Author: Stephen King
There are certain things everyone “knows” about Carrie White: She’s fat and pimply and doesn’t take care of herself. She’s spacey and odd when you do try to talk to her. Her mom’s a hyper-religious nutcase. Carrie’s the obvious victim for everyone’s bullying. But there are things no one knows about her–or if they ever did know, they’ve buried that knowledge deep: Somewhere underneath the surface, Carrie White is a strong person, one who will only take so much. And she’s got an amazing power that’s rarely even heard of. One day, the kids at her school will push her too far, and the resulting reaction will be unimaginable. . . .
Having read two of Stephen King’s books now, I truly get the impression that he is generally misrepresented. I get that Carrie is horror, in a sense–at least in the latter half of the book. But it’s more that just that. It’s a deep psychological study of how bullying, stress, and extreme parental situations affect the psyche of a growing child, especially when going through other extreme changes such as puberty. And King deals with all of this exceptionally. I admit that, had I read this a few years ago, I probably would have been appalled on numerous levels, by the open brutality, the graphic descriptions of first menstruation, etc., but I think for a mature reader, this is necessary setup for what comes later. I love the way King describes part of the story directly and parts as excerpts from various papers and books, all told in alternating voices; it gives the story a more complete perspective and keeps things (even more) interesting. Not that it needs the boost–it’s intense all the way through, even before the inferno begins! My one personal complaint is that there are no chapter breaks, only a separation between the two halves of this around-300-page book; this kept me drawn into the story as there was never a break, but I needed to get up and do stuff, and this made it difficult. Truly though, for a mature reader (may I emphasize that) who enjoys horror/thrillers but wants a bit more complex and developed story, Carrie is an excellent option.