used in some ancient dramatic version of Poe's 'The Raven'" (King 166). Now, I marked this because for YEARS, I've told my students that without Poe, there would be no Stephen King. I found it humorous to find Poe embedded in King's first published work.

I also marked the idea that the White Commission "worked so hard to convince the public that the nightmare in Chamberlain was a complete fluke" (King 267). Hmm...is King a conspiracy theorist? Is he commenting on a larger issue?

Another thing I marked was this sentence (for obvious reasons): "Her mind and nervous system had become a library" (King 274). The description continues as Carrie is "reading" her classmate Sue.

So, I did it, and I will do it again. I think the next King book I'm interested in reading (again, based on his writing the memoir) will be Salem's Lot. Then I'll have to watch the movies-both versions.

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