Review: Carrie (Audio)

By Stephen King
Read By Sissy Spacek
(Simon & Schuster Audio, 2005)

The Short of It:

I enjoyed this years ago in print form, but it was even better on audio.

The Rest of It:

Carrie White is an outcast and a misfit but she has special powers which flare-up whenever she gets angry or upset. Living in a small town, under the roof of her religious mama, Carrie is the butt of every joke there is. So when she is asked to the prom by the most popular boy in school, she is skeptical but also hopeful. Is it possible to be like the other kids? To have friends and to go to parties and be normal?

The beginning of this book includes an introduction by King, explaining how he came up with the character of Carrie White. Apparently, she is the combination of two kids that he knew in school. Both of them painfully awkward and the focus of much ridicule. Oddly enough, both of them are no longer living so there is no update to share. At first, I was surprised to hear that Carrie was a hybrid of these two girls,  but after revisiting this classic it’s clear that he has a special place in his heart for this character. Additionally, Carrie was a result of a short story that was tossed into the trash. King’s wife fished it out and encouraged him to continue with it. Can you imagine? Would King be who he is today had that story remained in the trash?

Listening to this on audio was a real treat. It’s read by Sissy Spacek who also played Carrie in the movie adaptation. It was fabulous! The movie stayed very close to the book and only had a few changes. None of them large enough to really stick out but the reading of the book on audio… it blew me away. Especially the shower scene. Those who have read the book or have seen the movie know how horrible that shower scene is. Well, listening to it was no exception! Those girls are horrid and Carrie… you want to protect her from the horror but at the same time, throttle her for being so spineless. King is really good at exposing humans for what they are.

Since participating  in the IT-along (read-along for IT), I’ve been revisiting King’s previous works. I haven’t found them all to be as wonderful as the first read, but I’ve been enjoying the stories and his style of writing. I find that reading his writing is a good way to “cleanse the palate”  before I begin my next read. Oh, and of course I am gearing up for Doctor Sleep, the sequel to The Shining.

As big of a fan as I am, I haven’t read all of his books or stories. I try to space them out so I will always have something to read but after checking out his website, I see that there’s quite a bit left to read and with him being such a prolific writer, I should never run out.

Source: Borrowed

21 thoughts on “Review: Carrie (Audio)”

  1. Sissy also narrated TKAM and it was amazing, so I can only imagine her work in this one with which she is intimately connected. Perhaps I need a re-read. One book that I read of King’s, that is not highly thought of but I adored and cried over, is Insomnia. It is long (of course) and moves at a snail’s pace, but it progressively leads up to a very emotional end, and it left a huge impact on me. I’d love to read that one again.

  2. I like to call him my King of storytelling. I haven’t read this in a long time, but I’m curious about the audio version now that I know Sissy Spacek is narrating.

  3. I saw the movie ages ago, and you are right, the shower scene does stick with you. I need to see if I can get this one on audio. I love that it is narrated by Sissy, and I am sure that gives the book much more of an authentic feel.

  4. This was my first King book ever back in high school. It sounds as good as I remember! How cool that Sissy Spacek does the audio.

    1. Hi Jenny! How are you doing? Wow! You read this in high school? I bet it was especially compelling given its setting. I think I read this when I was attending junior college or slightly thereafter.

  5. I read this one a long time ago as well…maybe jr high or hs? Not sure. I love King but he reaches in and grabs me deeply…I have to space him out or I get overwhelmed quickly. Seriously, I had a nightmare about IT two nights ago!! Really!!! And, I couldn’t finish the book even after trying TWICE! I guess some books really hit you where you’re the most sensitive. As much as I loved his other works though, I’m not sure about audio. I’m just about to decide I’m too ADD for audio 😦

    1. I was the same way with audio a couple of years back. I could not for the life of me follow the story but after listening to a lot of them, I am really good now! Unless the reader is horrible and then I tune them out.

  6. You know I’m not sure I ever read the book – I must have but I’ve sure seen the movie enough times. I never knew that about basing the character on two people. That’s an interesting tidbit.

    I didn’t realize Sissy Spacek was the reader. It’s a bit higher in price and that’s why. I’ll have to save a credit for it since I really want to listen to it now.

    1. The movie WAS scary wasn’t it? Piper Laurie as Carrie’s mom scared the shit out of me! They’re all gonna laugh at you! They’re all gonna laugh at you! And that creepy Jesus statue with the bugged out eyes. But then John Travolta’s appearance made it all better even though he was a total ass in the movie. EEEEEEEK!

  7. Yikes! don’t like that cover. I prefer the old one with the movie-tie in with Sissy on the cover. As much as I agree she is a great narrator, I have only begun to appreciate her acting.

    1. This cover is horrid. I wanted to use the other but since this was the cover for the audio and audio was what I listened to, I used it. They really should redo them.

  8. Read by Sissy Spacek, how great! Man that movie was a long time ago. You are brave to revisit this one, oh poor Carrie !

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