"They will always laugh at you!"
That's what started it all! Stephen King was bowled over when he was told that this rather short novel was going to grant him $400000 for the economic edition, back in 1974, and he probably hoped that it could mark the beginning of an astonishing - and possibly remunerative - career. Well, that's exactly what happened. "Carrie" is definitely a classic. One of those works of fiction that remain absolutely untouched by the relentless passing of time, as well as by the equally relentless alternation of paperbacks on the shelves of your bookstore. Go there, you'll find "her"…waiting for you to relive those never-to-be-forgotten hours at the prom.
Carrie White is a special teenager. Her life is plagued by the manic religiousness of her mother Margareth, who's moulded her through the years into a timorous, sheepish and naive girl. She's an outcast to the eyes of her schoolmates, a defenceless victim of their unmerciful pranks. Yet she's also telekinetic, even though the power of interacting with the material world with the sheer force of her mind has surged in all its fearsome potential only in a couple of memorable occasions during her childhood. Chamberlain, Maine, has never been a pleasant place for Carrie, so when the little, hostile world surrounding her pushes her boundaries beyond the limit… her revenge will be ruthless.
The story unfolds through a sequence of short paragraphs, each one different in style from the previous one. The book, in fact, features an uncommon pattern: there's the bare story, in which we're given the standard third person narration; then there are other various sources contributing to the plot, such as scraps of newspapers, pages of scientific essays dealing with the "Carrie White phenomenon", snippets of law reports or extracts from official trials and whatnot. An odd combination of styles that forced King to shift the tone of his narration from beginning to end, but which he managed to master with extremely secure hand, calibrating the suspense-factor and never allowing the pace to ease off.
This is the novel of blood, which acts as the multifaceted element around which the whole story revolves. There's the blood of sin and corruption, the blood of purification and redemption, but there's also the blood of hatred, as well as the blood of revenge. Most of the characters are forced to deal with it, in one way or another, and each time its significance is pinpointed in a shocking, disturbing way. The whole work, in fact, is actually steeped in this discomforting rather than horryfying aura, which is thickened by the vividness of descriptions - even of sexual kind, being sex another pivotal, recurring element - and enhanced by the madness and meanness that literally "ooze" from the plot.
One of those books that will be probably read time and again throughout the following years, both for some very well known scenes and for the original way in which it tackles a theme like the rejection of someone "different" from the standardized ruck of people. 8+/10