Carrie – Stephen King

As I’ve mentioned before, horror isn’t so much my scene. However, having rather successfully broken my own prejudice somewhat with Joe Hill’s Heart-Shaped Box a while ago, I figured his famous father should probably be on my to-read list. Believe it or not, until recently, I had never read any Stephen King!

I figured I’d start easy with a story I already knew and liked – I’d seen the Carrie remake when it came out a couple years ago, and really enjoyed it. Paranormal, creepy and – above all – containing decent character development and an actual storyline, I figured I would probably enjoy the book too.

And (no surprises here) I did! The book is – obviously – better than the film, with more subtlety and nuance, both in the narrative itself and in the characters themselves. It’s hard to feel anything but positive emotions towards Chloe Grace Moretz as she portrays the titular character in the film – she’s a wonderful actor, but she is also very likeable and beautiful. The Carrie of the book is complex – there are moments when you feel the strange mix of pity and revulsion that some of the bullies and bystanders feel, mixed with moments where you love her, and moments where you’re scared of her… it truly is great writing. I also love the pseudo-scientific device King uses to frame the book; it adds a clinical, distancing effect, just as you’re drawn in, like spice in a great stew.

It’s a phenomenally popular and successful book, so I’m not saying anything new – but Carrie is a great read!

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