Carrie (Book) Review

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Carrie White is no ordinary girl

Carrie is one of those stories I’ve been aware of since the beginning of time because of the Brian De Palma adaptation. It was a terrifying movie as a teenager and is still eerily sad today. I’d never picked up the book but as mentioned here, I was inspired to do so by a podcast I really love.

I couldn’t put Carrie down and devoured it in two days. The story is so familiar but the book is more nuanced (who knew?). Carrie’s tale is inter-spliced with witness reports (from Prom Night), reports on the telekinetic phenomenon and news reports from earlier incidents in Carrie’s psychic past – which I really enjoyed. It was very satisfying to get more of an insight into her character and that of her mother, who is awful, frankly.

You can’t really read this story without feeling regret for the life Carrie should’ve had, though those feelings are naturally counterbalanced with disgust and impatience for her, exactly the emotions stirred in her classmates and especially, Susan Snell. The book also makes me wonder how I would have been at school around a girl like this, and think back to how I was around anybody notably different. I’m sure I wasn’t always nice as a kid and I think this story also makes you feel guilt for past actions, so from the off you’re already in Sue’s shoes. It’s an unsettling feeling.

We all know Carrie’s story by now so I don’t need to tell you how is all pans out. My favourite parts are often her inner monologue, those give you more insight in to how she feels during certain events. Prom night is so hopeful and heartbreaking, and as I read it I willed the ending to change, that Carrie would be fine and go on to live a fulfilling excellent life. Alas.

Carrie is a fat girl in the book (which I didn’t know until recently). In the film versions she has always been skinny and as has Mrs White, but in Stephen King’s novel they are both grotesque in part because they are fat. Carrie is repeatedly described as bovine and Mrs White was left on the shelf because she was large (and also a religious fanatic, if we’re being honest). King often writes characters as hideously fat as though that’s the worst thing they could be and of course I don’t like it.

Carrie is picked on because she’s weird and her looks make her an easy target for the bullies but apart from the odd slur, no more reference is made to her size, at least by her classmates. Although I see it as problematic, it could have been a lot worse. Again, I’m not crazy about the fatphobia in King’s books and I’m sure I have a lot more to uncover as I work my way through more of his novels.

I do love King and he’s on my mind lately. He’s not perfect but he’s one of the greatest storytellers I know and this so far is probably his best.

Book details:

Carrie
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (13 Oct. 2011)
ISBN-10: 1444720694
ISBN-13: 978-1444720693
Bought paperback (new)

What are you currently reading?

Advent(ures) in Spreading the Love (AKA Doors 1 & 2)

tumblr_nyej8sughd1u4taepo1_500December, you crazy cat. You’re so busy, aren’t you? With all your spangly jumpers, drinks parties and invitations left right and centre.

Not that I plan to miss out myself obvs, I enjoy joy as much as the next person. So I’ll be accepting a few pub suggestions, supping mulled cider by roaring fires and snuggling up to my friends and colleagues with the best of them. But I’ve also got SO MUCH to do. Like every other person right before Christmas then.

In between all the rushing about, I thought I’d try and do a daily affirmation for anyone reading because I think we need it. Basically, my version of an online Advent calendar, without chocolate (I know right, what’s the fucking point in that?).

We need female solidarity above all things at the moment though, right? Even chocolate. (Not to exclude the boys who might pop by, you can join in but this is about us, not you dudes).

This is, of course, a quickly tapped out introduction to my plan, a day late and not perfectly constructed by any means but hopefully the sentiment will still get through. Every day I am going to post a message to you (yes, you). It will be anything from a question to an affirmation or a picture of a cat I saw that made me titter.

I thought of this after a week (it’s only Wednesday) of some very low lows and then wonderful highs on the internet, more of which I will talk about later. It seems more than ever that we should be bolstering our fellow women and encouraging them to shine (something else I will come back to is The Shine Theory via Cattitude & Co, which I LOVE).

I’ll still proper blog in between but also keep this going until New Year’s Eve, that’s my Christmas promise.

So, as we’re on the second day of December already, here are doors 1 & 2 together:

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1. This mug urges you to throw away anything that isn’t absolutely essential to your well-being. Easier said than done, but still a nice sentiment. Let it go, you’re doing your fucking best and I salute you, girl!
PicMonkey Collage
2. I saw someone on Twitter post their favourite selfies of the year (so far) and thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. I’m pro-selfie all the way for many reasons, including their ability to make me feel good about myself, for recording change, etc. Here are my recent favourites.

Do you #selfie?

See you tomorrow, you beauty ❤

Stories: the One With the Internet Date

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Way more glamorous than our first flat in Brighton…

Back in the early noughties, back when I was still fresh, single and somewhat naive, my friends and I found a delightful source of entertainment called Love@Lycos.

It was the sister site of Lycos.co.uk the search engine and was solely designed for dating, hooking up and lurve.

Set up so you had your own page (sort of like Facebook looked when it first began), you had a visible bio, pictures if you were feeling brave and you could chat to your heart’s content, either privately or publicly (as I recall). Nothing that innovative thinking back but it was user friendly and like, the funnest thing ever!

Now, dating apps are ten a penny and people meet people everyday with no qualms at all. Which is great. But then, to us at least, this new gateway through which we could fearlessly talk to boys (or in my OBFF‘s case, chicks), was wondrous and exciting – we were obsessed.

The three of us, OBFF, B and I would all go to work as normal, Love@Lycos chat all day on the sly, then reconvene in the evenings to compare notes.

During this period in time I wasn’t all that experienced, had had just the one ‘boyfriend’ and a small series of silly liaisons. In fact, I recall (and this may make another full Stories post) having just been dumped by text when we moved to Brighton from our hometown. Text!

So I was snogging boys like crazy, from work and the like, but was definitely looking for love by now (hey, I’ve always been a romantic). Hence pinning my secret hope on the love part of Love@Lycos.

Alas it was not meant to be. I don’t remember any of the boys I talked to now except one, and only because he takes his place on my Map of Life as the Only Boy I Have Ever Met From The Internet/First & Last Blind Date. Which is pretty significant, I feel.

NB: I am using the term ‘boy’ and ‘boys’ throughout this post because that’s what they were then. And I definitely didn’t feel like a woman yet either.cat-gemma-correll-haha-illustration-internet-Favim.com-144975

Looking back I can’t believe I was so brave when it comes to meeting RunsWithScissors. He just seemed to be attuned to my sense of humour and seemed to like WondyWoman as much as she liked him (Wondy was my alias).

He ran a website that seemed sarcastic and bright, lived in London and was willing to come to Brighton for the day, I believe he had a sister here. So all systems were go after a few months of back and forth.

Our chatter was not sexual or particularly flirty (that I remember), so perhaps this is where the balls came from to go and meet him IRL. I don’t know.

All I know is that, one Saturday night, I somehow made it to Palace Pier by way of the corner shop, where I stopped to buy a tiny mini-bar sized bottle of Cointreau. As the sickly cough medicine kick of the orange liquid hit the back of my throat, I started to calm down. And with every step I felt better.

When I saw him, I was delighted. I can’t say how he felt when I rocked up, but he didn’t run away or stand me up so it felt positive enough. There was no attraction at all on either side though.

I should point out here that we hadn’t seen each other’s real photographs. This was a blind meet. Almost unheard of now!

He was very good-looking. Dark, piercing blue eyes with great chiseled bone structure. He was also charming and funny and exactly what it had said on the tin.

We spent all night laughing in the Hop Poles and then he came back to mine. When it came time for bed, I leaned in close and whispered minxily: “You can have my bed if you like, I’ll sleep on the sofa…”

And he let me! In the morning, we woke up early, had a cup of tea and then I drove him to his sister’s house.

No kiss, no romance, just a good fun night.

We stayed in touch for a little while longer, but like lots of things around this time, it fizzled out. I’m sure he did, and I hope he has had a lovely life as he was a lovely guy.

What I learned: This may have come around the same time I started to realise you could have male friends that you didn’t kiss. Sounds stupid now, but I used to look at every boy I saw as a potential love interest and that didn’t always make for a good time for either party.

Meeting and getting on well with, but not shagging/snogging the arse off every male I met (or imagining it, more likely) was a new and fruitful discovery. As soon as I got my head around this phenomenon, my life got infinitely better and easier.

So it was a good lesson and a good experience. I haven’t met anybody else off the internet since, except my husband, but I don’t count that as we had already met in the flesh. The Internet facilitated our long distance relationship, but it was not born of it.

I’m all for internet dating. It looks so fun and I love hearing stories about it. My friend recently signed up to Tinder and although, like most things, there is obviously a dark side to it, she finds it hilarious.

Do you have internet dating experience? What are your thoughts?