Monday, 7 July 2014

Carrie by Stephen King

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure.




Carrie by Stephen King
Published 2005 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published 1974)
Source: Audible
Length: 7 hours and 22 minutes
Narrator: Sissy Spacek
Rating: 4 stars
From the blurb: Carrie White is no ordinary girl. Carrie White has the gift of telekinesis. To be invited to Prom Night by Tommy Ross is a dream come true for Carrie – the first step towards social acceptance by high school colleagues. But events will take a decidedly macabre turn on that horrifying and endless night as she is forced to exercise her terrible gift on the town that mocks and loathes her...

Carrie is such a classic, whether you’re talking about the book by Stephen King, or the 1976 film version. But up until now I’d never felt the need to read it. Most of the time I don’t do horror, but I make an exception when it comes to King’s books. Reading this and having a general idea of what was going to happen did not diminish my enjoyment, there were plenty of details I didn’t know.

Sixteen year old Carietta N. White, better known as Carrie, lives with her extremely religious mother in Chamberlain, Maine. She attends Thomas Ewan High School but has no friends. She’s been bullied for as long as she can remember; because she’s considered weird, because of her mother, because of her looks. On the day of her first menstruation she is bullied again by the girls of her gym class and something inside her snaps, releasing her telekinetic powers.

The story of Carrie’s life is told by an omniscient narrator, allowing us to go back through Carrie’s childhood and back through her family's history. There are snippets of news reports, excerpts from books, and interviews, as well as the perspectives of other people in the town. This gives a complete look at the situation and made it all the more fascinating. The world in which Carrie lives is one where abilities like telekinesis are possible, and while the story was weird, creepy, and often scary, I wasn't terrified and had no trouble sleeping at night.

Carrie’s story is heartbreakingly sad, she is tortured by her mother at home, made to feel ashamed of her own body, and she is bullied constantly at school. She has no one to confide in, nowhere she can relax. It’s no surprise that when Tommy asks her to the prom, she is hesitant to accept, fearing another prank.

Listening to this I was struck at how relevant it still is forty years later. If you take away the paranormal element, this is essentially a story about bullying and the victim fighting back in a horrible and lethal way. It made me think about school shootings. It also made me think of Tease, a book I read and reviewed a few weeks ago, and one I highly recommend.

A note on the narrator: I enjoyed Sissy Spacek's narration, I've listened to her before (To Kill A Mockingbird) and her voice and accent are lovely.

Book #1 in my Stephen King Project



So, I didn't originally intend to do nails for this book, but after seeing the cover that is part of a 2007 redesign, as well as a request from Angie, I decided to do some! 



A lot of the covers in this series have a white background and one graphic, so after doing nails for The Shining, I removed the polish from my ring nail and started over.



I used 2 coats of China Glaze White Out. Once dry I used acrylic paint and a fine brush to paint Carrie and Tommy.





28 comments:

  1. When I saw the new movie version of Carrie, my review noted how I also thought about school shootings and how bullying can make people snap. I think I'd enjoy reading the book!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'd heard of Carrie but never really thought about it...or looked it up. Now I kind of want to read it! (Because I'd also like to try a Stephen King book...and I didn't realise this was about a teen too...soooo....I'm tempted!)

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've watched the movie but I haven't read the book yet. To be honest I found the premise quite weird and I just didn't get what was happening half the time. I'm not sure whether this is just because it's the movie version but I think I'll have to give the book a shot. Great review, happy reading!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Is it wimpy of me to admit I'm scared of Stephen King's books? I'm not one for horror in the least and though I keep wanting to try out King's novels, my fear keeps holding me back.

    Clearly, I need to get over this as I've heard nothing but praise for his work. Wonderful review, Mandee--definitely bumping this up my TBR as the situation is most definitely still relevant today and it seems like an entertaining novel.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great review! I've never read Stephen king before but I might give this one a try :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. Yeah, Carrie still gives me the shivers when I think about it. I've only watched the movies, but they were enough to send me on edge, and I'm afraid of what the book will do to me once I get down to it. Although, I probably should get over this irrational fear of mine and appreciate the original for what it is, and everything that prompted Hollywood to make a movie of it, and everything that made it have a following of its own.

    Faye at The Social Potato

    ReplyDelete
  7. Awesome review, I've never seen the book or the movie as I might be scared lol. But I loved how you said even all these years later, it is still relevant when it talks about bullying. Shows that it's an excellent classic! Lovely review Mands!

    ReplyDelete
  8. This is actually the ONE horror novel that I've been tempted to read because I like the classic movie so much. I just don't know if I'd have the balls.

    BTW: Hey, girl, hey! ;D

    ReplyDelete
  9. I've only read a select few Stephen King books and this is one I still haven't read because I'm scared to death by it! I know I'm probably going to have nightmares for ages if I do.
    That's so great that this is so much more than just a horror book and has themes of bullying in it.
    I'm glad you liked this, Mands!
    Great review! :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've never read this one either but have always wanted to. Glad to hear that you enjoyed it even though you already knew the story. And cool that Sissy Spacek narrates it!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I did not know that Sissy Spacek narrated Carrie -- I'll have to re-read via audio.

    I love what you said about it still being a relevant story, in regards to bullying it totally is.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I remember seeing the movie, and even back then it was super creepy. Pee your pants creepy. That prom scene is probably one of the most well known and reenacted scenes in horror (along with the Psycho shower scene). I love that the original Carrie is narrating it, how cool is that. Fantastic review Mands <3

    ReplyDelete
  13. I read this one a year ago for school and enjoyed the perspectives. It's a strange story, but worth reading (especially since, like you said, it's very relevant due to the bullying theme).

    Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
  14. I REALLY want to read this, but on the other hand, I'm not sure I have the guts for such a creepy story, you know? I'm glad you found it enjoyable though! It's awesome that it covered issues (like bullying and school shootings) that are so relevant to society. Thanks for sharing Mands, and, as always, BRILLIANT review! <3

    ~ Zoe @ The Infinite To-Read Shelf

    ReplyDelete
  15. I really want to read this...and anything by Stephen King for that matter, but I'm too much of a scaredy-cat. I was really excited to see you'd read it (listened to it) though and even more pumped that you enjoyed it so much!! I think the testament of a good book is when it's themes never feel dated or irrelevant as the years pass. Fantastic review Mands ^^ xxxx

    ReplyDelete
  16. Wow how cool that Sissy Spacek narrated this one. I saw the original movie and book years ago when I was in high school, I really should revisit it. I think its awesome that it is still relevant today. King is just the best. Have you read 11-22-63?

    ReplyDelete
  17. You know, I've never seen the movie or read the book! I had the vague idea of what the story's about (because who doesn't?), but I guess I've not paid attention to it otherwise. You've got me curious now, and it makes me feel better that you didn't think ti was too scary.

    ReplyDelete
  18. CARRIE is and always has been one of my absolute favourite horror novels. I think that I'll definitely need to listen to this. Sissy Spacek does some incredible narration. Lovely review!

    ReplyDelete
  19. I bet this was a scary audiobook! I've only read it in print. Very cool that Sissy Spacek narrates it. Have you watched the updated movie? It's pretty good!

    ReplyDelete
  20. I loved Carrie when I read it in high school. It is amazing how some books last.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I have yet to read anything by Stephen King. I've always wanted to read his work but I've never gotten around to it. I've seen both movies the original and the new one that came out last year (I think it was last year!) Glad to hear you enjoyed it! I'm going to have to finally read something by Stephen King. I'm really curious about his writing style.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love Carrie so much but a Carrie audio book read by Sissy Spacek sounds like an AMAZING combination, after all she does know the character pretty well doesn't she?!

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have never read a King book, although I have been tempted on more than one occasion. A lot of his books are considered classics and, even though you know most of the story from movies and references, I feel like I should at least try one of them. I have always been intrigued by Carrie, always seemed like a strange story to me in some ways, but I like the look of this one more so than his others.

    ReplyDelete
  24. Wow you are so right - this story is definitely calling a lot of recent news stories to mind. I have never read this book, but I've seen the movie (the original) and I really liked it. Maybe I should revisit this on audio. Lovely review!

    ReplyDelete
  25. OK.. I have to say.. you need to back and do some nails for this review. Yes I know... how dare I demand that! I just think it would be so fun to see nails for all the King books you read. Though you might want to pick a different cover. Any who... this is a great book. When we read it in the Stephen King group on goodreads a few years ago we also did this social experiment and a lot of the group members joined Twitter for it. This is why my handle name on twitter is Kingmod. From this book's discussion that month on the group. So fun.. OK I could go on and on... LOL!! Great review.

    ReplyDelete
  26. Love the mani! I agree this is such a heartbreaking story and still relevant. Sissy Spacek narrating would be great!

    ReplyDelete
  27. I think you're exactly right as to why this one especially is such a classic. Obviously The Shining is one that is definitely part of our culture, but Carrie has been referenced in so many other movies, and it's a similar plot in so many movies. Perhaps not the going crazy part, but you think of Never Been Kissed and how much that affected her for years to follow.

    But like you said, taking out the supernatural element, there's a huge story/theme there about bullying and revenge and what it does to everyone involved that transcends cultural and language divides. There's so many movies and TV shows and fiction that deal with either the immediate bullying and revenge, or the effects of it years down the track and how it follows people wherever they go.

    ReplyDelete

Hi, hi, hi!
Thanks so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.
My priority is to return comments on YOUR blogs because I know how much a comment can make someone's day!
If I have time I will also try to comment back on my blog.
Mands xox