Carrie by Stephen King

Retro Review

Carrie by Stephen King
Horror Fiction
Audiobook, 7 hours, 28 minutes
In one way or another, everybody abused Carrie. Her fanatical mother forbade this 16-year-old misfit everything that was young and fun. She was teased and taunted by her classmates, misunderstood by her teachers, and given up as hopeless by almost everyone.

But Carrie had a secret: she possessed terrifying telekinetic powers that could make inanimate objects move, a lighted candle fall, or a door lock. Carrie could make all kinds of startling, bizarre, and malevolent things happen. And so she did one night, when feeling scorned and humiliated...and growing angrier and angrier...she became the vengeful demon who let the whole town feel her power.

My Thoughts

This was the first Stephen King novel I ever read. I remember grabbing it from my dad’s nightstand and claiming it as my own. I was eleven. Eleven! It is the book that fueled my desire and lifelong love of reading. But eleven?! Reading it now I’m a little horrified that I read it at such a young age. It has quite a bit of sex and disturbing scenes but I turned out relatively normal so I guess no damage was done ;)

This is your classic bully revenge tale and it is as relevant today as it was back in the day. Carrie White was drawn with such painful vulnerability that it’ll make you ache for her and cringe at many of the scenes. Carrie’s an innocent, abused by her religious wingnut of a mother who never consoles but is quick to mete out punishment for the most ridiculous of offenses such as talking to a neighbor.

“Go to your closet and pray!”

And when Carrie doesn’t want to eat her pie.

“It makes me have pimples, Momma.

“Your pimples are the Lord’s way of chastising you. Now eat your pie.”

Can you imagine growing up with a mother like this? How can you not feel for Carrie?

Anyway, there isn’t much for me to say here. I remembered it being a straight-forward tale told by Carrie but I think that’s because I’ve seen so many of the movie versions between the book and now. It wasn't written that way at all. I enjoyed the flashbacks, news reports, victim on the spot interviews and such that composed the story and I’m glad I finally got around to rereading it. It held up incredibly well and the audio version that I listened to was skillfully read by Sissy Spacek who really knows the part.


  1. I've actually never read Carrie. I've wanted to but like you, I've seen so many movie versions it just keeps getting placed on the back burner. However, the original movie is the best - you can't beat Sissy Spacek as Carrie. I started reading Stephen King in 6th grade except for me it was The Shining. I agree, we turned out OK.

    1. Yeah, we turned out just fine :) You should give this a read. It was a different experience from the film version.

  2. That's cool that Sissy Spacek does the audio version of this book; I'd totally listen to it just to hear her. :)

  3. Never read it but seen the movie and goodness that mother alone should have scared you when you was young. I read my first SK when I was 12 so right around the same age, mine was Pet Semetary! :)

    1. lol, my mother was a wee bit scary so it made me feel better about things ;) Pet Semetary scared me/scarred me a lot more. Those two deaths were brutal for me :(

  4. I read this as a pre-teen too. My mother had it and I devoured Glad Sissy did a great job.

  5. I haven't read very many Stephen King books. I really don't know why that is. I might have to check out the audio for this since Sissy Spacek narrates it.

  6. It's been awhile since I have read a book written by Stephen King.I remember my first Stephen King Book vividly, IT. I remember reading this one many moons ago and I have watched both versions of the movie.

  7. Carrie is a great book, one of Stephen King's best and I did also like the film. Piper Laurie was brilliant as Carrie's mother in the film-scary woman!

  8. High five for starting King young. I read my first King book in 6th grade, so ... about the same age. Mine was Christine. I got it from my grandparent's library, and the only reason it caught my eye is because the title is basically my name. How vain. lol! I haven't read Carrie. I watched the movie, though.

  9. LOL at turning out normal. Love the puppy with the headphones :)


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