Monday, February 9, 2009


This is a book that I can't believe has taken me so long to get around to reading! Carrie, by Stephen King is one of the classics of the horror genre and, indeed, was the one that really launched King's career. I haven't actually owned a copy of the book for very long and when I snagged a copy at the used book store, it quickly rose to the top of the "to-be-read" list (horror category).

I have to say that it was pretty much what I expected, at least plot-wise. This is early Stephen King, and I really like early Stephen King. The book was shorter than I had thought but it was told in a unique way (something I often find with King's works). We see the fairly straight forward plot unfold from a variety of viewpoints, from the protagonist's own eyes, from other characters as the events take place, but more uniquely, from the perspective of newspaper accounts, court testamony, and the autobiography of one of the major charcters in the novel. And all of these perspectives are interwoven to tell the tale. Sounds complicated but it all fits together nicely and keeps the reader turning pages.

The plot itself is a bit dated by today's standards of shock horror. The scenes we see are, indeed, shocking...horrifyingly so and yet for somebody like myself that has read lots of King as well as other horror seemed less shocking somehow. I have never seen the movie staring Sissy Spacek but I have seen pictures from it showing Carrie at the prom, covered in blood. I had visions of reading the book and being grossed out at how so much blood could come to be but it turns out it is cow's blood dropped on her as a prank. This novel is much less a gore fest novel than a novel of a bullied girl that finally has taken all she can take and get revenge. We hear of the destruction of the town, bit by bit but we "see" very little of it. Since this is Stephen King's first published novel, it is easy to compare it to his later works and see how he has grown as a writer.

I rounded out the weekend's reading with the next of the Deaver short stories in More Twisted. This one was called "Double Jeopardy" and was one of the best of the batch so far. I like courtroom drama anyway and they often incur "twists" in the plot so this story had a less contrived twist than the others. And when the twist was done, the story ended promptly. No need for explanations on what we just read. Very enjoyable.

Now that I was done with Carrie, I had a dilemma. Normally, I would read a genre that I haven't read in a while...I like to keep things stirred up by not reading too much of any one genre, style, author, etc. in too short a time span. So I was due to read a Western, a Young Adult, or a straight fiction book next. But since I had just read too fairly fast reads in a row I wanted something a bit longer...something into which I could sink my teeth. And I really really wanted to get to what is being talked about so much on all the fantasy forums I visit...the new sensation Patrick Rothfuss and his debut novel, The Name of the Wind. Boy it sure is starting out great and I'll be looking forward to my next blog entry when I can tell you how it worked out!

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Top 10 Books in no particular order (Well Known Authors)

  • "The Stand" by Stephen King
  • "Kane and Able" by Jeffrey Archer
  • "The Killer Angels" by Michael Shaara
  • "The Dark Elf Trilogy" by RA Salvatore
  • "Name of the Wind" by Patrick Rothfuss
  • "River God" by Wilbur Smith
  • "Mortalis" by RA Salvatore
  • "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card
  • "Centennial" by James A Michener
  • "The Repairman Jack" series by F. Paul Wilson

Top Books/ Series in no particular order (Lesser Known Authors)

  • "The Sculpter" by Gregory Funaro
  • "Power Down" by Ben Coes
  • "Revolution at Sea Saga" by James L. Nelson
  • "Black Rain" by Graham Brown
  • "Top Producer" by Norb Vonnegut
  • "Prairie" by Anna Lee Waldo
  • "The Wild Blue" by W. Boyne & S Thompson
  • "Unsolicited" series by Julie Kaewert
  • "Freedom" by William Safire