Carrie, by Stephen King

CarrieFinished 6-14-11, rating 4/5, horror, 245 pages, pub. 1974

“You’re bleeding!” Sue yelled suddenly, furiously.  “You’re bleeding, you big dumb pudding!”

Carrie looked down at herself.

She shrieked.

The sound was very loud in the humid locker room.

A tampon suddenly struck her in the chest and fell with a plop at her feet.  A red flower stained the absorbent cotton and spread.

Then the laughter, disgusted, contemptuous, horrified, seemed to rise and bloom into something jagged and ugly, and the girls were bombarding her with tampons and sanitary napkins, some from purses, some from the broken dispenser on the wall.  They flew like snow and the chant became: “Plug it up, plug it up, plug it up, plug it–“

page 8

Carrie is an often maligned high school student who is treated poorly by her overly zealous mother and by fellow students who see her as a freak.  When she gets he first period in the school shower and has no idea what is happening to her something broke in her.  Or maybe it’s better to say that something awoke in her.  She started using her powers to move things and later for acts of utter devastation.

I’m sure a lot of people know this story, either from the book or movie, or maybe even from pop culture references.  I haven’t seen the movie, but thought I’d give the book a try and I wasn’t disappointed.  I wasn’t completely wowed either, but I did think it was good.  The characters were well-drawn and I was as disgusted with the hateful Chris as with any other character I’ve recently encountered.  I steered clear of girls like her in school, but I’m not sure anyone I knew was as awful as she was.

I wasn’t sympathetic to Carrie much.  A little in the middle and I guess at the end for a moment or two, but for the most part she started strange and ended strange and vengeful.  Not a combo to have me rooting for her.

I liked the way the story was told, from lots of different viewpoints.  Sometimes we read Carrie’s perspective or another student, like Sue, and these were intermingled with reports that happened after the fact, after the prom from hell.

Not my usual genre but as a pop culture reference I’m glad I read it.  I wasn’t bored and I was alternately disgusted and disapproving.  Not two emotions that endear me to a book, but it was still an entertaining read.

This was from my personal library.