That is a picture of me and Stephen King. If you follow me on tumblr, you've already seen it. I got to meet him for my high school graduation present. My mom told me I was going to get lame senior pictures professionally done. I was less than enthused...until we got to our destination and Stephen King lived there. (Don't worry, Mom's at-the-time boyfriend knew him; we would never stalk King. He likes his privacy and I can respect that.) Well done, Mom. I know it was a sacrifice for her to not get those senior pics. I was so stunned. I could only mutter, "I really loved the Dark Tower books." He was very nice and humble. Best day ever. I was really grateful.
This is my first time reading Carrie. From seeing half of the Sissy Spacek movie and hearing the ending, I felt like I knew the story and didn't need to read it. I skimmed it once in the library. But I've been wanting to go over all King's books this year. I've read a lot of them already, and there are some I need to read because they tie into the wonderful Dark Tower series. Carrie, to my knowledge, does not, but it was a good read anyway. You felt sympathy for nearly all the characters, especially Carrie. The writing is good, especially for a fourth (first published) novel. King was ashamed of this book and threw its first scene away, but his wife, Tabitha, wisely dug it out of the garbage.
I can see how it was shocking and progressive for its time. Stephen King has a problem with religious radicals (as do we all). This book has been banned several times, which is a shame because its rawness and tragedy would speak to high school and middle school students. There is talk of sex and lots of rated-R language, but kids hear those things every day in real school. I think it could combat the bullying "epidemic" by making people feel compassion for a mostly unlovable girl. King's ability to write inside the head of a suffering teenage girl is impressive. It's extremely believable. Carrie was based on a combination of two of King's classmates and Cinderella. Cinderella gone wrong. One of King's Carrie-based classmates killed herself as an adult. He was also likely influenced by his time as an English teacher.
This book made me excited for the movie remake. I can see how it can be truly terrifying. Its star compared it to Black Swan and said that sometimes in the movie, we won't know what's real and what's not real. While the old movie is a classic, in this day-and-age, the story can be told better. I'm not sure about Chloe as Carrie because she's very thin. Carrie is supposed to be a pretty girl whose looks are ruined by zits, glasses, and a few extra pounds, as well as a downcast demeanor caused by years of abuse. Why are the movies and TV shows so afraid of casting girls who aren't obese but are also not thing? 30 Rock joked once that there was no place on TV for someone of a normal weight. It's true. At least Chloe has the dirty-blonde hair color, and we love that she's a real teen.
Should you read this book? If you're in middle or high school, absolutely. If you enjoy horror, sure. This isn't my favorite book of his, and the plot isn't terribly strong. But it will get you in the heart, and you'll remember it. I'm going to grade these books in comparison with other Stephen King books, not books in general. King is very good with words, so most of his books are better than everything else in his genre (although he switches genres often). It's boring to give everything an A+. I tend to read a couple Stephen King books a year. I enjoy them and didn't want to use them all up. But it's time to get to them all.
Book grade: B-
Next is Salem's Lot.
Next is Salem's Lot.