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Student, Harrison

Grade 10

Carrie 

Carrie is a 1974 horror novel released by Doubleday publishers. It is the first published novel by famed author Stephen King. The story has received multiple movie adaptations and has made quite an impact on modern pop culture. The story follows a bullied teenage girl in her fourth year of high school named Carrie White. She is picked on by the other kids because of her odd, awkward behaviour and non-traditional looks. She is much like any other bullied kid in school, but she has secrets and possesses supernatural powers. She can use telekinesis and move things with her mind. One day in school she has her first period and is laughed at by the other girls in her gym class for her ineptitude. One of these bullies feels sorry for Carrie and gives up her place with her boyfriend to let Carrie attend the prom. However, because of the fallout that resulted from the event, the rest of the bullying girls are banned from going, and one such girl, Sue Snell, takes this personally and wants to get her revenge on Carrie. Carrie, undecided at first, attends the prom, hoping to fit in with her peers just a bit more. But those same bullies from that fateful day in school have other ideas. And what unfolds for Carrie destroys her and everything she’s ever known. Carrie is a troubled character whose powers haunt her throughout her life. Her religiously fanatical and simply put evil mother ridicules her for it and treats her own daughter as a spawn of the devil. Carrie is treated like trash throughout her life by her mother and her classmates, and her naivete to the fundamental and intricate workings of society makes her an easy target for the world to chew her up. She is volatile, a person just waiting to explode. The book delves into the effects of verbal and physical abuse surrounding Carrie White and ultimately achieves in telling a tragic, sometimes chilling story. The book is not too long, especially for a prolific author like Stephen King, and is intercut with unique newspaper clippings and book snippings centered around Carrie White which are intended to be written in-universe after the end of the book. They are great ways to convey stakes, emotion and suspense, as you know something absolutely horrible is about to happen, and you’re just waiting for it. Good stuff. Carrie’s mother centers as a chilling main antagonist, and even though Carrie herself eventually does horrible things, you can understand how she’s feeling through the lens of her truly demented mother, whose appearance throughout the book conveys a once normal person who was twisted and turned by some strange beliefs and strong fallbacks, and just show what religion could be in it’s most extreme form, believing what you’re doing is right, and it just not being that. You could really go into Carrie’s mother and her motivations forever. I give the book Carrie a solid 7/10. A dark, fun, sometimes clunkily written story (writing which is also sometimes too floaty) which is a solid enough horror novel for horror enjoyers.

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