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Movies based on books: Carrie book review

Rating 3.5/4

Unlike any other King book I've read, this one is refreshing in the sense that it reads as a young adult story. Carrie White serves as this tragic hero, who yearns just to fit in with her high school peers, but in the end, turns on them in the same way they turned on her. If you never read King and want a good place to start, this is it. As his first story, it's a short and simple read. And interesting side note - if it wasn't for his wife, he probably would have never published it as she said he should finish it. It takes into account normal teenage problems - hazing, cliques, and the need to fit in. It combines these with the most exciting of high school events - prom night, and with that, you have the perfect setting of any teenage drama ever written or directed. Except that it's not: it's totally different than any teenage drama (unless you watch the '80s movie Heathers). This is more of a story about a girl that you come to feel sympathetic for. She has a mother who takes a totally literal view of the Bible (i.e. if you sin with your right eye, you must pluck it out). We come to hate the twisted Biblical personality of Margaret White, a mother whose loving care means locking Carrie in a closet for hours or days at a time to repent of her sins. We come to hate Chris Hargensen and her father, the lawyer, who seem to get away with everything. We come to hate Billy Nolan who ultimately puts the prank in motion that turns Carrie into an evil spawn child. While a simple young adult novel, it begs the question, "Are we really a product of our environment?" It also looks at what can happen to a girl after years of high school hazing. There are a lot of motifs in this story that will be used over again in future King stories - telekinesis, fire as an extension of human emotion, the use of Christianity as a balance of good versus evil, and of course, a small town in Maine as a setting. But none of these motifs bothers me novel after novel because the plot is normally is so unique and airtight from novel to novel. Scenes and characters are more developed in King's later works, but the fact that King masterfully combines the innocence of high school drama and the deep life questions that arise from it, makes this a read that you shouldn't pass up.

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