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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is where it all began
As with virtually everything Stephen King has written, this is enjoyable reading. It is also a quick-read for anyone who is intimidated by the length of some of the author's later works. I think the basic premise of this story appeals to many people because Carrie is, in many ways, the ultimate underdog, a girl terrorized by an insanely religious mother, victimized and...
Published on April 9, 2001 by Daniel Jolley

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30 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Carrie Is So Very....Different
I've seen plenty of the films that have been based on Stephen King's many novels, but this is only the first book that I've actually read by him. Much like the film that is based upon it, this book isn't so much a tale of horror, but more a coming-of-age tale. In it, we see young Carrie White, a total reject and loser by the standards of her peers, struggle with...
Published on November 12, 2005 by K. Fontenot


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67 of 75 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is where it all began, April 9, 2001
This review is from: Carrie (Mass Market Paperback)
As with virtually everything Stephen King has written, this is enjoyable reading. It is also a quick-read for anyone who is intimidated by the length of some of the author's later works. I think the basic premise of this story appeals to many people because Carrie is, in many ways, the ultimate underdog, a girl terrorized by an insanely religious mother, victimized and persecuted by her peers, and alienated from the world around her. Everyone in life has been a victim or a bully, and I think the story of Carrie White does impart an important lesson to the folks out there who are treating someone they know the way that Carrie's classmates treated her. For those of us more sympathetic to Carrie's plight--the high school "outcasts," the "poor," the unpopular, the nerds, etc.--the story really matters here. Many of us daydream about the revenge we will exact from those kids who made fun of us all those years ago, and Carrie White shows us that revenge is not all it is cracked up to be. Carrie's "triumph" costs many innocent people their lives, and it doesn't really do a whole lot of good for Carrie herself.
You don't need me to tell you why you should read or re-read this book. This is Stephen King. By this point in time, unless you are just coming of age, you have already read this book if you are one of King's legions of fans or even if you were ever curious about this man's phenomenal success. Even more of you have probably seen the movie. While the movie was pretty faithful to the book, not even the magic of cinema can convey the true weight and atmosphere of this (or any other) book. Carrie is also King's first published novel. This is very important to would-be writers--clearly, King was still learning his craft when he wrote this novel, and thus the process of reading it provides any potential writer with a great learning experience. The format here is significantly different from King's more mature work. The story is told through several "voices," including a third-person account from a "survivor," extracts from research articles and newspaper items based on the events, as well as a more traditional author's voice. Thus, we get several perspectives on the characters and events. The story is not as fluid as it might be because we switch from one viewpoint to another as the tale unfolds. While I much prefer the style of King's later works, especially in terms of getting inside a character, King still infuses Carrie's world with realism and believability, proving that he can create masterful atmosphere and mood with any number of literary tools.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bittersweet revenge of an outcast, June 10, 2004
This review is from: Carrie (Mass Market Paperback)
I first read King's CARRIE when I was in the eighth grade. I am now a high school sophomore and this novel still remains a favorite. It's a tale of an outcast who discovers that she's been blessed, or cursed, with the rare and incredible powers of telekinesis. This means she can move objects and make things happen merely with the power of her mind.
Both home life and high school life are nightmares, almost literally. King opens the story with Carrie getting her very first period in the locker room after gym class. She's up in arms about what to do - at 16 she has never experienced nor heard of such a thing. Her classmates turn vicious and scream chants of "Plug it up! Plug it up!" started by truly cruel Chris Hargensen. The girls then hurl tampons and sanitary napkins at her from the broken machine on the wall. Poor, helpless Carrie stands there, utterly confused and humiliated all the same, looking "the part of the sacrificial goat." The "fun" stops when Ms. Desjardin, the gym teacher intervenes, slapping Carrie to snap her out of her hysterical fit.
Carrie is sent home early that day. Out of all the girls, Sue Snell feels the guiltiest and wants to make it up to Carrie. So she convinces her boyfriend, Tommy Ross, to take Carrie to the prom. If you've seen the 70s movie, you know what goes down at the prom. If not, read and see.
At home, Carrie deals with a religiously fanatic mother who never spoke about menstruation because she believed it was sinful. Mrs. White is a single mother who preaches, what she believes to be Christ's ways, all through the neighborhood. When Carrie is "bad" and "sinful," she gets thrown into the prayer closet to "pray for forgiveness." Everything in Mrs. White's mind is sinful. And because Carrie's father died, she has no one else to turn to for help.
This novel, at times, is honestly horrifying. Lovers of scary stories (and King) are sure to enjoy this read. Some complain about the passages of Carrie White and her telekinesis but I found them to be the ideal story tie-in and quite useful to explain Carrie's past and further talk of her powers. If you've seen the movie, you may almost feel as if it's a must to read this book but that really isn't the case here. The book stands wonderful all on its own.
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars King's first book is still my favorite., January 6, 2000
This review is from: Carrie (Mass Market Paperback)
CARRIE is a terrific book on its own; as a debut, it is simply astonishing. King's first effort does not at all seem the work of a novice. I loved the device of using excerpts from books and articles supposedly written about Carrie White and Prom Night; these chapters give an almost documentary feel to the book. In fact, for some reason, this book reminds me vaguely of HELTER SKELTER, which was, of course, a true story.
Another thing that lends atmosphere to this is King's use of parentheses to show the reader his characters' thoughts and impressions (did he invent this? I can't think of another author who does this), giving the reader a real feeling of identity with the characters.
It is also a very moving book; in addition to being a jolly good horror story, the characters evoke real feelings of sympathy. Carrie's plight is a familiar one; King evokes the middle-class high school pecking order with devastating accuracy, and the story, ultimately, is not only scary, but very sad.
It made a very good movie, incidentally. I recommend both. I've read a lot of Stephen King, but this one is still my favorite.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my favorites, July 27, 2006
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This review is from: Carrie (Mass Market Paperback)
Carrie is one of my favorite King novels, for it's loosely based on his memory of two girls in his school who were picked on 'without mercy'. I first read this novel in high school where Carrie White's character was unfortunately present. I recall girls who were emotionally, and sometimes physically, battered by classmates and was once badgered by a bully myself. This book is also part of the early 'raw energy' of Stephen King as a writer, before he was launched into legendary status as a popular horror novelist. Though there isn't a happy ending in 'Carrie', I'm still able to sympathize with her character and see some justice in her wicked vengeance. This novel will remain on my bookshelves, safe from any future garage sales, and re-visited often.

Chrissy K. McVay

Author of 'Souls of the North Wind'
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30 of 40 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Carrie Is So Very....Different, November 12, 2005
This review is from: Carrie (Mass Market Paperback)
I've seen plenty of the films that have been based on Stephen King's many novels, but this is only the first book that I've actually read by him. Much like the film that is based upon it, this book isn't so much a tale of horror, but more a coming-of-age tale. In it, we see young Carrie White, a total reject and loser by the standards of her peers, struggle with becoming a woman and realizing the strength of her newfound powers.

Carrie is hated by the kids at her school, primarily because of her crazy and religiously twisted mother. Poor Carrie had "outcast" painted on her from her birth, which her mother saw as punishment for having sexual relations with her now deceased husband. Picked on constantly, Carrie begins to test her "flex" power that seems to have greatly increased in power since getting her first period. Things come to a head at the school prom, but that's all I'm going to say, since this story is so well known.

Called "gory and horrifying" and "sheer terror" by reviewers on the back of the book, I didn't find any of that in here. In fact, I saw this more as a tale about a young girl who is so tired of being teased and attacked for being different that she seeks revenge. Of course, she has a rather unique and violent way of getting revenge, but I think that every outsider growing up wished that they had some sort of power that could protect them from the other kids who were popular, bullies or just plain mean.

Of course, Sue Snell is another character that I'm sure we've all been at some time in our life. She picked on Carrie just like the others, but knew deep inside that she was wrong. She also knew that if she stood against the majority, she'd be ostracized exactly like Carrie.

In short, this is a really good book. It's very fast moving and reads rather easily. The constant switching between thoughts, settings, and characters did become rather annoying at times, but overall this is a good story. It isn't that scary. In fact, it's more a reflection of society than anything.

Recommended. It won't be my last King novel.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars I believe that this is one of King's best novels., November 9, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Carrie (Mass Market Paperback)
Stones fall from the sky. The neighbors watch in horror as they devastate the house. They don't touch any other part of the street except for the white house, and the neighbors can hear the wails inside. Stephen King always catches my attention with the first lines of his book. Carrie is no exception. I believe it is one of the best books King has written. The reason I think this book is one of King's best is that his books are usually full of horror. This one is also, but this book also talks about real life experiences. That is why I think this book is good. The book starts by talking about Carrie's adolescence, which mostly consisted of her being made fun of. That happens a lot in high schools in today's age. A lot of people are singled out, stereotyped, and made fun of. That has been the root cause of a lot of tragedies in today's time. He also points out the way high school affects people mentally. High school is one of the building blocks of how kids act socially. If all people do is get made fun of, they tend to be bitter and mean. So I think he brought out some good relative topics, and that's why I think this book is the best. I do not like Carrie's mother at all. She is an eccentric, overbearing, religious psycho. All over the house, she has religious pictures or paintings of evil times that happened in the Bible. She preaches to be faithful to God yet she mistreats her daughter. She was so stubborn in her beliefs that she did not tell her daughter about her period because she thought this was sacrilegious. Carrie had her first period in the gym, and everyone made fun of her. Her mother didn't tell her; therefore she was made fun of by the rest of her class. Her mother does nothing but malign her daughter and then make her pray in a closet. This confinement did a lot of psychological damage on Carrie and was one of the reasons she was always made fun of. In the beginning of the book, King wrote that as a young girl Carrie was very pretty. But since her mother always manipulates her she makes Carrie feel terrible. I think that the mother is the cause of all Carrie's problems. That is why she is the character I dislike the most. I sympathize a lot with Carrie in this book. She has to deal with a lot all of her life. When she was in, school she had to deal with all the kids that made fun of her. Then when she got home she had to deal with her mother. Her mother is one of the biggest causes of her grief and she makes Carrie do her bidding. When she finally gets to the point where she rebels against her mother and gets some freedom, the kids at school make a joke out of her. Her whole life Carrie has been made fun of and put down. All Carrie wanted to do wanted to do was fit in and be part of the crowd. But because of her mother and her past, she has a hard time trying to do that. I think that the other kids could have accepted her or just left her alone. They had to play tricks on her and make fun of her. That just made the anger grow inside, and I understand how the rage unleashed on everybody. I sympathize with her life and understand why she did what she did. After going through all that she did, she is someone to feel sorry for the most. I believe that Carrie is one of King's best novels. He has excellent and realistic characters. In my opinion, a good book is one that people can relate life to. King is an excellent author, and this book I would definitely recommend for all the new King fans.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a spectical of a novel!, September 9, 2000
This review is from: Carrie (Mass Market Paperback)
'Carrie', Stephen King's first novel, is truly remarkable writing! Most authors don't have quite the stinging debut they hoped for, but this book deffinetly did, even today. The story is about a teenage girl named Carrie White who has a trumatic life, where home isn't safe, school isn't safe, and she isn't safe. She grows up with her psycho catholic mother who often locks her in the closet, and at school is constantly cutdown. cutdown doesn't even describe the humiliation and torture, the hell of carries life is the true horror in this story. So all of a sudden Carrie snaps, things start happening when she gets overwhelemed, and she starts gaining telekentic powers and hurting and killing anyone who stands in her way. I appreciated King's writing and description. He truly is a genius of his craft, and creates a realistic cast of characters. The story is really depressing, but if your like me, you enjoy reading the humiliation and torture, and keep reading in your morbid giddiness. This is my first Stephen King novel I have fully read, and I have never seen the movie, which makes the book much more fun. This is a classic.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creepy!, June 27, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Carrie (Turtleback)
CARRIE is an absolute classic. It was the first book by King that I ever read and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I passed my copy on to my good friend, Leah who devoured it in a few days, and went on and on about it when she returned it to me. Carrie White is a seemingly innocent schoolgirl who is constantly tormented by her cruel peers and her strange mother. Carrie holds a power inside her that comes purely from anger and hate. Her mother, Margaret White, has a very strange view of Christianity...forcing Carrie to go into a small closet and pray for forgiveness after events as innocent and simple as her first period. Carrie finally gets a break when Tommy Ross asks her to go to the Prom. Little does she know that her hateful classmates are planning a surprise for her. Innocent teenager, or demonic prophet of Satan...Carrie will make you shudder.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kings First, and STILL One of His Best, June 7, 2000
This review is from: Carrie (Hardcover)
This is King's famous debut novel. Though until Brian de Palma made the film, few people had even heard of it. But the film version launched the careers of King, de Palma, Sissy Spacek, John Travolta, and others.
I admitedly have not yet scene the film version, but the book was great. King seems to be under the impression that this novel is very raw and unpolished, and perhaps he is right--I admit it isn't as polished as many books I've read, but I don't see this is a bad thing; if this is the case, perhaps it is what made the book so good. It was a very riveting book. King was also sucessful at getting at the emotional core of Carrie White, and other characters involved. It is a very worthwhile read, and goes by very quickly as it is only about 200 pages long (the original hardcover is 199 pages in length; I do not know the page count on subsequent volumes.)
I definately recommend this book to anyone fond of the Horror genre or King's work (sadly, many people--dare I say most?--who read King do not read any of the other works within the genre; this is sad because some of the other talents out there surpass him by far.)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unlikely girl with an incredible - and dark - gift, November 8, 2011
This review is from: Carrie (Mass Market Paperback)
I was introduced to the mind of Stephen King in an odder way than most. I was on a school bus, 8th grade or so. And there was a new kid going to our school. I introduced myself. "Hi, my name is Carrie." And he just looked at me for a few seconds. Then he said, "Is your mom into horror?" I had no idea what he meant, and so I asked my mom. She pulled a book off my dad's bookshelf (the cover almost worn away) and handed me Stephen King's Carrie. "It has nothing to do with you," she said. But she was wrong.

Though it was an awkward introduction, reading Carrie was one of several critical inspirations that made me an avid reader and author myself. It's just one of those books that pulls you away into a different world. If you have any imagination at all, you have probably wondered what it would be like if only you could do things just by thinking them. What awesome power would such a gift provide?

King selects telekinesis as the subject for his first novel. And he chooses an unlikely girl for this gift. Carrie is not powerful. She isn't even cool. She is an outcast with a secret she is afraid to use. Bullied at school and tormented by a religious fanatic mother at home, Carrie tries to find her place in a world that seems always to be closed to her. She hides her ability to do things just by thinking about them, until fitting in becomes too hard. Though the supernatural powers in the novel are frightening, the story's darkest heart rests in small town secrets, dysfunctional family life and the everyday cruelties we are all willing to do to each other. By the time the reader follows Carrie to its explosive and bloody conclusion, it's hard not to wish for her sweet revenge. Who of us has not wanted to show "them" they shouldn't have done that?

The writing, as always is exceptional. And King's ability to get into the heart and mind of his characters is readily on display, even in this earliest work. The pacing and suspense are slightly different than in later novels where King truly hits his stride, but Carrie remains a fascinating read that will grip you long after you put it down.

Carrie Salo
Author of the Supernatural Thriller - The Sounding
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Carrie (Movie Tie-in Edition): Now a Major Motion Picture
Carrie (Movie Tie-in Edition): Now a Major Motion Picture by Stephen King (Mass Market Paperback - September 24, 2013)
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