Written by: Matt Molgaard
To be completely honest, I was never a huge fan of Stephen King’s breakout novel, Carrie. Today I can admit that I have no explanation for that, it seemed a mere misfire on some unidentified level. These days, I have no trouble absorbing Carrie like a Sunny summer sky’s warming ultraviolet rays.
Carrie is a tightly knit piece of work that captures the essence of youth in rather convincing fashion. I wouldn’t say King nails teenage life with the same faithfulness he managed in Christine, but this is close. Kids can be serious assholes, and Stephen does a wonderful job of reminding us that with this piece of work. He also effectively explores a vast gamut of emotions experienced during the transition from child to adult. He hammers home anger, ingrains shame and ignites a fuse that forces rage to shimmer and undulate behind the mask of the burning fuse.
I don’t need to possess telekinetic abilities to relate to Carrie’s horrid experience with life.
There isn’t much need for me to delve into every last intricacy of this story. If you’re a fan of Stephen King’s work, you’ve read the novel. If you’re a horror buff, or a fan of classic cinema in general, you’ve seen the movie. Surprisingly, what you see on screen in Brian De Palma’s 1976 shocker is quite faithful to King’s source material. That said, I’ll give you a quick rundown: Carrie White lives with her deranged religious fanatic of a mother, Margaret White. Margaret surpasses abusive by a country mile, and her focal target, her own daughter, is about to turn the tides. See, Carrie is telekinetic, fed up with her mother’s extremist ways, and about to be turned into the laughing stock of a high school filled with enough douche bags to cause a mature individuals cranium to implode. It all makes for a bloody and… fiery conclusion.
What strikes me as special about this particular work is the pronounced measure of melancholy that King sprinkles throughout the story. The man never lets up in reminding us that Carrie’s existence is severely bleak. Sad in every sense of every letter… almost to the point of utter hopelessness. What’s also stirring is the fact that as a reader, it’s almost easy to feel as though Carrie’s place is better somewhere other than earth. She’s one of the most sympathetic creatures ever created, and her presence conjures emotional sensations that are difficult to deal with.
Carrie’s quickly climbed into the upper-tier of my favorite King books. The novel has always had my respect, but it now has my heart, as does the tragedy of Carrie White’s complete existence.