Carrie Banned Books 2019

5 out of 5 stars

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An introverted girl with remarkable powers of telekinesis faces the horrors of teenage life and unleashes a few horrors of her own when she attends the high school prom.

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5 out of 5

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  • Pig's Blood for a Pig

    5 out of 5

    Written by , Posted on at 1:19:21 PM

    “Carrie” is one of those novels that carry a lot of baggage. Almost everyone has seen or knows about the original movie directed by Brian DePalma, one of the most nerve-wrenching horror classics ever filmed. The poster image of a blood-soaked Sissy Spacek is unforgettable, the type of thing that sears the eyeballs and haunts the memory, as indelible as Luke’s uplifted light saber, the cracked pod in “Alien” or the Francis Cugat book cover for [bookcover:The Great Gatsby|4671] <a href=>The Great Gatsby</a> . It appears impossible to read the book with an objective mind. But King makes it easy. From the very first page, his Carrie is utterly different from the pretty actresses made ugly or plain who have donned her bloody prom dress. This girl is a misshapen, toad-like, dull-eyed sea cow, the sort endlessly and mercilessly picked on year after year by her peers. But she’s neither ugly nor stupid. She thinks constantly, of those around her and her own untenable situation and how she can escape it. This was King’s very first published novel and contains the raw, blunt edges of a youthful writer, one who has not yet learned subtlety or nuanced character delineation. Using interviews, newspaper articles, scientific paper excerpts, he tells the story in media res, through the viewpoints of different people dealing with the aftermath of the tragedy at Thomas Ewin High School. The authorities can’t understand it, the remaining citizens speak with horror, hysteria or unwavering conviction of the sheer oddity of what they saw. All the while, the narrative jerks the reader back and forth through time, giving us glimpses into the past as well as a premonition of a repeat of Carrie’s tragic meltdown. The effect is unsettling, never giving the reader a chance to order thoughts or come to a pat, easy solution as a straight narrative would do. What the novel does that a movie can’t do is let us peek into the minds of the various characters that inhabit the tiny world of Chamberlin, Maine. What emerges, beyond the melodramatic events of prom night, are the inner thoughts and fights of people to break out of the molds in which they’ve been set. Carrie White, Sue Snell, Chris Hargensen and Billy Nolan all yearn, in their different ways, to make their marks, to break out of the cramped niches that society has prepared for them. For better or worse, Carrie’s final acts of destruction gives them that opportunity. King presents Carrie’s transformation from helpless victim to relentless destroyer in a way as inexorable as a Greek tragedy. In so doing, he accomplishes the near-impossible. He makes us care for her while retaining sympathy for those around her: the bullies that pick on her, the faculty that ignores her or the neighbors who simply can’t shield her from the one person who is supposed to protect her—her fanatical, borderline crazy mother, Margaret White. Is Carrie a victim of nature or nurture? King makes it clear that telekinesis comes with a heavy price, an almost intolerable burden on the body’s nervous system. Would her gift have killed her if her mother hadn’t? Would the government have snatched her away as a young child and locked her up for scientific study if they’d discovered she carried the gene for telekinesis? Would she have become a well-rounded happy person in spite of her gift if she hadn’t been born to a cruel, God-obsessed mother? As one character asks, what if there are more like her? What happens to the world? The book rouses questions in the restless mind; that makes it much more than a “horror” novel. Even as it ends on a chilling note, I found myself almost compelled to start reading it over again, the way a crowd can be reluctant to leave the scene of a devastating accident.