#71. Carrie by Stephen King

Carrie by Stephen King

Pages: 245
Finished: Sept. 10, 2007
Reason for Reading: I've decided to read Kings book in order, this is his first published book. I also read this for the RIP Challenge.
First Published: 1974
Genre: horror
Rating: 3/5

First Sentence:

It was reliably reported by several persons that a rain of stones fell from a clear blue sky on Carlin Street in the town of Chamberlain on August 17th.

Comments: I was 11 years old the first time I read this book and it frightened me terribly. I remember having to hide the book when I wasn't reading it because just looking at it scared me! Re-reading it as an adult, I didn't feel the same way at all. This is King's first book and you can tell. It is a short, fast read and not particularly scary, frightening or even gross. I did really enjoy the epistolary aspects of the novel written from newspaper accounts and books by the participants. I think the scenes of Carrie's mother are the creepiest because as a parent it is terrifying to imagine a parent abusing their child like that. It's hard to not compare the book with the movie (which I've seen several times) but in this case I think I prefer the movie to the book.


  1. You've decided to read King's books in order? You're going to be reading for a very long time!

  2. Yeah, I'm just going to take my time with them, no hurry. I've read all his earlier work but I was so young when I read them that I want to read again as an adult.

  3. What a great idea--to read all of his books in order! But far too lofty of a goal for me. :( I plan on reading the Dark Tower series in order next year--that in itself should keep me busy for a while!

    Whenever I read King's earlier work I too am struck by the difference between that and the later stories. I haven't read Carrie in years though--perhaps it is time for a reread!

  4. For some reason I have yet to try King. I didn't know this one was his first book. Do you think it'd be a good place to start?

  5. nymeth, hmmm, I don't really know. It certainly isn't one of the best, nor is it really typical of his other work. It is short, much shorter than most of his others so it does let you get your feet wet quickly but I don't really think I'd recommend this as a good place to start.

    I would say to maybe start with The Shining if the size doesn't deter you. Otherwise Cujo is another short one or Pet Semetary isn't too big either. But if you just want to get your feet wet and see if you like him, why not go with one of short story compilations. Night Shift was the first one if you want early King, or Everything's Eventual is the latest one.

  6. Is it OK if I throw my two cents in? I think if you really want to read King at his best, and aren't intimidated by the bigger books, The Stand, It, or Bag of Bones would be a good place to start. I had read some of his books before (I think Pet Semetary was my first), but it was It that really sealed the deal, for me.

  7. Nicola, I also read "Carrie" earlier this year, but I prefer the book to the movie, actually. I think the scope of the book could not be confined to a 90-minute movie (understandably) so much had to be edited out. I also read "Firestarter", and found the book to be gorier than the movie, so I preferred the film version. :) Does Stephen King have any other works that explore the psi phenomenon?


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