Carrie: By now,it’s pretty much a given that everybody has read something by Stephen King. A rather prolific author, he has managed to cover genres from fantasy to horror and even wrote a memoir. The other night, when I was in the mood for one of his books, I went looking for my personal favorite of his.
Carrie, Stephen King’s first published novel, is a book about a shy, telekinetic young woman. Carrie’s telekinetic abilities, present without conscious control through her life, suddenly begin to grow in strength as she progresses through puberty. She discovers that she can control them and practices secretly. She also learns that she has some measure of telepathy, but has less control over it.
The book begins with Carrie experiencing her first menstrual cycle in the school gym shower. Coming from a home where her abusive, extremely religious mother forbids the discussion of anything related to sex, she is unaware of what is happening and panics. The other students, seeing this, taunt her and throw tampon’s at her. While an adult eventually intervenes, the resulting consequences for the bullies are inappropriately insignificant.
Sue, one of the students who had laughed at Carrie in the shower, eventually begins to feel guilty about her role in the teasing. In an attempt to make it up to Carrie, she convinces her boyfriend, Tommy, to invite Carrie to the prom. Chris, another of the students involved, however, is still angry with Carrie for being involved in getting her banned from attending the prom.
She and her boyfriend create an elaborate plan to humiliate Carrie at the prom in front of everyone. Unfortunately, Chris’ plan doesn’t factor in Carrie’s abilities.Years of shame and of anger at her tormentors overwhelm her as her fellow students and even the teachers laugh at her.
Using her new found talents to exact revenge,she slaughters many of the students and teachers, and then leaves the school and walks home, destroying everything in her path as she does.
Carrie was not Stephen King’s best work. Nevertheless, as one who vividly remembers being teased as a student, I still find myself taking vicarious pleasure in Carrie’s revenge.
Sissy Spacek is the perfect choice to read this title. I think few would argue that.