There’s not a lot to say about reading Carrie because everyone already knows the story. I did and I hadn’t even the seen either of the movie adaptations. Carrie is bullied at school because she her strict religious upbringing has left her a near-total outcast from normal teenage society. When she gets her long-delayed first period during a post-gym class shower, she freaks out because she thinks that she’s bleeding to death. The other girls think this is hilarious and mock Carrie by throwing sanitary napkins at her and shouting “Plug it up!”
What the girls in the shower don’t know is that Carrie has telekinetic powers, which get more acute when she’s feeling angry. Though they are still rudimentary at the time of the shower incident, from there Carrie only gets more powerful and more in control of her abilities. It all culminates in the worst senior prom ever.
King’s novel is partly told as a straightforward narrative and partly told through (fictitious) news clippings and excerpts from books written in the aftermath of Carrie’s revenge. It lends an air of gravitas to the novel, and frankly, pads out a short story’s worth of plot to novel length.
Indeed, as someone who has ready quite a few of King’s later books, the brevity of Carrie is surprising, indeed almost shocking. I guess it’s a little harder for first-time novelists to get away with 600 page novels.
Still, Carrie endures because of it’s well-executed and irresistible premise.Whether bullied or bully, anyone who went to an American high school can recognize the emotions underpinning Carrie.