Book Review: Carrie by Stephen King

ac-carrieMaria Hafez
Staff Writer

  In the horror novel “Carrie”, there are no ghosts, vampires, demons, or other supernatural creatures. There’s only a teenage girl with unexplained powers.

  Stephen King’s first novel holds Carrie White as its protagonist. She is a lonely high-school student, often bullied by her peers to the point of breakdown and misunderstood by her strictly religious mother. As the story unfolds, Carrie discovers that she is gifted with telekinetic abilities, allowing her to move objects with the power of her mind. Extremely insecure and unsure of what to do with her newfound supernatural abilities, she keeps them a secret.

   Carrie’s mother, Margaret, has an obsessive character. With religion as her prime concern, she is determined to cleanse the world around her of sin. She inflicts her extreme beliefs on her daughter, making her repress every aspect of a normal life: from social interactions to her sexuality.

Margaret is self-destructive and abusive, considering the actions she takes to punish her daughter. In her fits of anger, she locks Carrie up in a closet for hours and does not take pity at the sound of her daughter screaming for help. The novel remains engaging, although readers know how terrible the end will be from the very beginning.

  As a result of the oppression from family and friends, Carrie develops a hidden anger that slowly turns into rage.The novel is written from an omniscient third person’s point of view, together with bits and pieces from interviews, letters, and articles related to the night Carrie unleashed the full extent of her powers.

  These epistolary elements allow further insight into Carrie and her lifestyle that are not revealed in her narrative. King’s writing style allows the readers to look at the protagonist from different viewpoints and understand her many dimensions.

  Although there is a foreshadowing component in the book, the prose still keeps readers in suspense as to the unfolding and momentum of the story’s climax. Carrie lets everything fall into place like dominoes, she builds up the dread page after page.

  This climax is a night of horror and blood splattered streets. Carrie’s confrontation with her mother is a terrifying passage lined with uncertainty, guilt, and rage.

       Stephen King’s “Carrie,” with its psychotic characters and supernatural touch, is a fast and captivating read, perfect for this Halloween period.

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