Book Review: Carrie by Stephen King

Book Review: Carrie by Stephen King

Sharon Niedringhaus, Writer

     Carrie is a horror novel written by Stephen King. It details the events leading up to a huge catastrophe that occurs at a high school prom in Maine. Connecting all of these events is the title character, Carrie, who is bullied by everyone at school, abused by her mother, and has telekinetic powers. The book starts off in the girl’s locker room where Carrie gets her first period in front of everyone while she is in the shower. The other girls start throwing pads and tampons at her because she doesn’t understand what is happening, even though she is a senior in high school. The girls involved in the incident are punished with detention, which they must attend or else they will not be allowed to go to the senior prom. One of these girls, Sue, feels guilty for her actions after the fact and tries to make it up to Carrie by telling her boyfriend to ask Carrie to the prom. He agrees to ask her and Carrie says yes. Another girl, Chris, blames Carrie for getting her in trouble and is bent on getting revenge. Her somewhat abusive boyfriend does most of the work for coming up with and carrying out the plan to achieve her vengeance. Meanwhile, Carrie’s telekinetic abilities are getting stronger. All of these events culminate in the highly anticipated prom disaster.

     Carrie’s classmates aren’t the only people who torment Carrie: her own mother is one of Carrie’s largest causes of pain. Carrie’s mother is obsessively Christian to the point that she isolated herself from society and tells the people that she does come in contact with that they are going to go to Hell. She abuses Carrie by locking her in a closet to repent her sins, telling her what she is allowed to wear, and not allowing her to leave the house for anything other than school.

     I am not a huge fan of horror but I had a hard time putting this book down. Stephen King is great at creating suspense, which is demonstrated in this book by sprinkling newspaper articles and interviews throughout the story. These interruptions reveal parts of Carrie’s past and reference some disaster that you know is going to happen, but don’t know exactly what it will be. I found this book to be more of a thriller than true horror, so if you aren’t a fan of horror but want to read a book by Stephen King to see what it’s like, I would highly recommend this book.