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Stephen King ‘Carrie’ Review


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.

Rating: 5/5

About The Overseer (1669 Articles)
Author of Say No to Drugs, writer for Blumhouse, Dread Central, Horror Novel Reviews and Addicted to Horror Movies.

8 Comments on Stephen King ‘Carrie’ Review

  1. Wow…after all these years you have found what we have discussed so often about the story of Carrie…the depth of her pain and grief…maybe it is just that you are growing older (ha ha..all thirty such years) and see the sadness of her existence.Loved your review…as always…just me…the old hippie…Mom


  2. Very good review, Matt. I haven’t read this one. I am currently reading the shining, and then I’ll be reading John dies in the end. I’ll put this one on my list as well. 🙂


  3. I wonder, are you looking forward to the movie remake with Chloe Moretz and Julianne Moore?
    I really want to read more Stephen King. Salem’s Lot surprised me and made me appreciate King as a literary rather than a pulp writer. Other than that I’ve only read Insomnia, which I really enjoyed.
    Would you recommend The Stand?


    • Salem’s Lot is my favorite King book. An AMAZING read – hands down one of the best vampire novels ever written IMO. I’m curious about the remake. I hope they push Moore’s portrayal of Margaret to the EXTREME. She needs to be more beastly in this remake than what we saw in the original. I’ll def give it a chance. Moretz is DEF a young talent to watch out for.


  4. In response to Lily Wright…this is the old hippie…and when it comes to The Stand I don’t mind expressing my opinion….it is an extra large book…loaded with excellent characters.If you saw the movie put that out of your mind…if not great…I loved the story and have read that monster of a book twice…sometimes it calls out to me for another read.Matt may not necessarily agree…but then I know he liked it once. I speak for myself only YES …give The Stand a read …Vitina Molgaard…aka…the old hippie.


  5. ah yes, my two cents on The Stand. A great story that was hurt by King’s insistence on drawing everything out far beyond requirement. SUPER stimulating for about 600 pages, and then a drag takes over and finishing becomes a challenge. That’s how I felt, personally.


  6. My favorite novel ever. For once a review that gets the way I feel about it. It’s just such a brilliant IDEA, never mind the writing. It’s hypnotizing. All the main characters really just work. Carrie and Margaret especially just seem iconic to me. So fleshed out. Wonderful story. And personally, I thought the new movie version was the best yet, and I’ve seen all 3.


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