It’s quite hard to give any brief summary of the book to open the review. It’s often listed as a ‘horror’ novel, but I don’t think that label really suits it. So, go into this story with an open mind.
I guess, to perhaps state the obvious, this novel is about Carrie. The story itself isn’t particularly exciting, but Carrie herself is an absolutely incredible character. The book shows us her day to day life and, through this, we really begin to care for her. She’s not a lucky person; in fact she has an absolutely horrible life. Every day she’s bullied by everybody at school and then abused by her extremely religious mother once she gets home. As you read, you feel very sorry for her and you feel terrible that there’s nothing you can do about it. She’s one of those characters who you wish you knew in real life, just so that they could have one person who’s on their side. She also evokes a feeling of guilt, there’s always at least one person we could have been a bit nicer to when we were younger…
In between the chapters about Carrie’s daily life, there are epistolary pages from fictional books written about some disaster or another that happened in Carrie’s hometown. You won’t find out what they’re all talking about until the ending, but all the way through there’s this uneasy feeling that something bad is looming on the horizon and then, when the ending does come, my goodness, that ending….
On the whole, while the story could do with being a bit more exciting (it’s basically all build up for the end), Carrie’s superb character more than makes up for it. And she’s not the only good character either, every person in it is very believable, some of them sympathetic and others utterly dislikeable (that’s not a criticism of King’s characters, it takes a very good writer to make somebody who readers’ll actively dislike.) So, I recommend this book, if nothing else, reading it will make you want to make an effort to be nicer to people. Rating: 8.7/10 (I found it very hard to score this book.)