An Ode to Stephen King’s Carrie

Carrie Landscape
My original copy of Carrie, bought in 2001. The first book I ever read for fun.

I used to hate reading books. This, despite my mom’s best efforts to get me into the habit during my elementary years. She bought me Roald Dahl’s children’s books, The Chronicles of Narnia book set, among other books. She even bought me a bookshelf!

But it was Stephen King’s Carrie that finally got me into reading. Thus, the clear divide in my history as a reader: before Carrie (B.C.) and after Carrie (A.C.). 

I had few close friends in school back in 2001, and it was my best friend Josh who introduced me to the master of horror.  Stephen King was Josh’s favorite author. Josh would incessantly talk about King’s stories and how much he loved them every chance he got.

It was only a matter of time before he convinced me to try reading one of King’s novels.  He told me to start with Carrie.

Synopsis from Goodreads:

Carrie knew she should not use the terrifying power she possessed… But one night at her senior prom, Carrie was scorned and humiliated just one time too many, and in a fit of uncontrollable fury she turned her clandestine game into a weapon of horror and destruction…

A socially-awkward introvert, I was bullied relentlessly in and out of school. This was the main reason I immediately connected with Carrie. I totally understood her feeling like an outcast, her desire to fit in, and her need for revenge. If only I had telekinetic abilities like she did…just kidding!

First published in 1974, Carrie is King’s first novel. It’s quite dated now, but I never tire of rereading it. The message of bullying still resonates with me. The prom scene is a classic, as is the destruction that follows. Even today, I’m terrified by Carrie’s mom. Margaret White is one of the scariest mothers in all of literature.

Carrie is a book I reread for fun. It’s very cathartic living vicariously through her, until she overuses her powers and her heart explodes. I also read it for nostalgia. Carrie is the first novel I read for fun. It is the book that started me on my reading journey that continues today.

Without Carrie, I may never have read the books of J.K. Rowling, Haruki Murakami, and Brandon Sanderson. I may not have taken up  Creative Writing in college and worked as a writer after graduating. Stephen King’s Carrie changed my life forever.

I recommend the book to anyone who was bullied or is being bullied today. It may change your life too. 😉

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery