Book review: Carrie by Stephen King

I’ve joined a King book club and it is our goal to go through all of his books! Don’t worry, we’re in it for the long haul – it might take a few years 😅 

The reading is chronological to when the books were published, which means that Carrie is the first one on the list!


Book description 

Author: Stephen King 
Genre: Horror 
Published: 5th of April 1974 
Rating: 🔪🔪🔪🔪 | 4 out of 5 knives

Trigger warnings: bullying, emotional abuse, character death, mind control, murder, physical abuse, religious fruitcake

Summary 

A modern classic, Carrie introduced a distinctive new voice in American fiction — Stephen King. The story of misunderstood high school girl Carrie White, her extraordinary telekinetic powers, and her violent rampage of revenge, remains one of the most barrier-breaking and shocking novels of all time.

Make a date with terror and live the nightmare that is…Carrie

–back cover


About the book 

The story about Carrie is a well-known one, and has long been part of popular culture since the release of the 1976 movie of the same name. One scene in particular has made quite the impact! If you’ve seen it, you know! 

Enough about the movie and its impact. Let me get to the book. We start out with the introduction of Carrieta White and several of her classmates. It’s a rough introduction with bullying and emotional abuse which leaves Carrie traumatized and confused. This is not the beginning to who or what Carrie is, but the incident leading to the tragic event that is danced around during the story.


About the writing 

I’ve tried to listen to Carrie as an audiobook, but the lack of chapters made it difficult for me to follow along. There is a structure to the book, which I can see when I read the book, but I have a difficult time following along when I’m listening. This is a short King book and a quick read. The way King builds up the story around this one incident and slowly peels off layers of the story one section at a time was well done. I don’t have much to say about the writing other than the structure that chapters give me is missing. However, this was not a problem for me while actually reading the book. 


About the author 

Stephen Edwin King was born the second son of Donald and Nellie Ruth Pillsbury King. After his father left them when Stephen was two, he and his older brother, David, were raised by his mother. Parts of his childhood were spent in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where his father’s family was at the time, and in Stratford, Connecticut. When Stephen was eleven, his mother brought her children back to Durham, Maine, for good. Her parents, Guy and Nellie Pillsbury, had become incapacitated with old age, and Ruth King was persuaded by her sisters to take over the physical care of them. Other family members provided a small house in Durham and financial support. After Stephen’s grandparents passed away, Mrs. King found work in the kitchens of Pineland, a nearby residential facility for the mentally challenged.

Stephen attended the grammar school in Durham and Lisbon Falls High School, graduating in 1966. From his sophomore year at the University of Maine at Orono, he wrote a weekly column for the school newspaper, THE MAINE CAMPUS. He was also active in student politics, serving as a member of the Student Senate. He came to support the anti-war movement on the Orono campus, arriving at his stance from a conservative view that the war in Vietnam was unconstitutional. He graduated in 1970, with a B.A. in English and qualified to teach on the high school level. A draft board examination immediately post-graduation found him 4-F on grounds of high blood pressure, limited vision, flat feet, and punctured eardrums.

He met Tabitha Spruce in the stacks of the Fogler Library at the University, where they both worked as students; they married in January of 1971. As Stephen was unable to find placement as a teacher immediately, the Kings lived on his earnings as a laborer at an industrial laundry, and her student loan and savings, with an occasional boost from a short story sale to men’s magazines.

Stephen made his first professional short story sale (“The Glass Floor”) to Startling Mystery Stories in 1967. Throughout the early years of his marriage, he continued to sell stories to men’s magazines. Many were gathered into the Night Shift collection or appeared in other anthologies.

In the fall of 1971, Stephen began teaching English at Hampden Academy, the public high school in Hampden, Maine. Writing in the evenings and on the weekends, he continued to produce short stories and to work on novels.


To be honest, I don’t have a lot to say about “Carrie” other than it is an enjoyable read. Already knowing the story, events didn’t come as much of a surprise as I’d imagine if I didn’t know the story. The story is well-executed and so were some of the characters.

Happy reading ;P

Spoopy kitty Ô.Ô

2 thoughts on “Book review: Carrie by Stephen King

  1. I read this one last year and enjoyed it. The film was pretty good too! I definitely agree with you about the audiobook. I don’t see how anyone could follow it properly with the way that it is formatted!

    Liked by 1 person

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