Stephen King Marathon: Reflecting on “Carrie”

Today’s blog is going to be a little different from the others. Instead of doing a normal review of the novel “Carrie,” I’m going to talk about my experience with it. If you don’t already know the story, the book is about a teenage girl named Carrie who is ostracized by her classmates and abused by her overly Christian mother. Over time, she gains psychic abilities which she eventually uses against everyone who ever wronged her. It’s basically a coming-of-age story mixed with that classic Stephen King supernatural flair.

I wanted to talk about “Carrie” for one simple reason: It’s the first Stephen King book I’d ever read. Back when I was still a teenager, my best friend Mackenzie and I would sometimes go camping for the weekend with her parents. We stayed in a camper close to a huge lake and enjoyed swimming and having barbecued food for dinner. Of course, being nerdy, we also enjoyed watching movies and reading on days when the weather was either too hot or too rainy. It was during one of these weekends that she introduced me to “Carrie.”

Before the weekend was over and I had to go home, I read the whole book. The story gripped me immediately with Carrie being someone close to my age at that time. I’ve also had a love for any kind of psychic ability in fiction, so reading about her using these cool and terrifying powers was a lot of fun. You sympathize with Carrie, want to cheer when her mother and the bullies get their due comeuppance, and understand when fellow classmate Sue tries to show her that not everyone was against Carrie as she believed. I remember the imagery was so vivid and in hindsight set the high standard of detailed imagery King is now known for. It’s weird to think it was his first ever story, and yet even though I’m still pretty new to his work, it remains one of his best to me.

“Carrie” is a story that can still hold up all these years later and, with a breezy length, it’s one of the easiest starting points for all things Stephen King. I still remember that weekend partially because it was the first time in a long while that I’d been invested in a book. It feels redundant to say this, but if you still haven’t tried reading or watching “Carrie”, I would highly recommend doing so.

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