Carrie (1974) by Stephen King

A classic Stephen King story – suburban horror, a child with magic powers, childhood bullies, evil fanatics, sociological explanations of the magic at the end, Maine.

When the novel works, it works quite well indeed, usually in the actual core Carrie segments featuring her bullying, terrible family life, or latent magic.

CarrieBook

When the novel doesn’t work, to my eyes at least, is when it all too frequently indulges in asides and divergences discussing the end of the novel before it happens. I get the dramatic irony, and some of the sociological observations work to the novel’s favour, but the sheer amount of these diversions feels like padding, and really does a number on the book’s pacing. Some would have worked for flavour, but there’s just so damn many that it harms the pacing and engagement factor of the book.

Still, certainly a memorable horror novel, with some truly iconic scenes. I give it three pigs, and a kitchen knife.

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