Carrie by Stephen King

I’ll just be honest from the beginning of this review – this is not the kind of book I would usually read; I’m not into horror, I don’t like psychological novels and Stephen King isn’t really an author that I have ever really even thought about reading. However, my brother bought me Carrie for Christmas and I felt bad just having it on the shelf having no intention of reading it, so I decided that it would be the first book I would read during the Bout of Book 9.0 readathon. Also, being an English student and blogger, in 2014 I want to try new things and read more of those books that everyone should try to read within their lifetime, or at least try. Stephen King is a classic horror author and it was shameful that I’d never even tried to read one of his books. Carrie was his first published novel and one of the shortest so I thought it was only right to give it a go.

At only 242 pages long I thought that Carrie would be a quick, and possibly frightening read, but I felt that I was a little disappointed. Being the legendary horror author that he is, I thought Stephen King would deliver a more horrifying read than this but by the time I hit the halfway point, I actually felt myself getting bored. This wasn’t something I expected from this book and, having never seen either of the films, I didn’t know what to expect from the plot. It was obvious that the book was building up to something because the reports and articles that interjected into the story gave facts about what was going to eventually happen, but it felt like it took forever to get to that point.

By the halfway point, the scariest thing about the novel was Carrie’s mother. A devout religious fundamentalist with an entirely abusive parenting style that was not only frightening to read about but also a little bit of a caricature as far as I was concerned. Apart from being this disturbing religious mother, she didn’t really have any personality, and that goes for most of the other characters in this novel.

This book is comprised of the events that take place as they are happening, snippets of Carrie White’s life with her mother as they happen, bits of Carrie’s past, and then sections from various newspapers, studies, articles and books ‘published’ after the event that happens. Although in some cases I found these articles more interesting than the story, I found that they gave a lot of the plot away and it would have made more sense to just have the story on its own, with no ‘factual’ parts to break the flow of writing. I found that these sections really broke up the flow of the story and the tension that was building seemed slowed by these random interjections. There are also brackets around random thoughts that the characters are having which give away a lot about their feelings but I felt that they broke up the sentences too much and stopped the flow of the pages.

Basically the first half of this book builds up to the Prom, and the second half is the Prom itself. I found the first half a lot more fast-paced than the second, though the last fifty pages or so went by really fast.

This review may sound as though I didn’t like this book at all but that isn’t really the case! I think that there are a lot of flaws in this book but overall it was a fast read and I did enjoy it, it just wasn’t what I was expecting and I can’t say that it is one of my favourites.

I am however glad that I have now read a Stephen King novel, though I don’t think that I’ll be reading another one at any point in the foreseeable future.

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