Carrie, by Stephen King

I watched both film adaptations of this book first. Each of the movies has its own merits, and each does different things better. On the whole, I would have to say the original, 1976 version is the better one, because it sticks to the source material better. Also because Sissy Spacek.

But this is more about the book and less about the movie. So let’s get on with it…

Having seen the movies before, I had a preconception of what the book would be like. The book mostly blew me away. It’s so much better.

Well, there were the little asides throughout that threw my reading a bit out of whack. The asides in the text, splitting paragraphs and thoughts in two did take a little getting used to. They were basically jump cuts, which I don’t feel work too well in text.

One of my biggest beefs with the book, which is completely unfair when factoring in how I saw the movies first, is there description of the deaths Carrie wrought upon her classmates is scant at best. I wanted to read descriptions of how Carrie tortured the ringleaders of her mistreatment. Nope.

Now, the aforementioned beef is based on the idea books are more descriptive than the movies. And the movies didn’t really show too much individual torture, so I was hoping the book would. Nope.

On the flip side, I loved King’s descriptions of Carrie’s destructive walk back home.

On another flip side, Margaret’s death was so anti-climactic. The 1976 movie does it so much better — Carrie uses here telekinesis to stab her mom. That’s so much more emphatic than having Carrie stop her mother’s heart. Then again, it’s actually kind of more terrifying to have one’s heart stopped by an outside force with no physical contact. It’s the avada kedavra without wands.

This is making me want to read more Stephen King. I’ve already read The Shining, which was also much more different from the movie.